The Bone Bed (Kay Scarpetta Series #20)

The Bone Bed (Kay Scarpetta Series #20)

3.7 322
by Patricia Cornwell

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A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist’s disappearance

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A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist’s disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.

When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator, Pete Marino, and FBI forensic psychologist and husband, Benton Wesley, have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel.

This is Kay Scarpetta as you have never seen her before. The Bone Bed is a must read for any fan of this series, or an ideal starting point for new readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
First, a leading paleontologist goes missing from a dinosaur dig in Canada. Then a body is heaved out of Boston Harbor. Soon, other curious, unsolved cases pile up, and forensic expert Kay Scarpetta has her hands full. Cornwell has been struggling lately; see what happens, and buy for her fans.
Kirkus Reviews
Having survived brushes with ruthless killers, human monsters and treacherous colleagues of every stripe (Red Mist, 2011, etc.), forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta limps into her 20th case to encounter more of the same. Scarpetta's latest casts her as Zeno trying to overtake the tortoise. Before she can track the provenance of the video that's been emailed to her--a video apparently featuring footage of missing University of Alberta paleontologist Emma Shubert's severed ear--she has to testify, however unwillingly, for the defense in Channing Lott's trial for the murder of his vanished wife. Before she can leave for court, she has to examine the mummified remains of an unidentified woman who's been spotted in Boston Harbor--an examination that has to begin instantly, before the deterioration delayed by the corpse's long period of climate-controlled storage resumes at top speed. But before Scarpetta can get the corpse on a slab, it'll have to be gently cut loose from the leatherback turtle who's gotten tangled up with it, an animal whose endangered species status gives it priority over a mere human cadaver. The first half of this sprawling, ambitious tale may make the reader feel like Zeno as well, constantly struggling to catch up to what Scarpetta already knows about the latest round of traumas posed by her husband, Benton Wesley, her niece, Lucy Farinelli, and her investigator, Pete Marino. It's not till the second half, when Cornwell hunkers down to tie all these cases together, that excitement rises even as disbelief creeps in. An ingenious murder method, more hours in the mortuary and forensics lab than usual, an uncharacteristically muffled killer, and all the trademark battles among the regulars and every potential ally who gets in their way.

In this fast-paced outing, Dr. Kay Scarpetta faces problems on all sides. A body just pulled up from Boston Harbor appears to be connected to several other unsolved cases, but Kay must pursue the serial killer with little help from either her FBI agent husband or lead investigator Pete Marino, both of whom are disenchanted by decisions recently made at Scarpetta's Cambridge Forensic Center. Unfortunately, this methodical scientist has even more on her plate: In Alberta, Canada, a famous paleontologist has gone mysteriously missing, and closer to home, Lucy, her headstrong niece, has become more secretive ever. A suave mix of thriller, whodunit, and forensics primer. Now in mass-market paperback and NOOK Book.

From the Publisher
“When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell.”

The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Kay Scarpetta Series, #20
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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From the Publisher
“When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell.”

