The Scarpetta Factor (Kay Scarpetta Series #17)

The Scarpetta Factor (Kay Scarpetta Series #17)

by Patricia Cornwell
3.5 518


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The Scarpetta Factor (Kay Scarpetta Series #17) by Patricia Cornwell

In the extraordinary new novel by Patricia Cornwell-the world's #1 bestselling crime writer-forensic expert Kay Scarpetta is surrounded by familiar faces, yet traveling down the unfamiliar road of fame. A CNN producer wants her to launch a TV show called The Scarpetta Factor. But the glare of the spotlight could make Kay a target for the very killers she would put behind bars...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399156397
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/20/2009
Series: Kay Scarpetta Series , #17
Pages: 494
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 2.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Patricia Cornwell was born on June 9, 1956, in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Montreat, North Carolina.

Following graduation from Davidson College in 1979, she began working at the Charlotte Observer, rapidly advancing from listing television programs to writing feature articles to covering the police beat. She won an investigative reporting award from the North Carolina Press Association for a series of articles on prostitution and crime in downtown Charlotte.

Her award-winning biography of Ruth Bell Graham, A Time for Remembering, was published in 1983. From 1984 to 1990 she worked as a technical writer and a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia.

Her first crime novel, Postmortem, was published by Scribner’s in 1990. Initially rejected by seven major publishing houses, it became the first novel to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d’Aventure in a single year. In Postmortem, Cornwell introduced Dr. Kay Scarpetta as the intrepid Chief Medical Examiner of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1999, Dr. Scarpetta herself won the Sherlock Award for best detective created by an American author.

Following the success of her first novel, Cornwell has written a series of bestsellers featuring Kay Scarpetta, her detective sidekick Pete Marino, and her brilliant and unpredictable niece, Lucy Farinelli: Body of Evidence (1991), All That Remains (1992), Cruel and Unusual (1993) [which won Britain’s prestigious Gold Dagger Award for the year’s best crime novel], The Body Farm (1994), From Potter’s Field (1995), Cause of Death (1996), Unnatural Exposure (1997), Point of Origin (1998), Black Notice (1999), The Last Precinct (2000), Blow Fly (2003), Trace (2004), Predator (2005), Book of the Dead (2007) [which won the 2008 Galaxy British Book Awards’ Books Direct Crime Thriller of the year; she is the first American ever to win this award], Scarpetta (2008), and The Scarpetta Factor (2009).

In addition to the Scarpetta novels, she has written three best-selling novels featuring Andy Brazil: Hornet’s Nest (1996), Southern Cross (1998), and Isle of Dogs (2001); two cook books: Scarpetta’s Winter Table (1998) and Food to Die For (2001); and a children’s book: Life’s Little Fable (1999). In 1997, she updated A Time for Remembering, and it was reissued as Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham. Intrigued by Scotland Yard’s John Grieve’s observation that no one had ever tried to use modern forensic evidence to solve the murders committed by Jack the Ripper, Cornwell began her own investigation of the serial killer’s crimes. In Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper—Case Closed (2002), she narrates her discovery of compelling evidence to indict the famous artist Walter Sickert as the Ripper.

In January 2006, the New York Times Magazine began a 15-week serialization of At Risk, featuring Massachusetts State Police investigator Win Garano and his boss, District Attorney Monique Lamont. Its sequel, The Front, was serialized in the London Times in the spring of 2008.

Both novellas were subsequently published as books and promptly optioned for adaptation by Lifetime Television Network, starring Daniel Sunjata and Andie MacDowell. In April 2009, Fox acquired the film rights to the Scarpetta novels, featuring Angelina Jolie as Dr.Kay Scarpetta. Cornwell herself wrote and co-produced the movie ATF for ABC.

Often interviewed on national television as a forensic consultant, Cornwell is a founder of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine; a founding member of the National Forensic Academy; a member of the Advisory Board for the Forensic Sciences Training Program at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, NYC; and a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital’s National Council, where she is an advocate for psychiatric research. She is also well known for her philanthropic contributions to animal rescue and criminal justice as well as endowing college scholarships and promoting the cause of literacy on the national scene. Some of her projects include the establishment of an ICU at Cornell’s Animal Hospital, the archaeological excavation of Jamestown, and the scientific study of the Confederacy’s submarine H.L. Hunley. Most recently she donated a million dollars to Harvard’s Fogg Museum to establish a chair in inorganic science.

