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Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell

Black Notice (1999)

by Patricia Cornwell (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Kay Scarpetta (10)

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3,531341,498 (3.41)24



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English (30)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Perhaps the weakest of Cornwall's novels that I've yet read. What I like about the novels is both their story lines and the amount of forensic medical information that they portray. This one, however, got into far too much personal drama and soul searching for my taste. It also confused me. Scarpetta is mourning the death of her longtime lover, but I swear I've read several more recent novels in which he appears. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Jun 19, 2014 |
I read several of the early Cornwell novels and enjoyed them. Kay Scarpetta was a unique addition to the crime-solving world. At that time Kathy Reich had not appeared on the scene with her own version of the forensic pathologist as crime solver. Eventually though, Scarpetta became a little too self-involved for my taste, with too much psychobabble and self-analysis.
Black Notice, tenth in the series, still has some of the same problems, but my favorite character, detective Marino, plays a more substantial role, and the crime is intriguing. Scarpetta is probably the unhappiest character I have encountered. Her niece Lucy, now an undercover ATF agent still reeling from the death of Kay's FBI agent boyfriend, is undercover in Florida on a very risky operation; she's also a petulant child more reminiscent of the adolescent she was in the first novel when her petulance was perhaps more believable.
A body is discovered in a sealed container on a ship from Belgium that was being unloaded in the port of Richmond. The corpse has assorted European coins in his pocket and appears to be covered with animal hairs. Typically, we learn a great deal about autopsy procedures and little gruesome details, such as sliding skin off fingers for fingerprints, etc., but I found the details concerning her use of e-mail quite unbelievable. That the state medical examiners office would use AOL as its ISP, and that the technical person would set up the accounts on AOL for each employee and assign passwords herself, strikes me as rather unrealistic, if not incredibly stupid. Because of this security-unconscious procedure, a treacherous assistant is able to intercept Kay's e-mail from her boss, and to assume her identity in a chat room on the Internet. He's in league with the new deputy police chief, Diane Bray, who has it in for Kay -- why is never made completely clear -- and Captain Marino, assigning him back into uniform. The weird animal hairs are then discovered on a murdered store clerk, and Marino and Kay are soon off to Paris on the trail of an international killer.
Marino is such a great character (he has the largest display of Christmas lights anywhere — he had to install three new fuse boxes), and the plot itself is so intriguing, I can overlook most of Kay's dour outlook and self-pity. But Lucy really needs to have a personality adjustment or get killed off. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
  cmakny | Aug 14, 2013 |
A strange kind of bleed-through in this installment in the Dr. Kay Scarpetta series -- I got the distinct impression that the author might have been fairly depressed when she wrote it. The plot wasn't very hard to suss out, and the encounter at the end seemed inevitable (and the wait for it, interminable). Cornwell seems to confuse detail with both plot and characterization. I'm puzzled that the series is so popular and that I keep reading them! ( )
  CandaceVan | Apr 16, 2013 |
My friend periodically gives me bags full of books she's read and I found this one in the last batch. It's been ages since I've read a Cornwell/Dr. Scarpetta book, just long enough for me to miss them and really enjoy this one.

The mystery in this case begins with a decomposing body found in a cargo container that docks in Richmond. The murderer's trail will lead Scarpetta and Marino to France and back again and will be very difficult to solve. Meanwhile, it has been one year since her FBI lover Benton's death and she has kept herself too busy to grieve, but suddenly a final goodbye letter from him is delivered to her, and she is forced to face up to her grief.

In another storyline, her niece Lucy hasn't found a way to grieve Benton's death either and is courting danger as she usually turns to violence to solve problems. And if that weren't enough, a sexy-looking cop with connections is taking over the police department and threatening to take over the medical examiner's office as well. Her name is Bray, and she's determined to get rid of both Marino and Scarpetta. You can imagine, if you're familiar with the character, how Marino reacts to this.

Finally, is there a new love interest for Scarpetta? Stay tuned. I had almost forgotten how caught up in this series I can get. I'm back on the Cornwell bandwagon again. ( )
  bjmitch | Aug 23, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cornwell, PatriciaAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jukarainen, ErkkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
(Revelation 16:4)
To Nina Salter
Water and Works
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My Dearest Kay, I am sitting on the porch, staring out at Lake Michigan as a sharp wind reminds me I need to cut my hair.
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Book description
Patricia Cornwell delivers a high-stakes Kay Scarpetta novel with an intrigue that will take Kay an ocean's length from home. The nightmare begins when a cargo ship arriving from Belgium at Richmond's Deep Water Terminal is discovered to be transporting a locked, sealed container holding the decomposed remains of a stowaway.
The autopsy performed by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta initially reveals neither a cause of death nor an identification. But the victim's personal effects and an odd tattoo take Scarpetta on a hunt for information that leads to Interpol's headquarters in Lyon, France, where she receives critical instructions: Go to the Paris morgue to receive secret evidence and then return to Virginia to carry out a mission. It is a mission that could ruin her career.
In a story that careens across international borders, Black Notice puts Dr. Kay Scarpetta directly in harm's way and places her and those she holds dear at mortal risk.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425175405, Mass Market Paperback)

It's Christmastime in Richmond, Virginia, but no one seems merry--least of all Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, back for her 10th outing as a crime-solving coroner. Actress Kate Reading also returns, reading her third unabridged audio for Patricia Cornwell's death-drenched series. This one finds Scarpetta still recovering from the murder of her lover and in a generally foul mood as an investigation of a badly decomposed body leads her to INTERPOL, and eventually, Paris. Series regulars Police Detective Pete Marino, recently demoted, and niece Lucy are in equally cantankerous states of mind, resulting in more blue language than Cornwell regulars may be used to. Reading proves she's up to the task, maintaining multiple distinct voices and highlighting the occasional humor in the overwhelmingly dark novel. A London-based stage actress, she captivates the listener without careening into melodrama. (Running time: 12.5 hours, 8 cassettes) --Kimberly Heinrichs

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:04 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta of Richmond, Virginia, investigates a body found in a ship's container from Europe. A tattoo on the body sends her flying to Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, where she learns of a killer known as The Werewolf.… (more)

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Average: (3.41)
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