The New York Times Book Review

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The Bone Bed 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 322 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of her books but this one was a disappointment. The plot took forever to start and was very disconnected to the rest of the book. Think I will find another author to read instead of Cornwell for a while.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very disjointed, almost as if written by someone else. Not as good as her early works. Last several books have been this way.
JacksonvilleReader More than 1 year ago
Last book by Cornwell for me. I haven't read a book by Patricia Cornwell in some time, so I decided to take a chance on this one after reading the first few pages in the store. Boy was I wrong! Like several other reviews, I find the characters need a serious attitude adjustment, particularly Scarpetta. She is arrogant, self centered, and a few other adjectives I would prefer not to include. I don't understand why she continues to put up with Marino either. Maybe they are made for each other? I was so disappointed and even bored with this book, I quit reading half wal thru. Maybe when I have nothing else to read I'll pick it back up. Don't waste your money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I long for the great plots of Cornwell's earlier days
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I actually despise these characters now. Last Cornwell book for me.
Wicked49 More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing! I've been a PC fan since the beginning but her last book wasn't great and this was worse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read every Scarpetta book and was shockingly disappointed in this one. If the point if this book was to show that Kay is human and struggles with unsecurity then I guess that comes through. Surely there was a better way to accomplish that than the constant negative self talk and doubt. It felt like Kay was simply getting old and losing her confidence and edge. I've always loved these characters, but in this book not a single one developed further or experienced any personal growth. Is it a good story? It's OK, but it is nowhere near the quality I expect frim PC. My only hope is that this book laid some groundwork for the next one where the story of these characters can actually continue. If that isn't the plan then she should have ended the series with the last book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another fabulous Scarpetta novel from the master. Highly recommended.
karika More than 1 year ago
I have always liked Patricia Cornwell's books. I have been disappointed in her last two books. The storyline doesn't seem to stay on track making it very difficult to figure out where she is trying to lead us in her book. There has been too much focus on Kay Scarpetta's niece "Lucy" and all the insight into her personality which distracts from the storyline tremendously. I could not concentrate on the story and all the peices didn't fit well for me. The Bone Bed storyline didn't flow together. I am wondering if Kay Scarpetta needs to take a leave of absence for awhile. The characters didn't seem to be "working together" in this mystery thriller and there was too much focus in their own individual problems. I
Ksherida More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing..her last book wasn't that good"s like someone else is writing the Kay Scarpetta series now...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cornwell Entertainment must be a group of undiscovered wannabes now writing Ms. Cornwell's books in committee. I loved the Scarpetta series initially but from what I have read in the last few years I get the feeling that our dear Ms. Cornwell no longer does her own writing. The style is formulaic and the narrative line very disjointed, almost as if she were attempting to patch together the efforts of a number of different writers. The title is a misnomer as the dinosaur dig played a very minor role in the plot. The forensic aspects play a big part but do little to advance a thinly patched-together plot. I found it substantially less than riveting, easy to put down and a major disappointment. I will waste my money no longer buying Ms. Cornwell's books. She lacks the exciting and creative inspiration that served her so well in the past. This book is by far the worst she has written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all the Kay Svarpetta series. This was terrible and did not meet up to the others. Very disappointed
HappyGirl3 More than 1 year ago
Kay Scarpetta seems weak and lost. There seemed to be pages of boring innocuous dialog that lead nowhere. The villain was introduced or I should say thrown in in the last 30 pages. A bit out of nowhere also. I will not be reading any other Patricia Cornwell books. Very disappointing! I miss the edgy early Scarpetta books! Couldn't put them down! I had to force myself to finish this book! Just a snooze!
jjwtir More than 1 year ago
The book was full of conversations that really added nothing to the story. It drug on and on then wrapped up quickly. I wouldn't recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lot of words but not much going on. I love this series but really this one was not worth the money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having read many of her books I was really looking forward to this one. However I found it very drawn out and her story line is the "same ol" - This will be my last book about Dr Kay Scarpatta.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book felt choppy and disoriented compared to other Scarpetta novels. Very little about solving a crime. More about the personalities of the characters. It is not something i would have spent money on if i had known. Hoping for better in the next novel..
SuZQ41 More than 1 year ago
Maybe it's time to let Kay Scarpetta retire and enjoy herself with Benton. It's getting bad when you can almost figure out what's going to happen based on earlier books. While I love Ms. Cornwell's books, they're getting a little stale and redundant. Plus, hasn't Kay been about the same age for the last 10 years?
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
The Bone Bed is the twentieth book in the Kay Scarpetta series by American author, Patricia Cornwell. A paleontologist goes missing near a dinosaur bone bed in Alberta; a philanthropic widow’s body is recovered from the Bay; a rich industrialist is on trial for the murder of his wife; and an alcoholic handyman dies after falling down the basement stairs. Somehow, all these events are connected, and Kay, Lucy, Marino and Benton manage to solve it all. At the same time, Lucy champions victims of animal cruelty and continues to hack into any computer she likes; Marino gets himself into hot water with Twitter; Kay has a rough time in the witness box; and Benton is the subject of unwanted attentions. This Scarpetta instalment has a fair plot which padded out with tedious, minute over-analysis of every interaction Scarpetta has with those around her. With some judicious editing (cutting most of the first two hundred pages would be a good start), this could have been a page-turner. The actual science and procedure is quite interesting and explores desiccated bodies, trace evidence, lip-reading software, blood-stained cloth and wireless internet. Betrayal by a staff member not adhering to Scarpetta’s high standards is a theme that Cornwell has now employed well beyond its use-by date. Scarpetta’s default mood seems to be angry, annoyed or snarky. In Australia or Britain, she would be told to stop her whinging. The title is a little misleading as there is very little in the actual story about the bone bed. Will readers be prepared to invest more precious reading time and money in the next of the series, Dust? Unlikely if Cornwell sticks to the same formula. Once again, far too wordy.
IndyDennis More than 1 year ago
This book seemed like it was written in a hurry. The Scarpetta character may be near the end of the run. Too many roles have to be explored and described, and the science is very broad ranging, and therefore a little monotaneous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept you guessing and took the characters in directions they had never been before I loved every second of it. Then again she has written a book I havent loved
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the best book ever. i really would not recommend this if i were you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read every Kay Scarpetta novel so far. I have loved these books but I am having a harder time reading each new one. Starting to feel like it might be past time to end the series. This was decent once I wasable to dig into it, but it was very slow going for a bit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very slow and disjointed, almost like the author was just putting in the time. Characters and conversations were unrealistic and boring. I kept wanting to yell at Kay to SAY something, don't just think! So disappointing, I probably won't buy another in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently began this audiobook and am having a hard time listening to it. I have either read or listened to alot of Cornwell's book but am having a hard time with this one. It seems like there is alot of high school jealousy talk - it is taking forever to get to the plot! Will give it a couple more chapters, if doesn't get any better, back to the library it goes!