One female body in the morgue, another high profile millionairess missing and a possible connection to a Hollywood actor rumoured to have unsavoury sexual practices. Kay Scarpetta while working pro bono for the New York’s Chief Medical Examiner is working on the case when she is asked to make one of her semi-regular appearances on a TV show. While being bombarded by the presenter with questions about the case of Hannah Starr, which she can’t discuss, she gets an unsettling call live on air from a former psychiatric patient of Benton’s. A mysterious package turns up at her apartment that could be a bomb, and Kay realises this case is getting personal and that Lucy has a hidden connection with the missing Hannah.
I’ve enjoyed the earlier books by Patricia Cornwell for a long time, but I have to say the last few have been a bit hit and miss. The previous book, Scarpetta, was really good so I had high hopes for The Scarpetta Factor, thinking Cornwell had found her way again. She usually has a talent for writing a good story and keeping you on the edge of your seat but sadly I really struggled with it and felt the first half of the book was just lacklustre and going through the motions. On the plus side, the plot was interesting and it was good to catch up with much loved characters again. On the minus side, the book could have been half the size and still managed to get everything in that it needed. It wasn’t really until the second half when it became remotely engaging and felt like you were reading a Scarpetta book. The last third is when it really takes off, the pace rising enough to keep you interested and feel the tension that is such a trademark. Having said all that, if another book should be released, I will still read it because when Patricia Cornwell is on form, she’s very, very good.