Christmas had never been a particularly good time for Dr Kay Scarpetta. Although a holiday for most, it always seem to heighten the alienation felt by society's violent fringe; and that usually means more work for Scarpetta, Virginia's Chief Medical ExaminerI. The body was naked, female and found propped against a fountain in a bleak area of New York's Central Park. Her apparent manner of death points to a modus operandi that is chillingly familiar: the gunshot wound to the head, the sections of skin excised from the body, the displayed corpse - all suggest that Temple Brooks Gault, Scarpetta's nemesis, is back at work. Calling on all her reserves of courage and skill, and the able assistance of colleagues Marino and Wesley, Scarpetta must track this most dangerous of killers in pursuit of survival as well as justice - heading inexorably to an electrifying climax amid the dark, menacing labyrinths of the New York subway. For more about Patricia Cornwell and her books visit her website at www.patricia-cornwell.com
Patricia Cornwell was born on June 9, 1956, in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Montreat, North Carolina. After college she embarked on a career in journalism, where she excelled. She was promoted quickly and won awards for her work. Her first book, a biography of Mrs Billy Graham, was published in 1983, followed by her first novel in 1990, Postmortem. She had spent the intervening years working as a writer and analyst for the Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. As so often happens, her first book was rejected by no less than seven major publishers before being picked up, and won several awards.
Cornwell is perhaps best known for her Scarpetta series, featuring Dr Kay Scarpetta. The Scarpetta character is semi-autobiographical in that Patricia and Kay share several facts and traits. The series is said to have influenced television shows such as CSI and Cold Case, and have been praised for their research, depth and style.
Patricia has also become heavily involved in promoting various charities, literacy programs, justice and providing scholarships.
Her books have been translated into 36 different languages in more than fifty countries, making her one of the most popular authors in the world.
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