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From Potter's Field (Kay Scarpetta Series #6) [NOOK Book]

Overview

#1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns to the chilling world of gutsy medical examiner Kay Scarpetta in this suspense classic.

An unidentified nude female sits propped against a fountain in Central Park. There are no signs of struggle. When Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her colleagues Benton Wesley and Pete Marino arrive on the scene, they instantly recognize the signature of serial killer Temple Brooks Gault. Scarpetta, on assignment with the FBI, visits the New York City morgue on Christmas morning, where she...
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From Potter's Field (Kay Scarpetta Series #6)

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Overview

#1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns to the chilling world of gutsy medical examiner Kay Scarpetta in this suspense classic.

An unidentified nude female sits propped against a fountain in Central Park. There are no signs of struggle. When Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her colleagues Benton Wesley and Pete Marino arrive on the scene, they instantly recognize the signature of serial killer Temple Brooks Gault. Scarpetta, on assignment with the FBI, visits the New York City morgue on Christmas morning, where she must use her forensic expertise to give a name to the nameless—a difficult task. But as she sorts through conflicting forensic clues, Gault claims his next victim. He has infiltrated the FBI’s top secret artificial-intelligence system developed by Scarpetta’s niece, and sends taunting messages as his butchery continues, moving terrifyingly closer to Scarpetta herself.

The sixth suspenseful thriller starring forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scapetta, by the award-winning author of The Body Farm. While Scarpetta searches for clues to the identity of a young woman murdered by serial killer Temple Brooks Gault, the fiend claims his next victim--and manages to infiltrate the FBI's top secret artificial intelligence system.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta plays a tense cat-and-mouse game with a serial killer, an old enemy, in her sixth outing (following The Body Farm), and he has her badly rattled. The story begins as a rotten Christmas for Scarpetta: Temple Gault has struck again, leaving a naked, apparently homeless girl shot in Central Park on Christmas Eve; Scarpetta, as the FBI's consulting pathologist, is called in. Later, a transit cop is found shot in a subway tunnel, and, back home in Richmond, Va., the body of a crooked local sheriff is delivered to Scarpetta's own morgue by the elusive, brilliant Gault. The normally unflappable Scarpetta finds herself hyperventilating and nearly shooting her own niece. In the end, some ingenious forensic detective work and a visit to the killer's agonized family set up a high-tech climax back in the New York subway, which Gault treats as the Phantom of the Opera did the sewers of Paris. There's something faintly unconvincing about Gault (in a competitive field, it's tough to create a really horrific serial killer), and Scarpetta, stuck with her own family troubles and involved in a rather glum affair with a colleague, seems to be running low on energy. Still, this is a compelling, fast-moving tale, written in a highly compressed style, and only readers who know that Cornwell can do better are likely to complain. Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and Mystery Guild selections. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Cornwell's Dr. Kay Scarpetta is fast becoming everyone's favorite forensic specialist; her latest outing, The Body Farm (LJ 9/1/94), was #2 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. This time, Scarpetta must contend with a serial killer who has breached the FBI's top secret artificial intelligence system.
Emily Melton
Reading Cornwell's latest is like riding one of those amusement-park roller coasters. The rider gets on, and the car starts slowly up the first big hill, momentarily hesitating at the top before plunging down, down, and around, leaving the rider gasping and breathless, with trembling limbs and a palpitating heart, exhilarated but shaken, even after the ride is over. Cornwell lulls the reader with a slow start, then builds relentlessly to a heart-stopping climax 400 hundred pages later. Virginia medical examiner Kay Scarpetta once again faces her psychopathic nemesis, Temple Gault, the horrifying, seemingly invincible serial killer. Gault has struck again, this time brutally murdering a young homeless woman in New York's Central Park on Christmas Eve. Gault's also broken into CAIN, the know-all, see-all FBI computer system that Scarpetta's niece, Lucy, has created. And in his uncanny way, Gault has entered Scarpetta's mind, anticipating her every thought and move as he goes about his own drug-induced, psychotic killing games. It takes all Scarpetta's steely courage and mental superiority to stay a step ahead of Gault, to try to stop him before he kills again. From Richmond to New York, Scarpetta, her friend Captain Pete Marino, and her niece Lucy stay hot on Gault's trail, and finally, in a terrifying, knuckle-whitening, breathtaking climax, they trap him deep in the bowels of New York's subway system. Once again, Cornwell proves herself one of today's most talented crime fiction writers, an author who keeps her readers on the edges of their seats with magnificent plotting, masterful writing, and marvelous suspense. This is certain to be one of the most popular thrillers of the year.
From Barnes & Noble
From the best-selling author of The Body Farm, Body of Evidence, and All That Remains comes another work of detective fiction set in the grisly milieu of forensic pathology. It's a case Dr. Kay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner of Virginia and consultant for the FBI, has dreaded--her worst nightmare returns when she finds out that Gault, the sadistic psychopath who has eluded capture for years, has struck again. Scarpetta and her longtime FBI and police colleagues fly to the eerie early-morning scene, where they immediately recognize Gault's grizzly handiwork. While they sort through some strange forensic evidence, Gault kills again. But the prey he ultimately seeks is Scarpetta, for it becomes increasingly apparent that he is as focused on her as she is on him. From Potter's Field finds Scarpetta in true form--tenacious and vulnerable, brilliant and consumed. This is the best story yet from the hugely gifted best-selling author.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439104798
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 8/2/1995
  • Series: Kay Scarpetta Series , #6
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 18,236
  • File size: 905 KB

