All That Remains (Kay Scarpetta Series #3)

All That Remains (Kay Scarpetta Series #3)

by Patricia Cornwell

Hardcover(Library Binding)

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Dr. Kay Scarpetta is up against a serial killer who targets young lovers. Four couples have disappeared, only to turn up dead months afterward...Now a fifth pair is missing, and the mother of the girl is a powerhouse recently named by the president to head his war on drugs.

Author Biography: Patricia Cornwell is the winner of the 1991 Edgar Award, Britain's John Creasey Award, the Antony Award, and the MacCavity Award for best first mystery novel. She lives in Richmond, Virginia. Her latest novel,From Potter's Field, was a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780613124300
Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/28/1993
Series: Kay Scarpetta Series , #3
Product dimensions: 4.42(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.29(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is recognized as one of the world’s top bestselling crime authors with novels translated into thirty-six languages in more than 120 countries. Her novels have won numerous prestigious awards including the Edgar, the Creasey, the Anthony, the Macavity, and the Prix du Roman d’Aventure. Beyond the Scarpetta series, Cornwell has written a definitive book about Jack the Ripper, a biography, and two more fiction series among others. Cornwell, a licensed helicopter pilot and scuba diver, actively researches the cutting-edge forensic technologies that inform her work. She was born in Miami, grew up in Montreat, NC, and now lives and works in Boston. Find out more at, at, on Twitter: @1pcornwell, and on Instagram: @1pcornwell.


Boston, MA and New York, NY

Date of Birth:

June 9, 1956

Place of Birth:

Miami, Florida


B.A. in English, Davidson College, 1979; King College

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Saturday, the last day of August, I started work before dawn. I did not witness mist burning off the grass or the sky turning brilliant blue. Steel tables were occupied by bodies all morning, and there are no windows in the morgue. Labor Day weekend had begun with a bang of car crashes and gunfire in the city of Richmond.

It was two o'clock in the afternoon when I finally returned to my West End home and heard Bertha mopping in the kitchen. She cleaned for me every Saturday and knew from past instruction not to bother with the phone, which had just begun to ring.

"I'm not here," I said loudly as I opened the refrigerator.

Bertha stopped mopping. "It was ringing a minute ago," she said. "Rang a few minutes before that, too. Same man."

"No one's home," I repeated.

"Whatever you say, Dr. Kay." The mop moved across the floor again.

I tried to ignore the disembodied answering machine message intruding upon the sun-washed kitchen. The Hanover tomatoes I took for granted during the summer I began to hoard with the approach of fall. There were only three left. Where was the chicken salad?

A beep was followed by the familiar male voice. "Doc? It's Marino..."

Oh, Lord, I thought, shoving the refrigerator door shut with a hip. Richmond homicide detective Pete Marino had been on the street since midnight, and I had just seen him in the morgue as I was picking bullets out of one of his cases. He was supposed to be on his way to Lake Gaston for what was left of a weekend of fishing. I was looking forward to working in my yard.

"I've been trying to get you, am heading out. You'll have to try mypager..."

Marino's voice sounded urgent as I snatched up the receiver.

"I'm here."

"That you or your goddam machine?"

"Take a guess," I snapped.

"Bad news. They found another abandoned car. New Kent, the Sixty-four rest stop, westbound. Benton just got hold of me ' "

"Another couple?" I interrupted, my plans for the day forgotten.

"Fred Cheney, white male, nineteen. Deborah Harvey, white female, nineteen. Last seen around eight last night when they drove off from the Harveys' Richmond house, on their way to Spindrift."

"And the car's in the westbound lane?" I inquired, for Spindrift, North Carolina, is three and a half hours east of Richmond.

"Yo. Appears they was heading in the opposite direction, back into the city. A trooper found the car, a Jeep Cherokee, about an hour ago, No sign of the kids."

"I'm leaving now," I told him.

