Trace (Kay Scarpetta Series #13)

Trace (Kay Scarpetta Series #13)

by Patricia Cornwell
3.1 225

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Trace (Kay Scarpetta Series #13) by Patricia Cornwell

Now freelancing from south Florida, Dr. Kay Scarpetta returns to Richmond, Virginia, the city that turned its back on her five years ago. Investigating the death of a young girl, she must follow the twisting leads and track the strange details in order to make the dead speak-and to reveal the sad truth that may be more than even she can bear.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143057154
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/07/2004
Series: Kay Scarpetta Series , #13
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 8
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.18(h) x 2.64(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is one of the world’s major internationally bestselling authors, translated into over thirty-five languages in more than 120 countries. She is a founder of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Sciences 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 Chief Medical Examiner, New York City; and a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital’s National Council, where she is an advocate for psychiatric research. In 2008, Cornwell won the Galaxy British Book Awards’ Book Direct Crime Thriller of the Year—the first American to win this prestigious award. In 2011, she was awarded the medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. Her most recent bestsellers include Port Mortuary, The Scarpetta Factor, The Front, and Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper—Case Closed. Her earlier works include Postmortem—the only novel to win five major crime awards in a single year—and Cruel and Unusual, which won Britain’s Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of 1993. Dr. Kay Scarpetta herself won the 1999 Sherlock Award for the best detective created by an American author.


