2015.5 REVIEW – Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell

Port Mortuary
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright:2010
Pages: 494
Rating: 2/5
Read: Jan. 25 – Feb. 4, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 5
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Kay Scarpetta #18

port mortuaryBlurb: More than twenty years and many successes since the start of Kay Scarpetta’s career, her secret military ties have drawn her to Dover Air Force Base and Port Mortuary, where she’s performing autopsies on fallen soldiers. But her new headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts – the Cambridge Forensic Center – is the first civilian facility in the U.S. to do virtual autopsies, and it is there that she encounters a devastating event.

A young man has died, 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 inside the Center’s cooler. Carious 3-D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen – details that suggest the possibility of a conspiracy to cause mass casualties. With Benton, Marino, and Lucy at her side, Scarpetta must fight a cunning, cruel – and invisible – enemy, as she races against time to discover who and why before more people die…


Review: I think I keep hoping that Patricia Cornwell will magically return to her glory days of years past and write an awesome Kay Scarpetta book. And I keep getting massively disappointed. I didn’t like this one. Not much at all, to be honest. To the point where I’m not sure why I even read it in its entirety.

But I read it all. And I am so confused it’s not even funny. First, we learn that Dr. Scarpetta is actually Colonel Scarpetta. What? Apparently she spent time in the military straight out of school to help pay off her debt. She owed them 6 years … she only made it 6 months before something happened and they kicked her out. I actually went on Goodreads to read other reviews of this book after I finished to see if this was mentioned by any other reviewers. Apparently this little background tidbit is not something that I have just forgotten about over the years. It really is something that was never introduced until Book 18 in the series. Ok. Why? If what happened to Kay in South Africa is still bothering her all these years later, why are we the readers just now learning about it? Give me a break.

I’m not going to spend much time going into the particulars of this book. Let me just tell you that all I came away with is that Kay Scarpetta did nothing but whine and moan about the state of affairs at the Center that she is supposedly the head of. When she finds out that Jack Fielding has let the place go to hell, instead of taking the bull by the horn (like she would have done 17 books ago) and fixing the problem, she just whined to her obnoxiously unhelpful husband about poor pitiful Kay. There were murders that needed solving, and instead of focusing on them, we had to endure Kay’s pity party. Ugh.

So yeah. I didn’t like this book. I don’t recommend it. You want a good Patricia Cornwell book …. read one of the first 10 in the series. Then walk away … which is what I should have done, and what I’m doing now.

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