The Body Farm (Kay Scarpetta Series #5)

The Body Farm (Kay Scarpetta Series #5)

by Patricia Cornwell

Paperback(Tall Rack Paperback - Reissue)

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When an eleven-year-old girl is found murdered, Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia, gets another chance at stopping one of the most heartless and horrifying serial killers of her career: the demented Temple Gault.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425201442
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/2005
Series: Kay Scarpetta Series , #5
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 75,864
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is considered one of the world's bestselling crime writers. Her intrepid medical examiner Kay Scarpetta first appeared on the scene in 1990 with Postmortem—the only novel to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards and the French Prix du Roman d'Aventure in a single year—and Cruel and Unusual, which won Britain's prestigious Gold Dagger Award for the best crime novel of 1993. Dr. Kay Scarpetta herself won the 1999 Sherlock Award for the best detective created by an American author. Ms. Cornwell's work is translated into 36 languages across more than 50 countries.


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

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Among the grittiest of this season's crime novels...convincing...chilling."— Time
"All the pacing and suspense Cornwell fans have come to expect."— People
"Reminiscent of The Silence of the Lambs. Her writing is masterful."— Booklist

Customer Reviews

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Body Farm 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 136 reviews.
DonnaApple More than 1 year ago
This summer I was assigned to read and do a report on my reading. I assumed that I would pick a girly book that I can relate to. Those books I usually read and go through them like there is no tomorrow. However, this year I went outside the box and chose something I usually do not read...a horror. I always loved horror films and figured I would love a horror book. The Body Farm by Particia Cornwell is a fantastic read. Now the book I have was published in 1994 and I was worried it would be outdated; the minute I sat down to read, it jumps right into the plot. The plot is of an eleven year old girl named Emily Steiner who went missing in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Dr. Kay Scarpetta is assigned to this case through the FBI, where she finds herself doing more than examining for the cause of death. Everyone in the case thinks the famous serial killer Gault is the one responsible for the disappearance and murder of the little girl. As Dr. Scarpetta gets more into the case she realizes this is not the one who abolished the perfectly innocent eleven years old. This is when the novel takes a turn and gets very interesting. This book is not your ordinary novel for it has more than one plot in it including the one of Dr. Scarpetta's rebellious niece and she pulls you into the book even more. You cannot put this down until you figure out the evil behind everything. I highly would recommend this book even if it isn't your usual read. Enjoy!
catCL More than 1 year ago
I recommend reading the whole series starting with book #1 [postmortem] I loved all the characters the twist and turn of the plots and am know patiently waiting for the next book. enjoy!!! Here's the titles in order #2 Body of Evidence #3 All that remains #4 Cruel and unusual #5 The body farm #6 From potter's field #7 Cause of death #8 Unnatural exposure #9 Point of origin #10 Black notice #11 The last precinct #12 Blow fly #13 Trace #14 Predator #15 Scarpetta.
AirForceWife810 More than 1 year ago
** spoiler alert ** This was my second time reading The Body Farm. I read it several years ago on a whim without reading any of the prior books. This time I am reading the Scarpetta series in order. Although The Body Farm was excellent the first time around, it was even better after reading Cruel and Unusual. I highly recommend reading Cruel and Unusual first. I feel like you get more out of The Body Farm by doing so. A lot of unexpected things happened in this book that I would have not suspected. Kay Scarpetta has an affair with Benton Wesley. Pete Marino has an affair with the mother with the mother of the little girl who was murdered. I did not expect those things out of those characters. Gault is suspected in the crimes that occur in the little town of Black Mountain, North Carolina. All the pieces seem to fit the puzzle. Lucy is almost killed in Virginia. Without the excellent detective skills of Dr. Scarpetta, the real killer would have never been caught. Her excellent intuition is what solves the case, saves Marino's life, and possibly her own life. I read other reviews and someone mentioned that they were disappointed at the title of the book, The Body Farm, because the book was not about that. Actually, the experiment on The Body Farm is what gave the clue that sealed the deal in the end. In fact, without that piece of evidence, I don't know that Scarpetta could have proven who the killer was. The Body Farm is my favorite so far in The Scarpetta Series. I am excited to start reading From Potters Field.
Amanda1988 More than 1 year ago
What a fantastic book...couldn't put it down! Kudos for a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would like to give a zero stars, but it would not let me do that! The plot is awful, and looked to me, like she just wanted to add more pages to the book! Very poor narration, and style. She has 3 different stories running together, with no relationship what so ever. Will never buy her book again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed all of Scapetta's books. This is one of my favorite so far. It's when Kay and Benton got to gather, I could not belive that in Point of Origin He dies I cried, and then in Black Notice, The letter that Benton wrote the a year after his death was so sad. I Can't wait to read The Last Precinct: I hope, Kay and Agent Talley get together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿There is no other in the world, mine was the only one¿ - Emily Dickinson Nothing ever happens in the small rural town of Black Mountain, nothing until the shocking murder of eleven-year-old Emily Steiner. Patricia Cornwell, a New York Times Best Seller, reintroduces Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a forensic scientist who plays the lead role in most of Cornwell¿s works, in the exhilarating novel, The Body Farm. The suspense o this novel will keep you on the edge of your seat and the mystery concealed within its pages will ensure that you stay