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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Trace (Kay Scarpetta Series #13) 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 225 reviews.
mysteryluvr1966 More than 1 year ago
I really loved the first few Scarpetta books and couldn't wait to read the next in the series. As soon as Cornwell brought Benton back to life the books have gone downhill. Lucy is annoying and stuck up, Kay seems to be in a depressing daze with no purpose, Benton seems to have mental issues. I am losing interest fast and don't know if I want to bother with the rest of the series at this point.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why is this listed as a new release? This is #13 in the scarpetta series and we are up to #20 now. NOT NEW!!!!!! I almost purchased this because of the new cover. DO NOT BE FOOLED!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am mostly in agreement with most of the other reviewers. I am dragging myself through this book, I have put it down 5-6 times and force myself to pick it back up again. I bought it for a beach read and I am ready to fling it into the ocean.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have assumed the Scarpetta novels have been written as a series, but this book clearly states Scarpetta was fired from her position in Virginia...the previous book had her resigning that position. What happened? Of the main character, a lot more of the same: Scapetta is a legend in her own mind. In this installment, the Benton and the Lucy characters seem to have been 'forced' into the story. It probably would have been a better story without them. Actually, the Lucy character should be dropped altogether. She was a potentially wonderful character with extraordinary intelligence and amazing talents, but the author has turned her into something most despicable: Lucy is a murderer and a homosexual predator preying upon young women who often happen to be in an emotionally challenged stage of life. Lucy also appears to be a pyschopathic personality who has trouble controlling her actions and only due to the intervention of others, she has somehow avoided disastrous results. This is not a good role model for your sister or daughter! Finally, the author has painted a most unflattering picture of the person (Dr. Marcus) who took Scarpetta's job in Virginia but failed to give the reader closure on that front: What happened to the Marcus character? If buying future Scarpetta novels is the price to pay to get that answer, the price is too high. I will not be reading any more of Cornwell's books and I would not recommend them to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am extremely disappointed and feel cheated by the author and the publisher. I pre-ordered this book thinking it was a new one by Ms. Cornwell. Due date was July 3 and I have just opened it. Ms. Cornwell gave a 2012 prologue however the book itself is listed as a 2004 publication and I have found I had read this at that time. It seems the author has really gone downhill. Her last several books have not been her best or anywhere near what she used to be. I for one will not be scammed again and accept her on long ago reputation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a, previously, avid fan of PC, it is difficult to accept the fact that either she has either lost interest in her craft or become divorced from her previous standards for storytelling. Blow Fly was a odd book but still readable. Even her laughable Jack the Ripper tome was entertaining. This one...well, perhaps I am old-fashioned, but a book should have a beginning, a middle and an end. Trace starts out interestingly enough with a call back to Richmond, a place of painful memories, from someone Scarpetta does not know, for an investigation to which she will not be made privy until she arrives. Why would any consultant possibly accept? Why did she? The mid-book is a series of glimses into the angst of her recurring characters which does little to help the reader understand them or strengthen the plot. The nearly unbelieveable plot is a masterpiece of clues appearing deus ex machina. Finally, what happens to anyone in the book. Of the multiple threads in the book only one, the conflict between Lucy and her lesbian lover Henri, is resolved. Major characters, such as the new ME, Dr. Marcus, dissappear from the book 2/3 or the way through after his serious psycological problems and loathing of KS is well developed. What happened to the villian in the piece after he was tracked down by Marino (by following clues across the eastern seaboard based on cigars?). Hopefully, PC will donate whatever she makes on this book to some charity helping readers who are traumatized by their erstwhile favored authors. Wait for the paperback in the used book section of
booksonmynook More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. very well written. Finished it very quickly
Guest More than 1 year ago
It seemed to me that PC was trying to prove in her new style of writing that she is a good writer. Unfortunately, she wrote a bad story well. This story drug on, didn't connect the sub-plots very well (or at all), didn't use all the characters like she has in the past, and was just not exciting. Instead of not being able to put the book down, like her previous books, I could barely keep reading this one. Very disappointing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was an avid Cornwell reader (of her early Scarpetta work), but Trace is the worst yet. I can't get past chapter 10, the writing is high school level at best. I can't focus on the story for the sloppy writing. What a disappointement. What happened to the Cornwell who grabbed you in the 1st chapter and drug you through the rollercoaster world of Kay Scarpetta and didn't let go? Come on Cornwell, we know you can do much better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not too much was wrote about the fact that Benton, Marino and Lucy, allowed Kay to believe that Benton was dead. He was shown to be alive in Blowfly, but where is the fall out and consequences of such a lie. I couldn't see Kay accepting the lie and deceptions so easily, at least without any explanation or detail.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did enjoy this book as I have enjoyed all of the Scarpetta books. I've read all of them except for the last one Predator. Kay has been touched by the horrors she works with and they have changed her. The writting style I think changed because the character has changed so much over the years. Kay is no longer young. She is in the middle of a mess that she has no control over. The change of 1st to 3rd person really helped to show that she was a part of something she wasn't pulling the reins on. It was refreshing for Mrs Cornwell to show that Kay was a person that had lost control over what had been hapening and that she was getting that control back in Trace. She was taking back her sence of self.