Chaos (Kay Scarpetta Series #24)

Chaos (Kay Scarpetta Series #24)

by Patricia Cornwell


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“When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell.”

New York Times Book Review


From the Ancient Greek (χάος or kháos)

A vast chasm or void. Anarchy. The science of unpredictability.

On a late summer evening in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her investigative partner, Pete Marino, respond to a call about a dead bicyclist near the Kennedy School of Government. It appears that a young woman has been attacked with almost superhuman force.

Even before Scarpetta’s headquarters has been officially notified about the case, Marino and Scarpetta’s FBI agent husband, Benton Wesley, receive suspicious calls, allegedly from someone at Interpol. But it makes no sense. Why would the elite international police agency know about the case or be interested? It soon becomes apparent that an onslaught of harassment might be the work of an anonymous cyberbully named Tailend Charlie, who has been sending cryptic communications to Scarpetta for over a week.

Even Lucy, her brilliant tech-savvy niece, can’t trace who it is or how this person could have access to intimate information. When a second death shocks Scarpetta to her core, it becomes apparent she and those close to her are confronted with something far bigger and more dangerous than they’d ever imagined.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594858409
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/15/2016
Series: Kay Scarpetta Series , #24
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 55,697
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

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 John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, the Anthony, the Macavity and the Prix du Roman d’Aventures. Beyond the Scarpetta series, Patricia 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, North Carolina, and now lives and works in Boston.


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

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Chaos 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have grown tired of these books, I have been a fan for years, buying books as they get released. These last few, including this one are exhausting to read. I dont understand why as an author you have created such a dark paranoid life for this beloved charachter. I find myself skimming through pages of meaningless dialouge, hoping to find a nugget of the "old" Kay. Not sure why you've turned her into a babbling, nervouse nelly. It's almost as if you don't like the character anymore. I will not buy any more books from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't think I have ever read a more pathetic excuse of a book from what was once an excellent author. Most of the story is just the rambling musings of Kaye, who has become a character more worthy of scorn than admiration. Seriously, I was on page 200 before anything meaningful happened. The great thing about the earlier books was a dynamic and fast-paced plot with lots of intrigue and forensics woven in. This was just boring and incredibly tedious. I think Cornwell is out if ideas and has somehow turned her main character into a whimpering idiot who regrets everything in life. I am sorry I bought it and even sorrier I read it. Stephanie Clanahan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will be interested in reading other reviews to see if anyone else read this book as I did... it felt unorganized, rushed and frustratingly slow. I love Cornwell but the good old days of Postmortem are long gone I fear...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I unfortunately won't be pre-ordering this series anymore. unless something drastically changes I believe I have had enough. Oddly though, the thing that bugged me the most was the constant talk about her lack of stockings (do people actually still wear these?), and her slimey footbeds in uncomfortable shoes. Honestly, in 250 pages she couldn't figure out how to get a pair of shoes brought to her or... oh! I know! Take the damn things off. And we're supposed to believe she's both lawyer and doctor? Seriously, it made me want to slap someone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have read every book hers and tthey are getting so tiresome. Started yesterday. 236 pages into the book and only a matter of hours have been covered.. Do we have to hear everybody's paranoid thougts constantly?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scarpettas interior monologue about nothing significant Plot is hard to find Clumsy writing Not worth reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the worst novel in the series I will definitely think twice before blindly preordained another Caldwell novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plot developed too slowly. Too much unnecessary detail in the first 200 pages. Good to be with characters I've grown to feel comfortable with in past books but reading this book became more work than I wanted to do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A slow go the first two thirds of entire book--a minute by minute slog thru Kay's first person, tedious, forensic - procedural brain. Yawn! It put me to sleep--constantly! First half no real story/plot. We get a moment by moment, step by literal step, thought by thought, mundane tred thru her reality, which is BORING!! Early books were excellent, engaging, well written--this was NOT. I feel writing in first person, for Cornwell at least, a very bad idea. Last few books uneven in quality. Hate to do this, but no changes? I will drop her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm about half done with this book and ready to call it quits.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all the Scarpetta series in order from almost the beginning and this is the first one that I almost couldn't finish. I couldn't believe it either! I actually started scanning starting around Page 275, just waiting for something to happen. The entire book takes place in a time period of approximately 12 hours, but for the last 2 chapters that are 2 days later. And we witness those 12 hours in real time. It got to be excruciating. I'm one of those who stays with a series once I've invested in it, but I strongly suggest using the library for this one. We'll see what happens in the next book. This one was filler.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that Patricia Cornwell is now being paid by the number of words she uses in her books . Almost two pages are used to describe how she got a run in her hose. WHO CARES! Usually I archive a book when I've finished reading it but this one I won't even finish, it'll be deleted NOW.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't know what happened but this was not what I expected from Patricia Cornwell horribly written? was not worth the $
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saddened and extremely disappointed in this book. Couldn't wait for it's release only to be led on a long, painful journey. Over 250 pages of rambling, and then the end is rushed. I pray the next Scarpetta novel gets back on track.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plot of this book does move slowly, but I was fascinated by the way Scarpetta's mind works. You have to do some critical thinking rather than just go along for the ride. Savor the story instead off rushing through it like a fast-forwarded action piece.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish she would stop writing about evil Carrie. I keep hoping for a very good book from this excellent writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get this one from the library and save your sense of self worth. Slow.boring,not at all near the quality of some of the previous works. Kay needs to kill Marino, most of her staff. Sister, and mother.
DragonFi More than 1 year ago
I love Patricia Cornwell and have loved her books for decades. Sadly, this is not one that captured my attention and it's literally taken me months to read as I'd jump to another book and then comes back to this one. The storyline is good but unfortunately, the whole thing is dragged out longer than it's needed. Pretty much the whole book is set over a period of about 12 hours! Until you get about 3/4 of the way through, it's really hard to stay focused and keep reading. The end of this book (last few chapters) were the most intriguing and dare I say, exciting. It's sparked a whole new ball game for Kay and the team and it will be interesting to see where Patricia Cornwell takes this new information in her next Kay Scarpetta novel. I'll keep sticking with it because I love Kay Scarpetta, but this one was a toughie to get through.
C-Rae More than 1 year ago
Wearisome story line much like most of her recent books. It appears Kay Scarpetta is as tired of working as the reader is of muddling through a tedious book of chaotic inner thoughts. Will not buy another Cornwell book. Such a loss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My God what a LONG LONG Book! I am a big Fan of this series and all of her books but Gee I am soooo tired of Carrie, enough is enough end it already. I just jumped to the end cause I got tired of it. Kill Carrie off already. I'm thinking her son will become the new Carrie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed this series, but I could not wait for this book to be done. If Kay reflected one more time on how everyone had to be scrupulous about stating their opinions about any aspect of the crime, I would have thrown the book out without finishing it. Then, in the very last part of the book, it seems the author decided to end the book (maybe she was bored with it, too!) and every sort of action was packed in a few pages. Not worth the time it takes to read.
Linda90503 More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Dr. Scarpetta for years. But, as another reviewer stated, this book was just ongoing rambling. I just had to put it down. And, I NEVER do that. I will be purchasing no more Scarpetta books in the future.
CarolynSS More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the worst I have ever tried to read. I wasn't happy with recent books, so never should have bought it. Took forever to get to the point. I read it because I paid for it---had it come from the library, I would have returned it immediately. Won't buy any of her books again.,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad to read other negative reviews. This book is tedious. I've always enjoyed Kay Scarpetta, however, the focus has switched to Lucy and her paranoia. I'm struggling half way through this book