Port Mortuary: Book summary and reviews of Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell

Port Mortuary

A Scarpetta Novel

by Patricia Cornwell

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell X
Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2010
    512 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

Port Mortuary, the title of Patricia Cornwell's eighteenth Scarpetta novel, is literally a port for the dead. In this fast-paced story, a treacherous path from Scarpetta's past merges with the high-tech highway she now finds herself on. We travel back to the beginning of her professional career, when she accepted a scholarship from the Air Force to pay off her medical school debt. Now, more than twenty years and many career successes later, her secret military ties have drawn her to Dover Air Force Base, where she has been immersed in a training fellowship.

As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments, MIT and Harvard, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally.

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This information about Port Mortuary shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Cloggie Downunder

disappointing
Port Mortuary is the 18th book in the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell. As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Centre, Scarpetta has been away for 6 months at Dover Air Force Base training in CT-assisted virtual autopsy. She is rushed back to the CFC by Marino and Lucy to handle a bizarre case that could shut down her new facility, an apparent arrhythmia victim who may have been alive when he was locked in the centre’s cooler. While she has been absent, her second in command, Jack Fielding, has been behaving very strangely. Her husband, Benton, is involved in a case where a young man with Aspergers has made a patently false confession that he murdered a young boy with a nail gun. And a young footballer was shockingly tortured and dumped in the nearby harbour. It seems these events are all connected. After 6 novels narrated in the third person, Cornwell returns to first person narration by Kay Scarpetta for this book, which I found easier to read, although the constant analysis of Kay’s feelings and borderline paranoia did become tiresome. As with previous Scarpetta books, Marino is still doing and saying stupid things; Lucy is still acting willfully; Benton is still being evasive about what he tells Kay, and Jack is letting Kay down, once again. As with many James Patterson books, the text of the first chapters is littered with brand names, something that might have the reader wondering if Cornwell profits materially or financially from this. What was interesting information: the concept of CT scanning autopsy; blade wounds; MRI scanning and metals; posthumous sperm harvesting; nanotechnology applications for surveillance and drug delivery; GSR testing for different types of bullets; robotic vehicles and flybots. The plot was original and thought-provoking so it is a pity Cornwell chose to pad the text with technical details of things like helicopter flight procedures and CT scans, which might only be of interest to technophiles, as well as trivial minutiae of driving a car and walking on icy surfaces. Some of the information was delivered by one character to another lecture-style; some of the dialogue between Benton and Kay was so wooden, they could have been casual acquaintances instead of husband and wife. The story was very slow-moving and the book would have been much improved by having the padding edited out.

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Author Information

Patricia Cornwell Author Biography

New York Times bestselling novelist Patricia Daniels Cornwell is the only woman in the United States to receive England's coveted Gold Dagger, widely considered to be the most prestigious crime-writing award in the world.

A former award-winning police reporter for the Charlotte Observer, Cornwell worked for more than six years as a computer analyst in the chief medical examiner's office in Virginia, where she witnessed hundreds of autopsies and even assisted as a "scribe," recording the measurements of the wounds of murder victims. During that time, she also was a volunteer with the Richmond Police Department, and has spent time with law enforcement around the world.

Those experiences inspired her to create Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a tenacious chief medical examiner who tracks ...

... Full Biography
Link to Patricia Cornwell's Website

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