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Publisher: Smithmark Pub
Patricia Cornwell has said that if she hadn't written her Kay Scarpetta thrillers--the classic first three are collected in this volume--she might find them too scary to read. After all, she is the rare crime writer who knows what she's talking about: she worked on the newspaper crime beat and at the Scotland Yard-like medical examiner's office in Richmond, Virginia, at a time when a serial killer was murdering women just like her. (Cornwell sleeps with a .38 within reach.) Postmortem introduces Dr. Scarpetta, who knows the smell of bone dust from a skullcap saw and how to read a body for clues via lasers, DNA, and computers. As Scarpetta slowly closes in on a killer known as Mr. Nobody, she gets the creepy, well-informed feeling that the killer is closing in on her. Cornwell's debut swept the mystery-writing awards and made her somebody. In Body of Evidence, Scarpetta investigates the murder of a Southern writer who mysteriously opened the door for her killer. In All That Remains, she hunts a serial killer of young lovers--including the daughter of the president's drug czar, which complicates the forensic chase with political intrigue. Besides suspenseful cat-and-mouse games between sleuth and killer (and writer and reader), Cornwell creates a rich cast of screwed-up characters, chiefly Scarpetta's scruffy confrere, Detective Pete Marino. Scarpetta's character is a magnetic combination of pride, drive, brains, extreme skill at cooking, and a pervasive sadness expressed with tightly wound eloquence. With these books, Cornwell (a descendant of Harriet Beecher Stowe) increased her book deal from $6,000 to $24 million. She earned it.
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