Chaos: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell


Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

ChaosBestselling author Patricia Cornwell’s beloved medical examiner Kay Scarpetta is faced with one of her most bizarre cases yet. She and her investigative partner, Pete Marino must solve the mystery.

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On an unusually hot autumn night in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Kay and Pete are called to the scene of a dead bicyclist. The young woman appears to have been struck by lightning, but the strange thing is that there were no storms that night or lightning strikes at the time of her death. She seems to have been attacked mysteriously with super human force.

Her investigation becomes complicated when she receives a series of bizarre poems from a person who calls himself “Tailend Charlie”. It soon becomes apparent that Tailend Charlie may have had something to do with the young woman’s death.

In addition to Pete Marino, Kay’s husband and FBI profiler Benton Wesley, and her niece Lucy all delve into the investigation. Each take different paths to find how, if at all, Tailend Charlie may have been involved in the murder. Each have difficulties figuring out the identity of Tailend Charlie, but eventually it is learned.

Events will take a devious twist in the book with the return of someone from Kay’s past causing nothing but chaos in her life.

In this thriller, Kay has to balance her work life with her personal life and as usual Cornwell does that brilliantly. Not only must she deal with a cyber bully, she has to confront her feelings of sister rivalry with Dorothy. We learn of her early life with Dorothy and why she decides to come for a visit.

Readers will be enthralled with the plot and characters of this book. Cornwell again writes a mystery using technological advances and great character interaction. Fans of Cornwell will not be disappointed in her latest hit and will surely look forward to the next Scarpetta mystery.