Bertha had not stopped mopping, but I knew she had picked up every word.

"Be on my way soon as I finish up in here," she assured me. "I'll lock up and set the alarm. Don't you worry, Dr. Kay."

Fear was running along my nerves as I grabbed my purse and hurried out to my car.

There were four couples so far. Each had disappeared, eventually to be found murdered within a fifty-mile radius of Williamsburg.

The cases, dubbed by the press as The Couple Killings, were inexplicable, and no one seemed to have a clue or credible theory, not even the FBI and its Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, or VICAP, which featured a national data base run on an artificial intelligence computer capable of connecting missing persons with unidentified bodies and linking serial crimes. After the first couple's bodies were found more than two years ago, a VICAP regional team, comprising FBI Special Agent Benton Wesley and veteran Richmond homicide detective Pete Marino, was invited by local police to assist. Another couple would disappear, then two more. In each instance, by the time VICAP could be notified, by the time the National Crime Information Center, or NCIC, could even wire descriptions to police departments across America, the missing teenagers were already dead and decomposing in woods somewhere.

Turning off the radio, I passed through a tollbooth and picked up speed on I-64 East. Images, voices suddenly came back to me. Bones and rotted clothing scattered with leaves. Attractive, smiling faces of missing teenagers printed in the newspapers, and bewildered, distraught families interviewed on television and calling me on the phone.

"I'm so sorry about your daughter."

"Please tell me how my baby died. Oh, God, did she suffer?"

"Her cause of death is undetermined, Mrs. Bennett. There's nothing else I can tell you at this time."

"What do you mean you don't know?"

"All that remains is his bones, Mr. Martin. When soft tissue is gone, gone with it is any possible injury..."

"I don't want to hear your medical bullshit! I want to know what killed my boy! The cops are asking about drugs! My boy's never been drunk in his life, much less taken drugs! You hear me, lady? He's dead, and they're making him out to be some sort of punk..."

"CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER BAFFLED: Dr. Kay Scarpetta Unable to Tell Cause of Death."


Over and over again. Eight young people.

It was awful. It was, in fact, unprecedented for me.

Every forensic pathologist has undetermined cases, but I had never had so many that appeared to be related.

I opened the sunroof and my spirits were lifted somewhat by the weather. The temperature was in the low eighties, leaves would be turning soon. It was only in the fall and spring that I did not miss Miami. Richmond summers were just as hot, without benefit of ocean breezes to sweep the air clean. The humidity was horrible, and in winter I fared no better, for I do not like the cold. But spring and fall were intoxicating. I drank in the change, and it went straight to my head.

The 1-64 rest stop in New Kent County was exactly thirty-one miles from my house.

