‘Postmortem’ by Patricia Cornwell

My Review (5 stars out of 5)

Richmond, Virginia. A serial killer has murdered three women in their own bedrooms. With no obvious connection between the victims, the police are baffled. Chief Medical Officer Dr Kay Scarpetta is called in when a fourth body is discovered. With few clues and lots of unanswered questions, Scarpetta begins to suspect even the people around her…

Patricia Cornwell knocked the crime-writing world upside down when this book first came out. At the time, no-one else was writing about the gory side of medical examinations in murder mysteries. I first read Postmortem quite a few years ago and didn’t remember much about the plot. The book opens with a compelling scene and continues to build tension with each chapter. Though Ms Cornwell’s occasionally awkward dialogue tags (less obvious in her later books) are a mite distracting, they don’t detract from the quality of her writing. With a sharp and highly detailed narrative, we’re allowed a peek into the early days of DNA testing and how it impacts on Scarpetta’s work. What I love about this book, is that you never quite know what’s going on. The growing list of doubts as our heroine tries to narrow down the possible suspects, along with problems in her personal and work relationships, give rise to fears about the doctor’s own abilities.

With the next book in the series already in my hot little hands, this was a great read that kept me gripped all the way through.

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  2 comments for “‘Postmortem’ by Patricia Cornwell

  1. 26/02/2022 at 5:40 PM

    I have read this book, Colin. I do enjoy Patricia Cornwell.


    • 27/02/2022 at 9:00 AM

      Me too, Robbie – trouble is, there are 25 books in the Scarpetta series! 😉


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