Read our biography of Patricia Cornwell.


Body of Evidence
by Patricia Cornwell

Building on the success of her first novel, Postmortem, Patricia Cornwell presents mystery fans with a puzzling case involving the death of a romance novelist in Richmond, Virginia. A quiet and reclusive writer of romance, Beryl Madison, is found with her throat slashed in her own home and Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Virginia's chief medical examiner, will use her scientific knowledge to find the person responsible for the murder.

Scarpetta, who was the unlikely heroine in Postmortem, is also thrown for a loop in her personal life when a former lover, Mark, suddenly reappears to complicate the scene. Scarpetta must weave her way through a mountain of forensic clues, psychological mind games and unanswered questions to solve the case. Murder and romance. Betrayal and dedication. This mystery has them all plus twists and turns that make the novel a fast-paced and enjoyable read.

Because the book focuses so heavily on forensic science, it is important to mention that this book, like all of Cornwell's books concentrate on the dark, realistic view of murder found on the medical examiner's table. Cornwell draws on her own experience working in a coroner's office as well as being a successful crime reporter to interject gritty realism into her fictional stories.

This book follows a pattern of many second novels in that it doesn't quite reach the quality of the first in the series. That said, Body of Evidence is fast-paced and filled with enough twists and turns to make you stop and look both ways before you turn another page. If you enjoyed Cornwell's first book you won't be too disappointed with this second effort.

Read our biography of Patricia Cornwell.