- Create your FREE Amazon Business account to save up to 10% with Business-only prices and free shipping.
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Chaos: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta, 24) Paperback – January 30, 2018
|New from||Used from|
“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.
Inspire a love of reading with Amazon Book Box for Kids
Discover delightful children's books with Amazon Book Box, a subscription that delivers new books every 1, 2, or 3 months — new Amazon Book Box Prime customers receive 15% off your first box. Learn more.
Special offers and product promotions
“Lots of cutting-edge forensic detail and some revelatory character moments.” -- Publishers Weekly on Chaos
“Patricia Cornwell has created characters with real emotions and life experiences, and she provides them with more than enough danger to make things interesting. Dr. Scarpetta has become a good friend.” -- MysteryPlayground.net on Chaos
“[An] absorbing thriller.” -- Blackfive.net on Chaos
“There is a quiet intensity to Ms. Cornwell’s writing that compels you to read, then the eeriness sets in. . . . With CHAOS, once again Patricia Cornwell mesmerizes with her astounding scientific knowledge, her keen ear for dialogue and the human psyche, all woven together flawlessly.” -- FreshFiction.com on Chaos
“While Scarpetta’s character has flaws, she is still a powerful female protagonist and she offers the reader an amazing calculating approach to investigation. I am always amazed at the passion that she has for her position. . . . A fast engaging read.” -- Dad of Divas Reviews on Chaos
From the Back Cover
On a hot 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, the Cambridge Forensic Center, 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 and even be interested? With breathtaking speed it becomes apparent that an onslaught of interference and harassment might be the work of an anonymous cyberbully named Tailend Charlie, who has been sending cryptic communications to Scarpetta for over a week.
Stunningly, even her brilliant tech-savvy niece, Lucy, can’t trace who it is or how this person could have access to intimate information few outside their family would have. When a second death hundreds of miles south shocks Scarpetta to her core, she and those close to her are confronted with something far bigger and more dangerous than they’d ever imagined. Then analysis of a mysterious residue recovered from a wound is identified as a material that doesn’t exist on earth.
In this latest installment in the bestselling series featuring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Cornwell shows us once again why she is the world’s number one bestselling crime writer, mistress of the shocking turns, delicious thrills, and state-of-the-art forensic details that all fans of suspense have come to love.
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 30, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062436716
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062436719
- Item Weight : 10.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #597,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
My overall experience with this book was one of constantly feeling like a great, addictive story was somewhere just out of reach, interspersed wtih being either bored by the repetition or jarred out of the narrative by what I felt were the author's personal obsessions rather than points of character development.
I kept hoping she could break through and get to the story, but everything just bogged down and in the end, reading this was very much like experiencing the crushingly oppressive heat that she endlessly described throughout the book.
She was a great writer who provided me with many happy hours of reading in the past, and I will really miss her books. But I'm not willing to pay the premium price expected for 'book by a well-known author' for the kind of writing I experienced in 'Chaos'. It honestly saddens me to give this one star, but I just can't give it more than that.
I think Scarpetta has developed dementia. We spent the entire book drowning in her constant internal monologue, full of back story, doubts, intolerance, anger, and paranoia. For example - she gets a voice mail from the wife of a friend. Instead of listening to it, she spends 3 pages talking to herself about the person, how she knows the person, debating what the person might have wanted to tell her, and picturing the person actually making the phone call. For pete's sake, just listen to the damn thing already. There are interminable rants about how evil her sister is and Marino's love life, and page after page after page explaining things that happened in previous books.
It takes almost 200 pages to even get around to a body, most of which is pent wondering if it's the same person Scarpetta saw earlier riding a bike. Well Christ on a cracker, go look at the damn body and find out. Instead, we relive - over and over and over - Scarpetta's brief contact with the possible victim, why it could be her, why it might not be her, how we don't know yet...interspersed with the usual bragging about Benton's well-heeled family, and whether he's driving the Audi or the Porsche. Who the flock cares. And several lectures about how the ME's office works - not just one, and not just a simple explanation; but angry lectures.
Marino - ah Marino I used to adore you! Now you're just mean. Benton is stuck up. Lucy is desperately needy. Dorothy is stuffed into the plot for reasons that never really become clear to me. There are a few other obnoxious characters, which seem to have been added just to give Scarpetta someone new to complain about.
Go home, Scarpetta; you may not be drunk but I feel like I'm wading through the mind of someone who's had a stroke.
EDIT: I can't finish it. I just don't care what happens. This is my last Scarpetta novel. I'm done wasting my money. Anyone want to buy a gently used copy? Cheap?
Top reviews from other countries
Years ago I bought several of her earlier novels, which initially proved interesting when the writing concentrated on Scarletta's forensic investigations, but her later books strayed further and further from the basic scientific crime solving aspect of what are essentially crime novels, and I gave up buying them. A good who dunnit and how do we catch them, was replaced by what Scarletta wears, buys, has a private life that sucks, and incidentally there was a murder most horrible.
Chaos was a freebie Kindle version courtesy of The Times newspaper and so I thought I would reacquaint myself with her writing at no cost to myself. By page 70 I still didn't have much of a clue what was happening since there appeared to be no plot, and it didn't help that it was so incredibly boring that I was speed reading through the trivia of Scarletta's private life to try to get to the interesting parts, so somewhere along the line I may have missed a decent plot developing.
And what appalling dialogue. The author seems to spend more time in trying to prove that she is a connoisseur of good taste, rather than developing a decent story line, regaling us instead with tedious and who-cares-less facts about her private life and the designer labels of her shopping purchases. As one example of the drivel, our heroine and her suave, sophisticated, handsome, intelligent husband (isn't she lucky) are having a meal in a restaurant, and after spending what seems like pages and pages on what food to order, are now debating the choice of a wine.
Eventually Scarletta says to her husband "I think we should go for a Burgundy: A Chablis premier cru." (what else!). "The 2009 Montee de Tonnerre" (right on!). And as an aside: "We've had it before, and the wine is refreshingly clean and pure with a chiseled finish." My thoughts exactly. Realistically, most people would think, "That was a right good sup. Let's buy it again", not the pretentious "the wine is refreshingly . . .".
If you like inconsequential claptrap such as this, then the book is for you, but if you like a good story line and you feel that you cannot put the book down, then this is not your cup of tea. Regrettably page 80 is as far as I got, deleting it forever from my Kindle before suffering death through boredom. There may have been a plot later, but I wasn't prepared to wade through pages and pages of dialogue that made you cringe. Good riddance I say. I now know why the Times were giving it away for free, because nobody in their right minds would knowingly buy such rubbish and I consider myself lucky that I didn't waste good money on it.
I'm not sure if I've read one of her books before or not. Based on this one I can see why I must of forgotten it.
I gave it the benefit of the doubt and read the whole thing. The characters (particularly the doctor) are the most annoying you are ever likely to come across. No wonder the bad guy is trying to kill them all off. I feel like helping.
She is an arrogant, hypocritical, self centered, self pitying character. That's the doctor not the baddy.
The first 85% of the book is just a vacuum of nonsense. The next 5% is the biggest anti climax you'll ever have the misfortune to read. The next 15% is the same as the beginning. That's right it doesn't add up properly. Neither does the book.
I've just wasted another 10 minutes of my life. Make sure you don't.