Table of Contents

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All That Remains (Kay Scarpetta Series #3) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 171 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
When Deborah Harvey, the daughter of the National Drug Policy Director, and her boyfriend fail to return home, the FBI investigates based on the assumption that there is a link to her father¿s job. When their remains are finally found, the media, linking it without substance, to eight other dead in pairs of two near Williamsburg, Virginia, dub the culprit the Couples Killer. --- State Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta joins the investigation into the latest killings. Not much data can be gleaned from the skeletons though the killer leaves a glaring jack of hearts at each crime site. The Feds, state, and local law enforcement trip over each other like the Keystone Cops. Meanwhile Kay and Richmond homicide detective, Pete Marino, follow the paths, many of which dead end in cul de sacs, left behind by a devious killer made even more complex by a reporter and the Harvey family. --- This reprint of an early Scarpetta thriller is a fine entry as a difficult case turns ugly and convoluted by so many participants especially the interference by cops and amateurs. Kay, her Valkyrie cohorts, and Pete are at their best working through a myriad of potential clues obfuscated by politicians, reporters, cops and family members who devastate crime scenes and more. Fans of the great M.E. will enjoy this fine forensic police procedural. --- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another Patricia Cornwell hit. If you've enjoyed any of her books, you'll surely enjoy this one. As usual, I didn't want to put it down. One of the few authors that I allow to make me impatiently wait for the next novel...
Guest More than 1 year ago
The only book that has ever kept me up all night. Seriously. So well-written and fast paced. Phenomenal. Read this book. Now. Beautiful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dealing with a serial killer has to be mental and physically exhusting for Kay Scarpetta. Cornwell knows how to keep her reader's on edge. this was a breath taking and another thriller that you will not want to put down. I can see why Ms. Cornwell is the #1 crime writer of our time. Now go get this book and read it, you might get scared, but not disapointed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was my first of the Scarpetta series and I'm up to number 6 the series- Cornwell knows how to keep you on the edge of your chair and I'm always amazed how she weaves the storylines with such intricate details - the characters are wonderful - Patricia Cornwell's ability to work a plot with all the suspense and keep a good flow with the storyline never disappoints. What I love about her characters are they are very human, personality flaws and all, which makes the writing believable. My goal - to read all of her books...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thrilling. Breathtaking. This is one of my favorite Scarpetta novels. Cornwell once again delivers and proves why she is the number one crime writer of our time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really like the Kay Scarpetta series!! I like the interaction of the characters, as well as the hunt for the clues. I recommend this book highly!
JDMO64 More than 1 year ago
This book was great! This is classic Cornwell & I sure miss her!
Catherine Moscarello More than 1 year ago
I have been reading these books in order and so far the series has not disappointed. The stories are interesting and although full of science, not technically overwhelming. The twists and turns held my inerest and kept me turning the pages. I have already ordered the next book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. The third installment in the series. A lot of twist and turns. Cornwell is the best!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I cannot get enough of the Kay Scarpetta mysteries! Patricia, you are a jewel! Keep on writing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is a novel that anyone that loves murder mysteries. I thought that is was outstanding and it always kept me interested.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hallo, my name is Ata and I'm from Turkey. I just read Cornwell's three books[Cruel And Unusual, Postmortem, All That Remains]and I really liked All That Remains most. Because, it was really frightenning...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy reading and enjoyable. Now for #4.
Larkken on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The third Kay Scarpetta novel, which I read second, was more enjoyable for me than the first, as it did not appear to rely as much upon shocking situations and horrendous events to keep the reader interested. In the first novel, the crimes seemed designed to be as awful as possible, in what seemed to me to be a direct attempt to get a reaction. In this book, people are still confusingly out to get Dr. Scarpetta, medical examiner, but the evidence and the plot progress at a nice speed and I don't feel like I'm being manipulated into rooting for the "good guys" simply because what the "bad guy" does is so very awful.
hamiltonpam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed the adventures of Kay Scarpetta
skinglist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Of all the victims in this book, I felt the worst for abby and then Kay. Seems as if she's headed down the path of losing all of those she loves. And I think she did love abby in an odd kind of way. I enjoy the evolving relationship between she and Marino
Joybee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quick fast-paced mystery. Third in the Kay Scarpetta series; Forensic pathologist, Kay's character is developed more, as well as her relationships, (romantic and work).Young couples are being murdered, Kay is the Chief medical examiner preforming the autopsies. The FBI is involved and Kay feels that they are hiding important facts about the cases. Things come to a head when an important political personality's daughter and boyfriend go missing and are suspected to be the newest couple in the serial murders. Things progress quickly, and there are possible governmental and media conspiracies. Many twists and turns make it hard to put own.
