The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell {Book Review}

A few years back, I read two of Patricia Cornwell’s books from the Kay Scarpetta series and I was instantly hooked.

Good thrillers with a medical twist are always a good mix.

The first book of the series Postmortem, was published in 1990 with the series ending with Chaos in 2016.

I’m still playing catch up with getting my hands on all of the books in the series, I only have 16 out of the 24. Luckily you don’t need to read them in the order they were released as the books don’t depend on each other to continue the story.

The Scarpetta Factor is book 17 of the series.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

Book review: The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell #bookreview


Kay Scarpetta is in New York to work the Hannah Starr case.

She is asked live on CNN about the disappearance (and possible death) of Starr, a wealthy financial planner.

The questions asked highlight information that couldn’t possibly reach the public just yet, and Scarpetta realises that this case will be blown out of proportion, driven by fears and panic.

During the interview, a call comes in to the studio from one of Benton Wesley’s former psychiatrist patients leading to believe that they might have a connection to the disappearance.

A new job opportunity is presented to Scarpetta but she fears the negative reflections of accepting it and decides that it’s not the best path for her to take.

When Scarpetta returns to her apartment, she finds a package waiting for her and the threat on her life is evident.

She finds herself tangled not only in the Starr case, but the disappearance of another woman. Is there a possible connection between the two cases? Then there’s the famous actor who is accused of an unimaginable sex crime, and the path to find him guilty is pushed hard.

Her niece and forensic computer genius, Lucy Farinelli has reasons of her own into solving Starr’s disappearance together with her girlfriend Jaime Burger, who finds Lucy persistent behaviour slightly suspicious. There’s a possibility that Lucy has a connection to the two missing women.

My Opinion: Positive Thoughts

As expected, the many plot twists keep you on your seat as the author changes and adds unexpected scenarios to the story line to keep the reader in suspect, and never expecting what will happen next, and how the book will end.

As soon as you think you might have figured a plot out, you’re given information going against your thoughts and you need to sit through a couple of more chapters to eventually get to an answer – unless it has changed again.

There’s enough reference to old scenarios and characters in the book to give you an idea on how certain situations are linked together, so you’re not left wondering what on earth you missed if you haven’t read any of the previous books.

My Opinion: Negative Thoughts

The points of view change a lot throughout the book, with multiple characters telling the story from their own perspectives. Idid find it unnecessarily splashed with information that didn’t add any value to the plots.

Lucy was my least favourite character in the book, she was rude and completely detached from the other characters that showed her care and support, and the rudeness was a killer for her character.

There was a lot of attention on the characters’ personal drama and long pointless conversations around it. It seemed like everyone had something going on, some more than others and it overshadowed the actual plots in the book.


Overall, it was a good story, even though confusing with the constant change of views of the characters. The development of the plot was slow with all the personal dramas to get through, and if those had been compressed to just a couple of relevant points, the book would’ve been significantly shorter and to the point.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 3.73 on GoodReads. I gave it a 4. 

The plot was interesting and it was cool to see an old character from years back get entangled into the story. I didn’t expect the revelation of the ending and it was a good surprise to the suspense build up towards it.

The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell {Book Review} #bookreview

Have you read The Scarpetta Factor?

You can purchase it here.

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