hooked from the very beginning. Emily Steiner¿s case becomes increasingly difficult with the introduction of several peculiar pieces of evidence, such as: the mysterious mark found on Emily¿s body, the custom made fluorescent orange duct tape, the skin samples found in a dead sheriff¿s freezer and the unusual residue discovered lingering on the girls body. This evidence leads to several new suspects in the crime and makes the truth of the case more difficult to decipher. The hysterical, attention-seeking, mother of the victim is a major setback to the case, and ends up attracting the attention of the lead investigator in her daughter¿s murder. In attempting to find justice for Emily Steiner, Dr. Scarpetta finds her personal life growing in difficulty. While working on the case, she is introduced to many people who lead to several new interesting relationships, and a scandal at the high security facility where she works involving her niece, who later on nearly gets killed in a car crash, has her more than occupied. Yet Kay finds herself deeply embedded in this convoluted path of leads, dead ends, incriminating evidence, suspects, and criminals. Only one combination can be right, but the question is, can Kay figure it all out before time is up? There is only one way to tell. This story line¿s many twists and turns are sure to have your mind racing with questions and possible theories. It is guaranteed, however, that most of your theories will be wrong. This story will keep your nose in the book its several twists are intriguing, but the ending is the most shocking of all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book over vacation and I loved it. I couldn't put it down once I started! I usually don't read unless I have too! However, I picked this up and I just couldn't stop. I have never read anything from the author before but I would love to recommend her to others becuase it is so good and it stays interesting through the whole thing. I didn't expect it to end the way it did but with my understanding of Biology it helped me to grasp the book very well! I hope all future readers will enjoy I know that I sure did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Darrol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty good story with some exciting episodes. I cannot help but think that her affair with Wesley is unfortunate, and Marino's being taking in by the perp rather sad.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Frankly, this one was very blah for me. The book was not so much about the case as it was about the relationships between Kay and Marino, Marino and Benton Wesley, Kay and Wesley, and Kay and Lucy. Oh, and Kay and her sister. Blah. Too much angst for a crime novel. And I figured out who the bad guy was waaaaaaaaaay early.
Larkken on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I did not enjoy the fifth of the Kay Scarpetta novels as much as the 2nd or 3rd, but this wasn't because of the plot. I enjoyed the twist at the end as much as I enjoy any of these procedural crime novels, in that the reader is often able to figure out who the murderer is, but the proof is never revealed until the main character finds the evidence and explains its dire significance. As this takes some of the thinking out of the read, this can get old for me. However, this plot did not seem quite so formulaic, with a perhaps more interesting motivation than the pervasive anger, megalomania, etc. Unfortunately, I found the interpersonal relationships of Kay (the medical examiner with surprising investigative allowances), Marino (the detective she works with), and Wesley (the FBI profiler they are paired with) to be tiresome. Kay and Marino snipe at each other constantly, for example. Perhaps the build up to this book, in the form of the fourth novel in the series, was necessary in order to understand and therefore put up with the way they all act towards each other in this one - though I have to admit, I hate reading Kay's interaction with her family, too, and this book contained a lot of her-vs-her-sister sorts of interactions that was aggravating (as I believe the sister is set up to be) and which I simply wished would end. I might also be getting tired of the continual "woman in a man's world" theme to these books and annoyed by the slight angst this entails.
Jarratt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's not a good sign when the first thing you say upon finishing a book is, "I'm so glad that's over.""The Body Farm" is the first Patricia Cornwell book I've read and may be the last. The location for which the book was named--the place at the University of Tennessee where dead humans are studied for forensic reasons--consists of one chapter about 3/4 of the way through. And what they did had little to no impact on the case Kay Scarpetta is working on.I will concede that I might have enjoyed the book a little more had I read previous Scarpetta books as there were obviously recurring characters. But as I'm basically introduced to them here, I found most of them, like Marino and Lucy, to be flat and quite unlikable. The story centers around a little girl who's brutally killed near her home. The local police are overwhelmed and bring in state's bureau, who, because the crime is similar to a serial killer's mode of operation, bring in the FBI. There's a bunch of little clues along the way, but it seems basic police work wasn't done as some of the players aren't even suspects. And throwing in the Temple Gault character (the serial killer who obviously played a role in previous novels) seemed forced and just an excuse for a red herring.The subplot with Scarpetta's niece Lucy seemed rather unbelievable. I was simply disappointed with the book, especially given how popular Cornwell's books are.
skinglist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't like this as much as I liked some of the other ones. Kay, Lucy and Marino are starting to mesh better but I feel it's very rushed. Seeing through to Marino's fate was a little predictable. There seems to be a crime script that's followed - protagonist or loved one in danger. will be interesting to see how Kay and Benton resolve this.