librarypenguin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kay Scarpetta is called to the scene when an abandoned jeep is found that is thought to belong to a missing couple believed to be the the victims of foul play. Couples have been disappearing for months in the Richmond, Virginia area, only to turn up months later and too badly decomposed to determine even a cause of death. These murders weigh heavily on Scarpetta, the Chief Medical Examiner, and pressure is building to come up with leads in the case. The latest disappearances involved the daughter of a prominent political figure and possible suspects abound, from government agencies to drug lords.This was a fast-paced thriller filled with information about the medical side of crime scene investigation. The characters can be rather dull and lifeless, but they are not the focus of this novel. I was not immediately impressed with the story, but as it continued it became a deeply engaging work of crime fiction with several twists and turns. The mystery and suspense of the murders and the investigation keep you guessing until the end and no one is safe.
miketroll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One for lovers of gruesome autopsy reports. After all Cornwell' s serial killers in Richmond VA, I don't understand why anyone still lives there.
adriel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A serial killer has been coercing couples into the woods and horrifically killing them for the past number of years. A string of clues left behind leads the Coroner toward the killer. This book was good but somewhat long winded and also gruesome.
ct.bergeron on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pathologist Kay Scarpetta searches for the cause of death in the case of five young couples whose decomposed bodies are found without shoes and socks deep in the woods. Bones, fragments of clothing, and a jack of hearts are all that remain.
amacmillen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kay Scarpetta is called to the scene when an abandoned jeep is found that is thought to belong to a missing couple believed to be the the victims of foul play. Couples have been disappearing for months in the Richmond, Virginia area, only to turn up months later and too badly decomposed to determine even a cause of death. These murders weigh heavily on Scarpetta, the Chief Medical Examiner, and pressure is building to come up with leads in the case. The latest disappearances involved the daughter of a prominent political figure and possible suspects abound, from government agencies to drug lords.
vegaheim on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
can't remember how it ended, must have liked it though, wrote great have to check into it again
bolgai on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Conditioned by my previous experiences with detective novels whenever I begin a Scarpetta book I expect a straightforward mystery, and every time Cornwell crafts a story that's everything but. Oh, there is a mystery alright, but there is also a very strong human element and the more I get to know Kay Scarpetta and her circle the more clearly I see it. It is possible of course that this human element is becoming more prominent, with every consecutive book being more about the people than the crime, the crime being a catalyst for this humanity to manifest itself and provide a macabre backdrop for it. And you know what? I like seeing something more layered than an cold investigation into disappearances and deaths, I like seeing characters stretch themselves, doubt themselves and their friends and colleagues, struggle through life's problems and emerge changed, even just a little bit. I like seeing relationship develop through the mundane things, and Cornwell delivers that every time. In case you're wondering what it is I'm talking about: here Kay doubts her friendship with Abby Turnbull, the reporter she first met in Postmortem, because Abby isn't being particularly straightforward about her involvement in Scarpetta's latest case. It is also in this book that she realizes that the more she works with Marino the more she likes him, despite his unkempt appearance and irritating behavior, and a true friendship begins to emerge. And last but not least there are the frustrations of finding herself in the middle of basically a face-off between the FBI, the DA's office and higher echelons of government. Cornwell uses these situations wonderfully to develop her characters and since they are so significant in the story they become the stage of power plays and the really dramatic scenes. Politics is big in this book and Cornwell explores the effects of it on people's lives with her usual delicate but firm touch. The potential of a cover-up in her daughter's murder case pushes a prominent politician over the edge and the question of whether she ruined her own career or was helped along the way is a major point of contention in this book. There is also the matter of whether being a public figure at a time like what this politician's family is going through is a blessing or a curse and the reality that there is more than one answer to this question. The fact that Cornwell raises these issues and that everything filters through Kay, the protagonist, makes her a complex individual who navigates a personal and professional maze every day and knows that things are much less straightforward than she would like them to be, a person who regularly thinks about life and people, and not just on a simple day-to-day level. My only concern with this novel is that if Cornwell continues along the path she is on the politics will grow to dominate the story and while it is a fertile field for character development I would hate to see it happen - politics tend to make things convoluted and much talk about views and positions on issues is not something I enjoy in my fiction. I think she struck a nice balance in this book and hope the next novels don't veer off into a lot of talk and little action.