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Cruel and Unusual Hardcover – June 10, 1993

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,211 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The fourth mystery to feature Virginia's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kay Scarpetta (after All That Remains ) is the most intricately plotted and fully characterized novel yet in Cornwell's admirable series. From its opening at the autopsy of convicted killer Ronnie Joe Wadell--after his execution in the electric chair--to its final moments with Scarpetta facing a special grand jury indictment, the novel connects old crimes and cover-ups to current politics in an intriguing puzzler. On the eve of Wadell's death, a teenage boy in Richmond, Va., is mutilated in a murder that echoes the killing of a TV news anchorwoman 10 years before, the crime for which Wadell was convicted. Next, a fingerprint at the home of a recently murdered psychic is identified in FBI files as the executed killer's, suggesting to Scarpetta that tentacles from the first murder may be reaching out from the past. The Christmas Day murder of her own morgue supervisor suggests those tentacles may have penetrated her office. Scarpetta's computer-whiz niece Lucy, Richmond homicide investigator Pete Marino and an old FBI friend help Kay save her reputation. That this complex case seems to end abruptly is surely due in part to the reader's reluctance to come to the last page. Literary Guild, Mystery Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-In this fourth Kay Scarpetta mystery, the chief medical examiner for the state of Virginia is once again challenged by gruesome murder and confusing evidence. How could the fingerprints of Ronnie Joe Waddell appear at the scene of a murdered psychic after Waddell was executed in the electric chair? In the midst of many puzzling matters come other difficult issues to confront Kay as she tries to do her job. She becomes the object of hysterical media attention, and finds that she herself might be indicted for the very crimes she is trying to solve. Someone is sabotaging her efforts by hacking into her computer files and leaking information. Exasperated, she calls upon her niece, Lucy, a 17-year-old computer whiz, whom readers will remember from earlier "Scarpetta" novels. Along with FBI agent Benton Wesley and police chum Pete Marino, Lucy helps Kay solve the murders and ferret out the traitor in her office. YAs will enjoy the teen's angst and the exciting twist at the book's end.
Carolyn E. Gecan, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Charle's Scribner's Sons; 1st edition (June 10, 1993)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 356 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0684195305
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0684195308
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.49 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.13 x 1.2 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 1,211 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
1,211 global ratings
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4.0 out of 5 stars LARGE print
By aimee on June 29, 2021
Book came in exceptional condition however this edition is large print. I've gone back to order and no where does the description state this. I'm a bit disappointed, you should have a choice as this isn't what I would have chosen.
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Reviewed in the United States on August 16, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Jim Bowen
3.0 out of 5 stars Scarpetta's attitude to life is lock in in this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 30, 2021
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voluntarystress
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkest Book In The Series So Far
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 11, 2018
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JoJo
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Amazing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 6, 2019
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Elle
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book apart from that ending!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2012
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MISTERWINT
4.0 out of 5 stars Cruel and Unusual
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 2, 2013
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