I am a huge fan of Patricia Cornwell so I was very excited to be accepted to get a proof copy of her latest Kay Scarpetta novel, Autopsy.
Autopsy picks up the story a few years after ‘Chaos’ in a world changed by a global pandemic. Kay and husband Benton have returned to Virginia to take over the medical examiners office. Following alongside are trusty sidekick Marino who is currently married to Kay’s sister, and her niece Lucy who is struggling to cope with the loss of her wife and child. When Kay arrives in Virginia she is thrown into the deep end when a murder victim turns up on the train tracks, and all the clues lead back to Marino’s community. Alongside this investigation, Kay has to contend with a top secret visit to the White House to investigate a crime in outer space.
I love a Kay Scarpetta novel and this was no exception. I must admit that some of the past novels in the series have been getting a bit technical for me, with too many long descriptions of weapons and cyber stuff, but this felt like a real return to form. It had all the hallmarks of a classic Patricia Cornwell with great characters, helicopters, lots of guns and a gripping story full of red herrings and corrupt officials.
This is one of the few series of books that I have read from the start more than once and it felt like a return to an old friend. I love the main characters, especially the interactions between Kay and Marino and it was good to see them working together again. The storylines were good. The space station crime has some fascinating insights into life within a shuttle, alongside a tricky case a bit closer to home. If I have one slight issue it’s that the ending felt a little rushed. Reading on a kindle meant I wasn’t aware of how close to the end I was, so it all came as a surprise how quickly everything finished. However that was only a very small complaint. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and it was a welcome return to what Scarpetta does best – solving murders.