Dr. Kay Scarpetta's successful career as Virginia's chief medical examiner and as a consultant with the FBI keeps taking her farther and farther from her home base in Richmond. Recently, Patricia Cornwell had the heroine of the Scarpetta novels chasing a serial killer in New York City, and in this outing the brilliant 40ish forensic specialist is hunting down a serial killer in Ireland.
Fighting both professional sabotage on the job and personal trial with her own love life, Scarpetta has an unnaturally gruesome string of murders to deal with. Headless corpses are turning up in Ireland while butchered bodies are being found in landfills in Virginia. Can Scarpetta use the latest advances in forensic science to solve the case?
Soon she realizes that it is more than murder that is at stake. This case also involves environmental terrorism with the risk of a deadly strain of smallpox being unleashed on an unsuspecting public. In fact, Scarpetta is soon exposed to the mutant virus and is quarantined to prevent the disease from spreading. While a virtual prisoner in quarantine, she receives gory e-mails of the crime scenes from the killer. Scarpetta attempts to lure the killer out into the open in an AOL chatroom, so this book adds working the Internet to Scarpetta's bag of tricks at solving serial murders.
Of course, Scarpetta's niece, Lucy, as well as her sidekick, Pete Marino, are important players in this Cornwell mystery. Part of the intrigue of all of the Scarpetta books is the interplay of the ensemble cast of characters with the use of forensic science. If you like that combination, you won't be disappointed with Unnatural Evidence.
Read our biography of Patricia Cornwell.