Post Mortem

May 29, 2009
By
Post Mortem

Post Mortem is the first book in a mystery series with ten books. It was written by Patricia Cornwell and was published by Pocket Books in 1990. Post Mortem is a terrifying yet fascinating thriller filled with suspense. The unexpected twists and turns made this book the ultimate mystery that I loved reading. In this book you will follow the journey of Kay Scarpetta, a chief medical examiner trying to solve the crimes committed by a twisted serial killer.

The horrific first scene of the book begins with Kay Scarpetta getting a dreaded call from Marino, the cop and her partner on the case at 2:33 am. It could only mean one thing; the “Strangler” had killed yet another innocent woman in the city of Richmond, Virginia. This time is was Lori Petersen, a devoted wife and physician. Although this was the fourth murder of the serial killer, Kay could never get used to the brutal ways of how he would slay each victim, the way he would rape and slaughter every woman without one ounce of regret. The ferocity of these crimes only make Kay more determined to catch this monster, and all the more frustrated that she couldn’t. IT had been almost two months since the first murder, and the team had absolutely no leads. None of the murdered women had anything in common; their jobs, the location of their homes, or their race. And the killer himself was one of the most careful and meticulous they had ever encountered.

These crimes being committed seemed to connect very deeply to Kay Scarpetta, like somehow it was her duty to solve these crimes, not only for the women but for their families too. Therefore Dr. Scarpetta would work hours on every DNA sample, every fingerprint and every autopsy. She would lock herself in her office until the early hours of the morning trying to find any piece of evidence. Her obsession with these cases would cause her to put her work before everything else, including her ten-year-old niece Lucy, who adored her and was only visiting her for a few weeks. It even put a wedge between her and her boyfriend, Bill Boltz, who was also working on these cases. Throughout the book, you will live the life of the stubborn yet determined Kay Scarpetta as she strives to solve the horrendous killings, and as her own life cracks under pressure, and threatens to fall apart.

Post Mortem is such a compelling book; there were parts where I never wanted to stop reading. Patricia Cornwell’s writing was so brilliant that I was even fascinated in the parts that normally would have bored me, like the times when every DNA test was explained in tremendous detail. Although this book is a mystery, it was also very personal. Not only did we get to learn everything about the cases, we learned the struggles and the burden they had on Kay’s life. And even though Kay was older than me at 40 years, Patricia Cornwell made a lot of her emotions relatable. Her character was so well developed that I felt like I was practically going through everything that she was. I sympathized for her when she felt like giving up because she couldn’t find any evidence, and I celebrated with her when she gathered up the strength to work even harder than before on these crimes. Kay’s determination was unimaginable; she never gave up when there seemed like there was no hope in catching the murderer. It was very encouraging, and definitely very enjoyable reading about a woman that was so strong.

I think the purpose of this story was to show us that when we believe in something, no matter how difficult it is, we should do everything we can to succeed because the reward is great. Not only does this book have a great purpose, but the plot and characters also make this book well worth reading. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, and I look forward to reading the rest of this Kay Scarpetta series.





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