Summary and book reviews of The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell

The Last Precinct

by Patricia Cornwell

The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell X
The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2000, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2001, 480 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Kay Scarpetta is being criminally investigated. Then she discovers that the so-called Werewolf murders may have extended into the darkest corners of her past.

Continues the story begun in Black Notice

"A character as strong as any in popular fiction, Scarpetta knows the world is evil and often overwhelming, but she continues to rail against it with all her endearing and humane self-righteousness," wrote The Wall Street Journal about Black Notice, the latest in a hot streak of number-one New York Times bestsellers by America's top crime novelist. Now Patricia Cornwell delivers a profoundly original novel that takes her readers deeper into Scarpetta's heart and soul than ever before.

We enter The Last Precinct through the reverberating aftershocks of Black Notice, inconceivably finding Virginia's Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta an object of suspicion-and criminal investigation. And the nightmare perpetuated on Scarpetta's doorstep continues as she discovers that the so-called Werewolf murders may have extended to New York City and into the darkest corners of her past. When a formidable prosecutor, a female assistant district attorney from New York, is brought into the case, Scarpetta must struggle to make what she knows to be the truth prevail against mounting and unnerving evidence to the contrary. Tested in every way, she turns inward to ask, where do you go when there is nowhere left? The answer is The Last Precinct. By the end of the novel, it is clear that Scarpetta's life can never be the same.

Woven through with extraordinary forensic detail, the larger-than-life presence of Scarpetta's niece Lucy and her colleague Captain Pete Marino, and a palpable sense of fear that keeps readers looking back-into the past for clues, and over their shoulders for the next enigmatic act of violence-The Last Precinct marks a new era for Kay Scarpetta and a triumphant achievement for Patricia Cornwell.

Chapter 1

I Know From Lucy's Voice That She Is Scared. Rarely is my brilliant, forceful, helicopter-piloting, fitness-obsessed, federal-law-enforcement-agent niece scared.

"I feel really bad," she continues to repeat herself over the phone as Marino maintains his position on my bed and I pace.

"You shouldn't," I tell her. "The police don't want anybody here, and believe me, you don't want to be here. I guess you're staying with Jo and that's good." I say this to her as if it makes no difference to me, as if it doesn't bother me that she is not here and I haven't seen her all day. It does make a difference. It does bother me. But it is my old habit to give people an out. I don't like to be rejected, especially by Lucy Farinelli, whom I have raised like a daughter.

She hesitates before answering. "Actually, I'm downtown at the Jefferson."

I try to make sense of this. The Jefferson is the grandest hotel in the city, and I don'...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cornwell will win few if any new fans with this overlong, sluggish offering, but her giant readership is so hardcore and so enamored of Kay that the publisher's first printing of one million seems, if anything, conservative.

Library Journal
[R]eally Part 2 of Black Notice, her previous work in this series.... This may be Cornwell's least action-oriented, most reflective work featuring Scarpetta. Readers unfamiliar with the series may find it confusing, but fans will want to read it.

Reader Reviews

Ryan

I am 13 and I found The Last Preicinct to be one of Patricia Cornwells best books, I have admired the way that she writes about the legend that is Dr Kay Scarpetta for ages now and I think The Last Precinct was one of the most moving books which I ...   Read More
Shelli

I am one of the more avid readers out there... at least I think so. I am a married, mother of four with a full time job as a Sr. Loan Closer for Washington Mutual Bank. HOWEVER.... Patricia Cornwell is one of those authors that I find myself making ...   Read More
Niki Gilmore

Unbelievable detail! All of Patricia Cornwell's books have captivated me! I am a college student planning to graduate this May with my teaching degree and I can't seem to find interest in my homework! I cannot put her books down once I get started...   Read More
Mary

I have read every one of the Kay Scarpetta books and can't wait for the next. No, this book was not for a first time reader but for one who has followed this all the way from the start it was really great. I found that after reading the book I was ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Patricia Cornwell

If you liked The Last Precinct, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Code Breaker
    The Code Breaker
    by Walter Isaacson
    What makes humans human? It's a mystery that has inspired philosophers and driven scientific ...
  • Book Jacket: Genesis
    Genesis
    by Guido Tonelli
    Popular science books represent an important niche in non-fiction. They build a bridge between ...
  • Book Jacket: Buses Are a Comin'
    Buses Are a Comin'
    by Charles Person, Richard Rooker
    Charles Person was just 18 years old in 1961 when he became the youngest of the first wave of '...
  • Book Jacket: Firekeeper's Daughter
    Firekeeper's Daughter
    by Angeline Boulley
    Angeline Boulley's young adult novel Firekeeper's Daughter follows 18-year-old Daunis — ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Girl in His Shadow
by Audrey Blake
The story of one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world believed in her.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Ariadne
    by Jennifer Saint

    A mesmerizing debut novel about Ariadne, Princess of Crete for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

  • Book Jacket

    Crossing the River
    by Carol Smith

    A powerful exploration of grief that combines memoir, reportage, and lessons in how to heal.

Who Said...

There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A S I T closet

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.