Postmortem Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Postmortem

Dr. Kay Scarpetta, medical examiner, is on the case of a serial killer. She and/or her office is also being blamed for the leaks about the case to the media. Hard edged Officer Marino is also working on the case and believes that what Kay says is true; the leaks are not through her and they develop a kind of love/hate/friendship relationship and start working together to get the killer. The killer is increasing with his level of violence with each murder and the time span between each murder is getting shorter. They plant an article in the paper with news of new DNA evidence bringing them closer to catching the killer in hopes of tricking him into making a mistake.
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The review of this Book prepared by Amy in Wisconsin

Horrific rape/murders bring Marino, Scarpetta, and Benson together. This top rate crime fighting team faces limitations after suspecting an inside trader and possible murderer. Unsure of the murderer, but certain of how to draw him out, a brilliant plan to use the media proves more then helpful when the killer takes the bait.
The review of this Book prepared by Tracey Ray

Chapter Analysis of Postmortem

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 60%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 10%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   character killed during/after sexing    -   Big focus on forensic evidence    -   Big focus on autopsies Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   describing scientific process Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Mid-Atlantic states Misc setting    -   scientific labs

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths    -   very gorey descriptions deaths/dead bodies Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   rape (yeech!) A lot of techno jargon?    -   Yes Kind of jargon?    -   biology/medical Unusual forms of death    -   asphyxiation    -   perforation--swords/knives Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Patricia Cornwell Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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