Her books are translated into thirty-six languages across more than fifty countries, and she is regarded as one of the major international best-selling authors. Her novels are praised for their meticulous research and an insistence on accuracy in every detail, especially in forensic medicine and police procedures. She is so committed to verisimilitude that, among other accomplishments, she became a helicopter pilot and a certified scuba diver and qualified for a motorcycle license because she was writing about characters who were doing these things. “It is important to me to live in the world I write about,” she often says. “If I want a character to do or know something, I want to do or know the same thing.”


Boston, MA and New York, NY

Date of Birth:

June 9, 1956

Place of Birth:

Miami, Florida


B.A. in English, Davidson College, 1979; King College

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The Scarpetta Factor (Kay Scarpetta Series #17) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 518 reviews.
sisenhower More than 1 year ago
I usually read the Scarpetta series books in one or two sittings. Not this one however. There are many reasons for this - the book's length of over 400 pages; the complicated, many threaded plot line, the awkward interaction of characters and so on. I am a big fan of all the Scarpetta characters but not in this book. After plodding through all those pages, the unintersting plot is brought to closure very quickly and very illogically. NOt worth the read
TM63 More than 1 year ago
This was really a great read. I was looking forward to this book as I hoped it might explain a few things that I wondered about at the end of Scarpetta and I was not disappointed. The story is fast moving (watch out CNN and Nancy Grace) and I felt that I really understood what moved the main characters - I was in Starbucks not long after finishing a late night reading session and was still so captivated by Cornwell's descriptive writing I made a bit of a fool of myself with the barista, who looked a bit like I imagine Lucy looks. Truly the sign of an excellent read. She obviously does her research and then some since I had a situation not unlike the one she describes with my company Blackberry - the woman is amazing. A 5 star experience that makes shopping for the holidays much, much easier.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Marriage between Benton Wesley and Kay Scarpetta seems to be working out fine even though he remains angry and jealous of police officer Pete Marino. His feelings makes it difficult for them to work together, which they must on her latest cases. Toni Darien was murdered by a blunt force trauma to the head; which is obvious but the time of death is not. Reliable eye witnesses insist she was still alive hours after the medical examiner declared her dead. Besides her pro bono ME position in Manhattan, Scarpetta is the forensic expert on the CNN Carley Crispin Show, hosted by Carly Crispin whose superiors want to replace her. They want Kay to star on a new show The Scarpetta Factor because she has the gift of always finding the killer. When Kay returns to her ME office, she picks up a Fed-Ex package that strikes her as off kilter. She calls for the bomb squad and is proven right that there was a bomb in the package that could have badley injurered her and Benton. Kay, Benton, her niece Lucy Farinelli,, Pete Marino, ADA Jaime Berger work together on several cases though there is a strain within the sleuthing group. They believe there is a connection to Toni's death and the disappearance of beautiful millionaire Hannah Starr as well as the bomb scare. None of these so-called experts has found the link between all their cases as a clever diabolical puppeteer works their strings perfectly. It does not take being a forensic expert to know that Patricia Cornwell's latest Scarpetta Factor is filled with excitement and plausible twists that also contains revelations about each of the recurring cast; none of this is easy to do when this is number seventeen in this great series. Switching perspectives without slowing down, the story line is told in the third person with varying leads enabling the readers to get deep inside each of the main players especially to what fears and traumas they must overcome. Fans will enjoy competing with the Scarpetta zoo crew in trying to discover who killed Toni and why and what happened to Hannah. Harriet Klausner
JLO4953TX More than 1 year ago
As a long time Cornwell fan, this book is a great read. I feel as if I know Doc Scarpetta,Benton, Lucy and Marino. I have all of Patricia Cornwell's books and I just love reading them. I try not to read them too fast, because I don't want to get to the end. That does not work, because they are so great that I just keep reading and finish them within 1-2 days. The Scarpetta Factor is a great read and full of surprises. I can't wait for her next book. Janet O
SHARON39 More than 1 year ago
Now I need to buy the rest of the series!!!!! I love all the true to life characters, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Benton westley, Niece, Lucy, a forensic researcher and all the ones in between! A well off financial planner, Hannah Star is missing and presumed dead, among other unfortunate characters. The real life characters blend together with uncanny circumstances that keep the readers' eyes glued to the pages experiencing the suspenseful, incredible plot. One of the best I've read in a while!!!....Another spectacular book I read recently and recommend highly is EXPLOSION IN PARIS, by L. Pirrung...This one is a completely different storyline, but it keeps you entranced and sitting on the edge of your seat, all the same!....Others that also have made a difference in my life are, THE SHACK, THE HELP, and THE THIRTEENTH TALE....
