Patricia Cornwell (¬†has sold more than 100 million books and given us the character Kay Scarpetta, medical examiner. Her crime mysteries are distinguished by the level of detail offered concerning forensic science. An excellent place to start¬†reading Cornwell is with¬†the 1990 novel Postmortem (¬†It received the 1991 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. The summary is as follows. A serial killer is on the loose in Richmond, Virginia. Three women have died, brutalised and strangled in their own bedroom. There is no pattern: the killer appears to strike at random – but always early on Saturday mornings. So when Dr Kay Scarpetta, chief medical officer, is awakened at 2.33 am, she knows the news is bad: there is a fourth victim. And she fears now for those that will follow unless she can dig up new forensic evidence to aid the police. But not everyone is pleased to see a woman in this powerful job. Someone may even want to ruin her career and reputation …

432 pages in Sphere paperback edition

ISBN 978-0751544398

Patricia Cornwell

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