Meet the Author

Patricia  Cornwell
“It’s important for me to live in the world I want to write about,” says Patricia Cornwell, “If I want a character to do or know something, I try to do or know the same thing.” The award-winning former police reporter spent time working both as an employee of the Virginia Chief Medical Examiner’s Office and as a volunteer police officer before she wrote her first Kay Scarpetta novel, Postmortem. Her preparation paid off—Postmortem was the first novel ever to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, Macavity, and French Prix du Roman d’Aventure awards in one year. She has followed that up with ten other bestselling novels featuring Kay Scarpetta. She then began a new series with her #1 New York Times bestsellers Hornet’s Nest and Southern Cross. She is also the author of two cookbooks, Scarpetta’s Winter Table and Food to Die For; A Time for Remembering, a biography of Ruth Bell Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham; a children’s book, Life’s Little Fable; and her #1 bestselling work of nonfiction, Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper—Case Closed. She lives in New York City.

Biography

Patricia Cornwell writes crime fiction from an unusually informed point of view. While many writers are, as she says, conjuring up "fantasy" assumptions regarding what really goes into tracking criminals and examining crime scenes, Cornwell really does walk the walk, which is why her novels ring so true.

Before becoming one of the most widely recognized, respected, and read writers in contemporary crime fiction, she worked as a police reporter for The Charlotte Observer and as a computer analyst in the chief medical examiner's office in Virginia. During this period of her life, Cornwell observed literally hundreds of autopsies. While the vast majority of people would surely regard such work unsavory beyond belief, Cornwell was acquiring valuable information that would not only help her write the groundbreaking 2002 study Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper -- Case Closed but would also enrich her fiction with uncommon authenticity.

"Most of these crime scene shows... are what I call ‘Harry Potter' policing," she said in a candid, heated interview. "They're absolutely fantasy. And the problem is the general public watches these, 60 million people a week or whatever, and they think what they're seeing is true." If Cornwell comes off as a bit vehement in her criticism of television shows meant to simply entertain, that's just because she takes her work so seriously.

Not that Cornwell's novels are ever anything short of entertaining, even if their grisly details may require extra-strong stomachs of her readers. She has created a tremendously well-defined and complex character in her favorite fictional crime solver Dr. Kay Scarpetta. Cornwell introduced medical examiner Scarpetta in her first novel, Postmortem in 1990. Today, Scarpetta is still cracking cases and cracking open cadavers. (She has even inspired a cook book called Food to Die For: Secrets from Kay Scarpetta's Kitchen.) In addition, Cornwell writes more lighthearted cop capers in her Andy Brazil & Judy Hammer series.

Good To Know

Cornwell knows what its like to shatter records. Her debut, Postmortem, was the only novel by a first-time author to ever win five major mystery awards in a single year.

Cornwell may be a former crime solver, but she shudders to think that her books could actually contribute to crime. In fact, she says she has received "thank you" notes from prisoners who claim they have gleaned information from her books that might help them cover their tracks while committing future crimes.

If parody is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, then Cornwell has a fan in Chris Elliott. The professional wisenheimer published a hilarious takeoff on her true crime book Portrait of a Killer called The Shroud of the Thwacker.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Patricia Daniels Cornwell (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Boston, MA and New York, NY
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 9, 1956
    2. Place of Birth:
      Miami, Florida
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Davidson College, 1979; King College
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 108 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(57)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 109 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Surprising

    ** spoiler alert ** This was my second time reading From Potter's Field. I enjoyed it the first time, but enjoyed it much more this time after reading all of the books leading up to it. The book has more meaning and makes more sense with the added history you get from the previous books.

    This was not my favorite of Cornwell's books. This book started out slow for me, got really interesting in the middle, and exciting at the end. Gualt takes a toll on Dr. Scarpetta in the book. Her determination really shines through every chapter. Cornwell does a good job, as she always does, at throwing in the unexpected turn of events. I would have never guessed the identification of Gualt's final victim and that surprising twist kept me turning the pages.

    I am eager to read the next book in The Scarpetta Series with the new turn of events that occurred in From Potter's Field. Gualt was the focus of the last few books. I can only anticipate with excitement the new character Cornwell will introduce.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2002

    Chilling to the very end

    I have never been one to pick up a book and not be able to put it down, but these books will not let you. The most excitng and enthralling book I have ever read. Twists and turns on almost every page. I have only read one other of her books, the BODY FARM, it too was great. Patricia Cornwell is truley a great writer. I intend on reading all of her books!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Love it

    This series is a must read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    Very good

    First time I have read her books - this one was quite good and I will definately read her again.