HJacksonGlenAllen More than 1 year ago
This book is most certainly one of the best in the Scarpetta series! The amount of detail truly allows the reader to not only feel as though they are there with the characters, but that they truly understand what is happening; I must admit I gained a bit of knowledge while reading this one for sure! For true Patricia Cornwell/Scarpetta fans, this book will not leave you disappointed. New details and feelings come to light from some of the characters, making it easier to understand and piece together events and decisions from earlier books. Feeling as though you are a part of their world, you will not want to put this book down! And just when you think you know what will happen next, in true Patricia Cornwell fashion you will be amazed at the turn of events leading to the end. Most certainly one that you won't want to miss!!!
akelly11 More than 1 year ago
What I love about reading a new Patricia Cornwell novel is that, besides the great plot line and well developed characters, you can also be sure to take away from it some new insight into forensic science and technical advancements. For techies like me it's always an added bonus to also learn something new, while being wrapped up in a suspenseful page turner- and once again Cornwell delivers on all counts. I can't wait to read her next Scarpetta novel and to see what new individuals she may introduce us to and down what unexplored avenues she might lead us next!
Lannie More than 1 year ago
Dr. Kay Scarpetta, what a life! A woman in a man's field, forensic, detective work...nothing gets past her! I love it!! A little bit of everything to keep the reader completely enthralled and captivated...The suspense is incredible!! Well worth your time! A couple of other books I'd like to recommend but are completely different are EXPLOSION IN PARIS, by L. Pirrung and THE HELP, by K. Stockett.....All three are equally captivating and exciting.....GREAT LESSONS IN HUMAN DIGNITY and so much more!!!!
SSommers More than 1 year ago
I've always enjoyed reading Pat Cornwell's Scarpetta novels, however I must say with deep regret that I was very disappointed with The Scarpetta Factor. In her earlier novels she took the time to develope the characters and create chilling plots, but this story is bland with repetitive themes and dull characters. With all that said, The Scarpetta Factor makes for a depressing read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I used to love the Scarpetta books. They were great books with lots of scientific cred. Several books back Cornwell seemed to get wrapped up in this weird paranoia and I just can't stand the characters anymore. They're always communicating on super secret phone lines and doing high tech web searches when realistically I want an interesting whodunit. I keep hoping Cornwell gets her grove back. But not with this one.
ECL More than 1 year ago
With every addition to the Scarpetta series you see a little more of the "old" Kay Scarpetta coming back. The past few novels in this series I have missed the strong Scarpetta of old. In this installment we see a little of that peeking through. I also loved to see her cooking again. Patricia Cornwell is a master story teller.
Gayla More than 1 year ago
On a four hour flight to Aruba I was totally emerged into the latest novel written by Patricia Cornwell. When I had to disembark I couldn't wait to get to the hotel to continue following my favorite characters and what was happening in their lives. I have enjoyed how the author has developed each and every character. Although I must admit I have been a bit disappointed in Benton's new job. Nevertheless, I did catch a ray of hope at the end of the book, when Kay gave a warning to "Special Agent Wesley". Perhaps in the next book he will be back with the FBI and have more danger in their lives as they did in the past. I still consider Ms. Cornwell my most favorite author. It is evident that she does a great deal of research on all aspects of her books, whether it be the location the story is set in, or current event hot items that she intertwines into the story. I believe the Scarpetta Factor does exist because it truly kept me enthralled through out the book. One final comment is it was hard for me as I read to picture Angelina Joli in the role of Kay Scarpetta.
Kiki-Texan-n-PA More than 1 year ago
If you like Kay Scarpetta, you'll love this book, too. As always, "in character", the ME is so likable, you want to be one of her very best friends. Lucy is Lucy. Pete is Pete, etc. Lots of plot twists and exciting page-turning adventure. I just can't wait for the next one!!!
diehard More than 1 year ago
When reading Patricia Cornwell's SCARPETTA FACTOR you can expect hard-charging, dramatic and intimate looks into the lives of our favorite characters. Cornwell is the master of nuiancing the unusual -- nothing is off-limits and everything is volatile. Scarpetta, Benton, Lucy, and Morino share equally in the complexities of this story. Each coming from a different direction until the plot reveals itself. As with all of Ms. Cornwell's Scarpetta books, you find yourself spiralling through the pages toward the inevitable explosive conclusion. Find a quiet place, turn off the phone and computer and be ready to pry your fingers from the cover of the book when it ends!
LesLC More than 1 year ago