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Disappointing book. I have always loved reading about Kay Scarpetta, Lucy, Marino and the rest of the gang. I always buy her latest Scarpetta books as soon as they are out. Regrettably, the last 2 have not been worth the time to read. This book was a real disappointment. It was hard to get into and just wasn't entertaining. I really hope PC goes back to her old writing style, I miss it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I usually rush to the store as soon as a new Kay Scarpetta story is released, but the last two I have read have been disappointing. Usually I can't put it down, but this one I had to keep forcing myself to finish reading it--hoping it would get better. Even the characters seem different. Benton always worshipped Kay. Now he was ready to throw their relationship away over some tramp that Lucy had him babysit? Bring back the 'old' characters and their hysterical interaction. The reparte, the wit. These last two books just seem to drag instead of capture.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read the continuing series of Kay Scarpetta, and I can't believe how let down I was of this one. First off there was way too many story lines going on and in the end the lose ends were not acknowleged. What was the whole deal with Dr. Marcus, and how come the 'Doc' never talked to Feilding after that one meeting. Also what was the whole deal with Lucy's neighbor.I just hope 'Predator' is better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed the Scarpetta books, going way back. However, when I began this book, I was a little annoyed by its style, something I don't usually notice. But it jumped out at me - every paragraph was loaded with sentences using the word 'and' ( Marino was breathing heavily and he was annoying - the heat was stifling and it was beginning to bother me, Lucy was coming to visit and she was angry) OK, I made these up, but it is the general style of the writing. It's very lazy, there is no real attempt to give characters or situations a thorough, revealing description. It's done in shorthand, it's choppy and seems tossed away, as if no real thought was put into the writing. In fact, I went back to Postmortem and Cruel and Unusual, just to see if Cornwell had always had this writing style - No surprise, she hadn't. It seems like she is now churning out the books and not paying attention to the quality of the writing. However, I did enjoy the story - the plot and resolution fell together nicely - but it seemed more like an outline thrown together, rather than carefully put together as a novel. Choppy, unsatisfying writing, yet still a good story, and I will certainly read her next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was not PC's best book. I just wanted to finish what I'd started. The interesting forensic descriptions that made the Scarpetta series the literary superior (and precursor to) the CSI francshise on TV have largely been absent for the last few books. So is the fluid prose. And for such intelligent people, the characters all ought to take better care in their choice of bed partners. Ok, I get it--character flaws. But come on. Many of the situations seemed too contrived and manufactured to provide convenient plot twists. Scarpetta is at her best when she's solving crimes based on evidence, no matter what city she's doing it in. But there's too much old character baggage to these stories now and it's dragging the plot down. And Lucy has gotten tiresome. I can suspend disbelief with the best of them, but Kay's lesbian, former-FBI agent, helicopter pilot, computer-expert, Mensa-member niece, who also is totally buff, totally gorgeous, filthy rich and happens to own a fleet of sports cars, but just needs somebody to love her, has gotten hard to stomach. Not only was I starting to not care about the characters, I'm starting to dislike them, and that's not good. And yet, I'm ordering the hardback of PC's new book, Predator...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having enjoyed many of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta novels, I was disappointed at the apparently rushed 'Trace.' The ending especially seemed as if the author was tired of the story and dumped us off with an unsatisfying conclusion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the Kay Scarpetta novels, and have been disappointed by the last two. I started this summer reading the whole series, and I could not put them down. I read the first nine in the month of August. When I started reading Blowfly, I noticed a change. Cornwell seemed to be writing differently, and unfortunatly, it wasn't for the better. I am still a huge fan, and will continue to read anything that Cornwell writes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Patricia Cornwall's books and for the most part really enjoyed the read! Usually I love her writing style but this book was sluggish, and the characters had little life to them. Benton's character was better off dead as far as this book is concerned. However, I am looking forward to reading her next book Predator as I have been a big fan of Cornwall.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can say this is the first P.Cromwell book I have read and might be my last. I normally read a book very quickly 'if' it is interesting enough. This one I started twice because it was slow and boring, although I love forensic talk and a good thriller...this just lacked! Just when it started getting interesting it was over and I felt like the book ended in mid sentence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed the Dr. Scarpetta stories, and I thought this one was on the way to a gripping ending. But NO, it just dropped off. I was actually looking for more pages to explain what happened. This book is no where near as good as the older books in the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the book okay - it definitely kept my interest. However, in the end, there were way too many unanswered mysteries - I can't even begin to post them! Found Blow Fly to be much better - was not disappointed in the end as w/ Trace.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always been a huge fan of the Kay Scarpetta series. However, this one lacked the suspense and excitement her other novels had. The ending was too abrubt and very disappointing. I didn't mind the subplots, but this time they weren't resolved. Too many questions left unanswered. I was left with the feeling she wrote this because she had to and without any of the passion for her characters that she had before.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the sub plots or 'mini' stories in this book. I like the forensics, but the 'mini' stories also add to the story line because life has 'mini' stories in it. I have read all of the Scarpetta novels and found this one to be one of the best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Trace' is definitely not one of the best Scarpetta novels, better than her last few. 'Blow Fly' being the worst. The first Sarpetta novels were the best. Dr.Scarpetta, Marino and Lucy arn't the characters they used to be. Scarpetta seems depressed just a shell of her original self. Marino lately has been portrayed as a boob and not the tough cop we've come to love. Lucy is just a lost soul. Benton was better when he was dead, his character brings nothing to the story. In PC's latest novel she starts to set into the villian's minds again as she once did in the older books but the story often ramble's on. Or she begin's to get deep into a particular character then dead ends them. She also has been bringing her novels to abrupt endings without the usual climax we use to see in the early books. I think and hope PC is bringing Scarpetta and the rest of the gang back to their earlier forms like in the stories we all love. I'm going to try the next one but if the downward spiral continues it may be my last.