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Port Mortuary (Kay Scarpetta, Bk 18)(Audio CD)(Abridged)
Port Mortuary - Kay Scarpetta, Bk 18 - Audio CD - Abridged Author:Patricia Cornwell, Kate Burton (Narrator) Port Mortuary, the title of Patricia Cornwell's 18th 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 enlisted in the Air Force to pay off he... more »r medical school debt and found herself ensnared in a gruesome case of what seemed to be vicious, racially motivated hate crimes against two Americans in South Africa. 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 to master the art of CT-assisted virtual autopsy--a procedure the White House has mandated that she introduce in the private sector.
As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments and MIT, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally. A young man drops dead, apparently from a cardiac arrhythmia, eerily close to Scarpetta's new Cambridge home. But when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked insider the Center's cooler. Various 3-D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen. These suggest the possibility of a conspiracy to cause mass casualties. She realizes that she is fighting a cunning and cruel enemy that is invisible as she races against time to discover who and why before more people die.
Read by Kate Burton, Abridged, 6 CDs, 7 hrs.« less
I bought this book because I'm a die-hard Kay Scarpetta fan. I never even glanced at the premise but after reading the reviews here at GRs, I wasn't even sure I wanted to read it. I'm very glad that I ignored these reviews and read it anyway. This series hasn't been as good since Kay Scarpetta left the Medical Examiner's Office in Virginia. Our beloved characters fight too much and have way to many personal issues. Before the stories were mainly about investigating unexplained deaths with some personal interactions between them but it was never the focus of the books. Now it is more a series of interpersonal issues instead of investigation. It's still enjoyable but nowhere near as before. I used to wait for the next installment and devour it upon receipt. Now I have to work way way up to the task of reading it. I'm hoping this new endeavor (The CFC) will bring us back to when Marino, Lucy, Kay and Benton actualy worked together as a team and did impressive investigative work.
I love Kay and her crew (Marino, Lucy and Benton) and to hear that they barely played a roll in this one was disturbing...and not true. They feature throughout the entire book. This is Kay's point of view but Benton, Lucy and Marino are keeping her in the dark as to what is going on but they are certainly there.
Also Kay is such a strong-willed, independent and determined woman that the comments about her continued angst throughout the book was shocking. Scarpetta's angst is real as she's started this new business and as the Chief, she's ultimately responsible for everything that happens, she's been unavailable at Dover Air Force Base while unimaginable things have been occurring. She's kept on personnel that should have been fired long ago and now it's coming back to bite her in the butt. Of course, she's second guessing herself and everything she's done because her house of cards is crumbling and there is absolutely nothing she can do to stop it as she's been kept in the dark and Benton has taken over.
I do understand where a lot of the complaints about this book are coming from. From the extreme descriptions of how to fly a plane, I almost expected Kay to have to do this at some point. I found this section and information completely unnecessary and basically filler. It was a section that could have been trimmed down without any detriment to the storyline. Also lots and lots of medical speak which I completely skip over because Kay will eventually dumb it down and put it in plain English for us non-medical people. I know some of this is needed to give it a real-feel but definitely not to the extent presented. All in all, not a bad book. The mystery was new and definitely unusual and though the evidence was presented strangely (out of sequence and all mixed up), I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I have read every Scarpetta novel and a few of Cornwell's others (loved, loved, loved the Jack the Ripper non-fiction!) In Cornwell's books it's the interpersonal relationships and the techno-jargon that I find make her books so entertaining. What keeps me coming back are the forensic details and the mystery. I didn't see as much of that in Port Mortuary and frankly felt that the disjointed withholding and revealing of information to Kay was contrived and uncomfortable.
There were times during the reading of this book that I wondered whether I had fallen asleep and missed whole parts of the book. I usually love to read stories that jump around and play with time and knowledge to keep you guessing. In Port Mortuary felt that there were many pieces that Cornwell never went back and completed and the reader was left wondering/hanging. There were emotional moments that seemed to be missing dialog and were cut short before conversations came to any natural conclusions.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that the gang is back together at the CFC and I enjoyed Kay's recovering relationship with both Marino and Lucy, but her estrangement from Benton just made me sad. Hopefully these relationships will continue to thrive in the next novel and we'll get to see them working TOGETHER and solving crimes with serious forensic detail! (My vote is on a more linear plot development!)
This books have 2 of my fave things, author & character. But both were alittle disappointing this time. The Scarpetta series, up until last few books, has been very character driven. This one focused more on Technology. At times it felt like I was reading Popular Science. As much as I didnt care whole heartedly for this book, I will be excited for the next Scarpetta book.