Ms. Cornwell has done it again, she has written another fantastic book. I love her characters. After reading all of the Scarpetta novels, it is like a visit with old friends. I don't want to ruin the book for anyone by giving away too much. But I will tell you that Ms. Cornwell has written a new baddie that I hope will return. As with all of the Scarpetta novels this is another winner. I enjoyed it cover to cover.
rn2btlm More than 1 year ago
Another awesome novel from Cornwell. Emotions run deeper than ever in the latest Scarpetta adventure. Old plots & villans resurface with twists & turns that keep you tuned in. Highly recommended reading, especially if you are a fan of Cornwell's works!!!
LandonTP More than 1 year ago
You have done it again, what a great book The Scarpetta Factor. I read it in about three days, and was not one bit disappointed. It has some major twist and turns in it, and Dr. Kay Scarpetta was wonderful as usual. It is a must read!
RiverheadsSoftballMom More than 1 year ago
Excellent read. It was so good to have Lucy, Berger, Marino and Benton back with Scarpetta. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat, a never guess ending!! I look forward all year to Cornwell's new book and so far I have never been disappointed. If you have never read a Scarpetta book, start at the begining and read your way through, you will not regret it. Cornwell incorporates current events into her books and that makes them seem more real, they are easy to get lost in. Now the waiting starts for the next book, I will be first in line to get it.
Brinksace More than 1 year ago
The Scarpetta Factor is a must read for fans of the saga and new readers who enjoy great books. If this is your first Cornwell novel you won't be dissapointed. A little lost about things that happened in other books. So go get the entire Scarpetta series. Might seem like alot of books but once you start reading the first one your hooked. Ms Cornwell is a very good writer, I looked forward to all of her works.
Booky More than 1 year ago
First rate writing and plot in this the latest Kay Scarpetta novel. Kay's character continues to unfold, and we're seeing a kinder, gentler and more vulnerable side that lends itself well to the story line. Lucy continues to walk the tightrope between law and disorder. Her techno-bilites allow her so much e-access that the line constantly blurs, and she consistently confuses and offends those who care about her most, often in her efforts to protect them. Benson continues to fuel the rivalry that exists between he and Marino, and this is nicely played throughout. And an old foe returns. The pace is fast-moving, especially the last chapters where information will bombard you from everywhere, so pay attention. You won't be disappointed.
Carolyn-Lee More than 1 year ago
"The Scarpetta Factor" is like no other in the Dr. Kay Scarpetta series. Patricia Cornwell reaches into Kay's past and brings back a haunting reality. Dr. Kay and the ones that are involved in her everday life, Benton, Lucy and Marino, are thrown into a mystery looking for a missing person, solving a murder, and living the crazy everyday life. Never seeing the past coming back to destroy their lives once again. One of the best Dr. Kay Scrapetta novels yet, Patricia Cornwell has taken her readers to a place they have never been , yet keeping them deep in the past that makes Kay, Kay Scarpetta. The Scarpetta Factor is a must read for all Patricia fans!Having all Patricia's books, her work is amazing, you see yourself in the enviroment, taking the clues, solving the crimes right along side Dr. Kay. Each new book Patricia's work becomes more evolved wrapped in todays events and keeps you wanting more. I'm ready for number 18.
JRSR More than 1 year ago
The Scarpetta Factor is the worst Scarpetta novel yet. Cornwell has reduced characters that used to be real and interesting to a bunch of unbelievable whining crybabies. A crime/mystery novel should have either a rousing plot that keeps the reader engaged or likable characters that are fun to visit even if the plot is lacking. The best books have both and this one has neither. After meandering with no apparent story for most of the book, towards the end Cornwell whips out that stupid French crime family--again!! (yawn) Scarpetta should never have left Virginia; everything seems to have fallen apart since then. Come on, Ms. Cornwell. We KNOW you can do better!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Much too much technical and medical details crammed in; so much so that I would occasionally lose track of the characters and the actual plot. I managed to wade through all of the non-essential technicality to get to the end and was left hanging. The ending was terribly flat and abrupt. I had stopped reading Cornwell several years ago and will not read any more of her works.
duncano More than 1 year ago
Scarpetta Factor is a return to the high energy level of Cornwell's earlier stories. It brings together a lot of related open-questioned paths that have been laying there waiting for a satisfying unified that the author succeeds. I really enjoyed the show!
Lollypop99 More than 1 year ago
I liked and enjoyed it because it's always nice to open a book and return to familiar characters like Scarpetta, Benson and Marino. I am not quite sure where this book is heading because there were a lot of unanswered questions about the still remaininig relationships, especially Marino. I would like to see some conclusion or turnaround in respect to one of the main characters, but I still enjoyed the story immensely.