Customer Reviews for

Port Mortuary (Kay Scarpetta Series #18)

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Cornwell scores with another winner

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is the new director of the Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts. Working with her at the Massachusetts facility is her niece Lucy and Pete Marino. Kay attends a training fellowship at Port Mortuary in Dover Air Force Base where she is learning ...
Dr. Kay Scarpetta is the new director of the Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts. Working with her at the Massachusetts facility is her niece Lucy and Pete Marino. Kay attends a training fellowship at Port Mortuary in Dover Air Force Base where she is learning the latest technology that she can apply at the CFC. While she is at the Delaware installation, her second in command Jack Fielding runs CFC until he freaks out when a corpse starts bleeding.

Knowing Jack cannot cope with the situation, Kay returns home having finished the course anyway. When she arrives at CFC, she finds the inmates running the asylum. Scarpetta takes 3-D virtual technology x-rays, which shows internal injuries unlike any she has seen before. She has no idea what weapon could have caused such damage. Benton is working a case in which a suspect swore he killed a child, but he believes the confession is false as he thinks the victim's death is connected to Scarpetta's odd case. Soon there are two more deaths seemingly separate cases but Scarpetta makes connections that tie her victim to Benton's case and feels all the deaths are linked but her husband is not talking about the cases as he usually does.

Ignoring that Scarpetta as the director would not have time for bench work and follow-up especially on a new Fed-State-MIT venture; her latest forensic inquiry is a fantastic thriller with the lab work as gripping if not more so as the foot work. Told in the first person by the heroine, readers obtain Scarpetta's perspective on the case, her marriage, her new job, Dover (past and present), and her feeling about Lucy and Marino. The story line retains throughout a fast pace and is action-packed even in the lab as Patricia Cornwell interweaves state of the art technology (we've come a long ways from the Body farm) into a strong whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on November 17, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

35 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

A Scarpetta Fan Disappointed...

After looking forward to this latest Patricia Cornwell novel, I have to say it doesn't hold a candle to almost any of her previous works. I was missing more of the forensics and could have done with much less of the inner thought dialogue of Scarpetta herself. Suspens...
After looking forward to this latest Patricia Cornwell novel, I have to say it doesn't hold a candle to almost any of her previous works. I was missing more of the forensics and could have done with much less of the inner thought dialogue of Scarpetta herself. Suspense? Not much here. Even the regular characters weren't as interesting as they usually are-Benton, Marino, and Lucy are just side characters to Scarpetta's sleep deprived internal dialogue. I LOVE Patricia Cornwell, and have read every one of her books, but I think she missed the mark on this book.

posted by mainegrl on January 17, 2011

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    A Scarpetta Fan Disappointed...

    After looking forward to this latest Patricia Cornwell novel, I have to say it doesn't hold a candle to almost any of her previous works. I was missing more of the forensics and could have done with much less of the inner thought dialogue of Scarpetta herself. Suspense? Not much here. Even the regular characters weren't as interesting as they usually are-Benton, Marino, and Lucy are just side characters to Scarpetta's sleep deprived internal dialogue. I LOVE Patricia Cornwell, and have read every one of her books, but I think she missed the mark on this book.

    35 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    Say no!!!!

    This is a ridiculous price for an e-book, especially since Patricia Cornwell's latest books have not been well-written. I'll wait until the price goes down. There are a lot of great authors out there whose new books are not $14.99 in an e-book format. Talk about greed!!!!!

    23 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    Don't bother

    I have been a fan of Patricia Cornwell for a very long time. However, I'm really having a hard time wading through this book. The story seems to be taking place in real-time and frankly, I'm finding it very boring. I'm only planning to finish it because I paid so much for it. Then I'm afraid, I'm through with Patrica. Too bad. I suspect her publicist is writing all the 5 star reviews.

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    Cornwell continues to disappoint me

    I had to force myself to finish this one and now i'm done with Scarpetta. I'm sick of paying money to an author who believes her heroine' s inner ramblings make interesting reading. I can't stand reading about lucy's personal tumoilts over and over. Boring.....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2011

    Not Excited About This One

    Cornwell's increasing use of acronyms is becoming tiresome and an exercise to keep track of throughout these last two books. I'm finding the long technical explanations that accompany the acronyms to be distracting as well and irrelevant to the story. Chapters that had high billing in the last book (eg, Lucy's 'affair') were suddenly dropped without closure.... and the Scarpetta character.....who has been consistently strong, powerful, and unwaivering is now confused and disjointed with everything and everyone around her? There were elements of this story that I found intriguing and hoped that Cornwell would lead me further into these as she consistently has in the past but sadly, it fell flat. I've experienced this same feeling with other long running series. It's as if the long path inevitably leads to more main character drama (that never existed previously) rather than solid, well-written storylines that can stand independently from book to book. What I also enjoyed about Cornwell's Scarpetta series (in the past) was that her research was sound and the medical/technical/forensic details neatly presented so that I felt I was learning while enjoying the captivating twists and turns of their application in the works of Scarpetta. :) In Port Mortuary there was very little of that and what there was..I felt bogged down by it. Will I keep reading the Scarpetta series in the future....high probability, but I am admittedly now shopping for a new favorite author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2011

    Very Disappointing.