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  • Posted January 27, 2012

    If you love Scarpetta, you'll love this one!

    This book hooks you from the start! The ending was one I wouldn't have thought of. I have read Kay Scarpetta Series for years. Once you pick up her books you can't put them down....I love Marino's ways and attitude too! I highly recommend this one!

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  • Posted December 25, 2011

    The last Great Cornwell book

    In my opinion this was the last good book she wrote. I quit reading her books a few years ago. I find her recent books almost unreadable. This is sad because I used to LOVE her books! What happened???

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    i wish kay scarpetta was my friend

    i have only recently gotten in the scarpetta series and i absolutely love it. i started at the beginning, as my partner has the entire series, and have just been tearing through them. this is definitely my favorite one! i really liked body farm, but potter's field was even better. the plotline was excellent, and i love that lucy was prominently featured. i like that each of the books is a different mystery, but that the recurring characters evolve. definitely a very good read - i couldn't put it down!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The Scarpetta crowd will appreciate this

    As Christmas arrives, serial killer Temple Gault leaves a special present for law enforcement, a naked female left dead in Central Park. The FBI calls in consulting forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta to help on the case even as Temple leaves another gift, a transit cop in a subway tunnel. However, Temple¿s chutzpah hits a new high when he delivers the dead body of a local sheriff to Scarpetta's morgue in Richmond, Virginia.----- The ingenious Temple has shaken Scarpetta with this bold move at a time when the Virginia state medical examiner has personal problems with her family and with a lover. Still after almost losing control and nearly killing her niece, Scarpetta takes a deep breath before entering in the game of cat and mouse that will take her back to the New York subway tunnels.------ As always in a Scarpetta thriller, the heroine and her crew perform brilliant forensic work that brings to the forefront the science of criminology. The visit to Gault¿s kin is an emotional stunner as they are as much victims as are the loved ones of those he kills. The cat and mouse game that leads to the New York subway tunnels is gripping and exciting. The only drawback is Gault, who in spite of his genius at setting the stage even on his opponent¿s turf and using those he kills as props, he never comes across as a plausible grandmaster serial killer on a par with the ME her messes-up personal life brings her down to his level. Still this is a fast-paced tale that the Scarpetta crowd will appreciate.----- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2005

    Quite the Thriller!

    This book was #1 on the NY Times Bestseller list, and deservedly so. It features a truly horrible villain, and Dr. Kay Scarpetta is her usual sharp self in finding him and making sure he finds justice. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2005

    CSI in book form

    I am on the 2nd round of reading Scarpetta novels and love every riveting moment,page by page. I don't have all of her books, but between me and my daughter we get them to each other.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2004

    Exciting

    I love Scarpetta and PC. These books are the best crime novels out there today. Read this book and every book by Cornwell. What more is there to say?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2003

    Liked this one the least

    Her style is still amazing but I was sick of hearing about Gualt in the last one. This one dragged a little for me, but I will certainly go to her next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2003

    Non-stop riveting, end of your seat suspense.

    This story kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book. I look forward to reading her new book Blow Fly released in 2003.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2003

    Awsome

    This one has to be my favorite of all her Kay Scarpetta books. It keep me wondering who it was till the very end. I felt like i was actually in the book itself. GO READ IT!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2002

    The Thrill continues

    Kay Scarpetta, Virginia¿s Chief Medical Examiner once more takes up the hunt for Temple Brooks Gault. A body is found with all the hallmarks of this serial killer and Scarpetta follows the trail of clues he leaves for her, confused by the fact that there seems to be two of him. If you¿ve read the previous Scarpetta novels you will probably be wrapped with this one which closes the Gault case.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2002

    The best

    This novel (the best Kay Scarpetta novel in my opnion) is unbelievable, definantly worth your money. Ms. Cornwell definantly shows her genious and experience in the field with this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2002

    From Potter's Field (Kay Scarpetta Series #6)

    I am not finished this book yet, but I just have to say that I've read all of these series up to this one, (I'm reading them in order from first to last) And so far this one is my favorite. I can't believe how good this book is!!!!!! You should read this one!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2002

    Great Book-New Fan!

    The first book I ever read from Patrica Cornwell was the Body Farm. I was glued to that book and I had to rush out to get Potter's Field. I have literally read hundreds and hundreds of books and I know can declare P. Cornwell my favorite author. Can't wait to read some more of the Kay Scarpetta books!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2002

    From Potter's Field (Kay Scarpetta Series #6)

    Well I'm finished now, I already wrote my comment before I was finished, But just to let you know I think this one is my favorite now so far !!!!!! Now I will read Cause of Death.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2001

    Page Turning

    This book is great and every page is a new susprise. would reccomend this book to anyboyd who really loves mysteries. She is great aouthor and the ending is a huge suprise!

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