EmScape on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When a young girl is murdered in a similar way to Eddie Heath from the last book, Kay is worried that her failure to catch Temple Gault has cost another life. However, the investigation becomes more and more bizarre, leading detectives to believe this might be the work of a copy-cat, a local weirdo or someone else entirely. Complicating matters, Kay's niece, Lucy, is now working for the bureau in the computer department and it looks like she's been caught stealing classified information. Kay has to catch a killer and clear her niece's name, all while dealing with her burgeoning new romance (with someone completely unexpected) and the estrangement of another friend. This is not your typical murder-of-the-week type book. The characterizations and relationships between the characters continue to grow deeper throughout the series. I'm not really a fan of Kay's new relationship, but it's realistic, and obviously character-directed, not a sop for the audience who expects a romantic subplot. I always really enjoy the technical details of forensic experiements, but the "Body Farm" of the title, an area where bodies are decomposing in contrived circumstances in order to better understand time of death, was a little nauseating to read about. Particularly because I was eating lunch at the time I happened to come upon that part of the book. My biggest nitpick continues to be how this ME is always in a position to come into violent conflict with the villain at the end of the novel. It's unlikely to happen even once in the life of any other non-fictional ME and for it to keep happening to Kay is ridiculous. I know there needs to be a suspenseful, cathartic ending, but it's completely unrealistic. In such a series, where the author is very well informed about forensic devices and details, and the time lines are more realistic than other murder/detective novels (i.e. the crime is not solved in the space of a week, but rather months), it bothers me that this very critical point is so improbable. Overall, though, a decent book, which kept me interested and desirous of more about Kay Scarpetta.
demonite93 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first Patricia Cornwell book I have read. I have to say I enjoyed how the author jumps right into the story. There was no beginning lag where you get to know the character and blah blah blah. I really enjoy the medical and scientific aspects of this book and it's nice to see an alternative side to the police work. The story is revolved around the murder of a young girl in a small Christian town. The author does a great job of moving the evidence to point in several different directions all at once, in the hope that you would be constantly guessing who did it. I actually already kind of figured out who it was before it got to that point but ... Anyways, it was an interesting read. It was real quick for me and it's defiantly a good filler.
delphimo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kay Scarpetta always seems to run into Gault. She sees him and then he quickly disappears. In The Body Farm, Kay and Pete Marino investigate the brutal murder of an 11-year-old girl. The crime appears to resemble Gault's sadistic mode of murder. In the meantime, Kay's niece, Lucy, is interning in the FBI high security-programming lab when security is breached. Cornwell presents so many interesting facts, like the rubber cast of a fingerprint is the mirror image or a reversed image. Cornwell also enters many medical and psychological terms, such as the Munchausen syndrome. The book is long and not as easy reading as James Patterson, but the writing is so much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the Th in the series. I enjoy the smooth transition from novel to novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good Read
elbakerone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a small Virginia town a young girl is found murdered and the circumstances cast suspicions on a hunted serial killer. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, forensic pathologist, is on the scene to track down the killer while also guiding her headstrong neice into a career with the FBI. As the death toll and mystery escalate, simple answers are hard to come by and Scarpetta searches to decipher a small clue with the help of scientists at the anthropology research facility in Tennesee, better known as the Body Farm.This was the first Patricia Cornwell novel I have read and it was an odd place to start, but I did enjoy it. The Body Farm is a fast paced read with relatively accurate depictions of forensic science. Cornwell doesn't beat the reader over the head with back story so it was nice to pick up on character relationships from context rather than drudging through history that would've interrupted the pacing of the book. Although I was expecting more of the story to take place at the fictionalized version of Knoxville's Research Facility, I was still drawn in by the suspense of the story and appreciated that it was a well written book.
MsBeautiful on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good mystery, especially for someone who likes science/anatomy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell A medical based novel A Forensic pathologist, Kay Scarpetta, is sent to a small town in North Carolina called Black Mountain, to help with a case of a 11 year old girl that was brutally murdered. The FBI suspect a serial killer named Gault that they have been trying to find for a long time may be the killer of the girl. After no being sure about the first autopsy of Emily,the little girl, she calls for a semiconductor autopsy. As she finishes she hears that the North Carolina investor was supposably in the hospital due to a heart attack which is later found to not be true. Everyone states to believe Gault is the prime suspect but Kay isn’t fully sure of that. Throughout the book she jumps between looking for and questioning possible suspects in the case and caring for her niece, Lucy. Lucy worked at the FBI academy until she was charged with trying to steal FBI evidence using her jurisdiction and soon after getter into a car accident that sends her to the hospital. All of this leads up to the climax of the story which is a very surprising one. I would recommend this book for anyone that is interested in the medical field or is just into reading about it. I has a lot of details and real life scenarios that could be interesting to many people. I really enjoyed the book as it had me wanting to read and know more. I also think it would be interesting if they made a movie off of this book. The book really makes you visualize what is happening and makes you suspect any characters and find a conclusion to the story. This book is not a easy or hard read but I believe it is the perfect book to read when you want a little thrill.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spots a squirrel in the distance. He gets into a crouching position and focuses on his prey. A few foxtail lengths away, he pounces on the furry animal. He gives a strong blow with a bite as the squirrel falls motionless. He proudly carries it in his teeth to Res 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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