    I have read the entire series and used to love the adventures of Kay Scarpetta. However, the last few books have been labored. This last book is too long, too detailed with facts I don't need to know about, and there is no intensity. I fear it may be time for this character to gracefully retire.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    sorry I purchased it

    This is my first Scarpetta book, I can't get into it, I am on page 74 and ready to close it and start another book. Maybe I should have started at book one, this one jumps around too much, can't keep track of the people.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    Not a good read

    I was thrilled to down load this book and then I started reading. It is almost like someone else wrote this book. Does not even seem like Ms. Cornwell's style. I hope the next one is better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2011

    Disappointing

    This one was full of the usual medical terms and details that I have come to expect from Cornwell. As far as Kay Scarpetta's character though, I was very disappointed. I have never read of Scarpetta feeling so sorry for herself as I did in this book. Also what was with the bad guy in this one? No scenes, and no lines for him? Also with Wesley and Scarpetta being so anal about their personal security, the scene describing their garage missing a window and no one having the time to deal with it was totally out of character for both of them. It was like Cornwell threw that in at the last minute because she didn't know how to end the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    Okay

    I have read all of Patricia Cornwell's book and this was my least favorite. It dragged on..the story was not written very well and too many switches around.. I was totally lost had to reread several chapters to know what was going on.. Very disappointed...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    Sorry to say: boooooooooring

    Have very much enjoyed this series; but have to say this episode was one of the most difficult books for me to push through in 65 + years of reading. Wanted to give Ms. Cornwell a chance so didn't just give up in the middle as I have with only one or two before. And must say things did get slightly better in the final 20% of the book. But please - next time around give us a good story again instead of spending 50% of the time in Kay's head trying to be a psychoanalyst.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    Terrible - Don't waste your money

    The was absolutely the worst Patricia Cornwall book ever written and I have read them all.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 22, 2010

    Worst of the 18!!!!!!

    I have loved this series and love the characters but this book was hard to read took place in two days so their is no character development (lucy and marino show up a few times with little dialog)and most of the story is key talking to herself about the same thing over and over.This book was phoned in and I should get my money back! I thought the last two were a little week but this is just poor. I hope Ms. Cornwell will start to spread the time line out again so we can connect with each character and situation like we have in the past. I know this is harsh but I expect more from this writer, that being said if you are a fan of this series you still have to read it

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    Rambles and leaves you unsatisfief

    If you want to read this you should get it from the library. I wasted hours and dollars on it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Oh Hum

    Not the best of the Scrapetta series. Somehat boring till the last few chapters :]

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I have so far read all of the Scarpetta books up to this point.

    I have so far read all of the Scarpetta books up to this point. I haven't finished Port Mortuary, but will just to see how bad it continues. I am really disappointed in the different direction that Patrica Cornwell has sent this group off in. The last issue was also nearly one half of the book in ever boring ground work and a re hash of previous escapades. I really hate to say that this may be my last Cornwell book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Disappointing

    In the past, I have been an avid reader of Patricia Cornwell's stories, but no more! I never leave a book partially read, but I must say, this one has done it for me. Her books have become tedious at best. There is too much in techinical details and not enough storyline. I believe this will be the last book by this author that I will purchase.

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  • Posted February 4, 2012

    My first, and last, Patricia Cornwell book

    I thought I'd give mystery fiction a try with this book and
    approached the reading with no pre-conceptions.
    I liked the medical parts yet not the self-pitying narration.
    I'm not sure but I think the author is not correct with the information about Afrikaners in then apartheid South Africa.
    Overall the book is much too long with obsessive detailing
    that fosters boredom for the reader.

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  • Posted December 22, 2011

    Not up to par

    I pre ordered this book because I was so excited that she finally wrote another Scarpetta novel!! I was very disappointed. It was not up to the standards that we are all used to with Patricia Cornwell, I have loved loved loved all of her books. This is my least favorite, in fact, NOT a favorite. There was just too much personal thought processes and not enough science and forensics for me. I think Kay Scarpetta needs a very long vacation to get over all the crap that has happened in her life before she ends up on her own table... then we won't have to read about it. It could have been so much better.

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  • Posted December 11, 2011

    A disappointment

    Her other novels are much better written. This book endlessly exists in 48 hours leaving the reader to tire of the main character thinking she doesn't trust someone or something doesn't feel right. I really love that the main character is a woman.

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