‘The Body Farm’ by Patricia Cornwell

My Review (5 stars out of 5)

A research institute testing the decomposition of corpses comes in handy when Kay Scarpetta seeks help with a mysterious mark on the body of a dead girl. In Black Mountain, North Carolina, the doc is called in along with newly promoted Pete Marino and FBI buddy Benton Wesley in the hunt for a killer. Similarities to a murder in Virginia rings a bell for the doc, but the case seems littered with clues that don’t fit together. In her search for the truth, Scarpetta finds Marino to be less than helpful, but Marino has troubles of his own…

This is book 5 in the series and it’s an absolute stonker. With Pete Marino being promoted to Captain, Scarpetta finds his behaviour and lifestyle increasingly at odds with his health. It seems all he wants to do is drink himself to death and her efforts to help him sort his life out don’t go down well. But Marino’s connection with the mother of the dead girl shows him in a different light, and Scarpetta begins to worry the relationship might be unprofessional. Then Kay’s niece, Lucy, falls foul of security at her new post with the FBI and must face being thrown out, putting pressure on her aunt. Meanwhile, Scarpetta is thrown into close contact with Benton Wesley, forcing her to confront her feelings for him. After a threat to her own life comes to light, the murder hunt heats up, leading the medical examiner towards the truth, where a horrifying trail of lies takes her straight into the path of the killer.

A fantastically exciting read that kept me hooked all the way through.

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