Cruel and Unusual
A Kay Scarpetta Novel
By Patricia Cornwell
(Pocket Books, Mass Market Paperback, 9781416505402, 416pp.)
Publication Date: October 25, 2005
Categories: Mystery & Detective - Women Sleuths
"Killing me won't kill the beast" are the last words of rapist-murderer Ronnie Joe Waddell, written four days before his execution. But they can't explain how Dr. Kay Scarpetta finds Waddell's fingerprints on another crime scene -- after she'd performed his autopsy. If this is some sort of game, Scarpetta seems to be the target. And if the next victim is someone she knows, the punishment will be cruel and unusual...
“It’s important for me to live in the world I want to write about,” says Patricia Cornwell, “If I want a character to do or know something, I try to do or know the same thing.” The award-winning former police reporter spent time working both as an employee of the Virginia Chief Medical Examiner’s Office and as a volunteer police officer before she wrote her first Kay Scarpetta novel, Postmortem. Her preparation paid off—Postmortem was the first novel ever to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, Macavity, and French Prix du Roman d’Aventure awards in one year. She has followed that up with ten other bestselling novels featuring Kay Scarpetta. She then began a new series with her #1 New York Times bestsellers Hornet’s Nest and Southern Cross. She is also the author of two cookbooks, Scarpetta’s Winter Table and Food to Die For; A Time for Remembering, a biography of Ruth Bell Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham; a children’s book, Life’s Little Fable; and her #1 bestselling work of nonfiction, Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper—Case Closed. She lives in New York City.
"Ingenious...a first-rate storyteller."
-- Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Engrossing...an extremely effective novel of suspense, in all its varieties...Corwell's sleuth is the best in the business."
-- Entertainment Weekly
"Classic Cornwell...chilling...riveting...utterly convincing."
-- Richmond Times-Dispatch