4 stars · book reviews · crime novels · mystery · suspense · thriller

Review: Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell

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Cruel & Unusual (Kay Scarpetta #4)
by Patricia Cornwell

Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta is called in to autopsy the body of convicted murderer Ronnie Waddell after his execution. Several days after the execution, a young boy is discovered murdered in the fashion of Waddell’s earlier killings, with Waddell’s prints near the body. Scarpetta, along with FBI Agent Benton Wesley and Detective Pete Marino, try to discover how a dead inmate could have possibly committed another murder after his death. As the story progresses she seeks the assistance of her 17-year-old niece Lucy after she discovers a strange folder on her computer.

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Kay Scarpetta steps up her game in this series. She confronted the most bizarre of the many controversies involved in her body of work yet. Everyone wonders how Ronnie Joe Waddell’s unique fingerprint appears at the murder scene of Eddie Heath a few hours after Waddell was executed. Dr. Scarpetta, together with her expert team consisting of the charismatic Pete Marino, Benton Wesley and her niece Lucy, they went to great lengths to investigate and expose the murderer, but not without her getting practically destroyed.

Among the female crime writers I’ve read, I think the legendary Patricia Cornwell is my favorite. She’s got to be an exceptional author who uses her expertise in the investigative field to make sure that there is substance in the novels that she write. I like how her stories get me engaged until I have reached the last page of the book. Truly this has been a nail-biting suspense mystery that readers and thrill seekers would appreciate and enjoy.

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