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From Potter-s Field
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Product Description

Upon examining a dead woman found in snowbound Central Park, Kay Scarpetta immediately recognizes the grisly work of Temple Gault, a bold and brilliant killer from her past. Now she must hunt down a psychopath whose string of horrible murders is leading inexorably to his ultimate prey: Scarpetta herself. Even with the help of the FBI, Scarpetta knows the endgame is hers alone to play -- and it will be played on Gault's home turf, the subway tunnels beneath New York City.

Upon examining a dead woman found in snowbound Central Park, Kay Scarpetta immediately recognizes the grisly work of Temple Gault, a bold and brilliant killer from her past. Now she must hunt down a psychopath whose string of horrible murders is leading inexorably to his ultimate prey: Scarpetta herself. Even with the help of the FBI, Scarpetta knows the endgame is hers alone to play -- and it will be played on Gault's home turf, the subway tunnels beneath New York City.

Customer Reviews:

  • Couldn't put it down
    This was my first Cornwall book and I found it compelling in its descriptions and plot. She creates suspense that makes you want to finish the book in one sitting. I can't wait to read her previously published books....more info
  • Cornwell can do better, and I know it!
    I've been an ardent Patricia Cornwell fan, since I read the first of her books, Post Mortem, about two summers ago. Since then, I've been trying to get my hands on her books, in the order that she wrote them, so as to follow the character building that she's done for the Chief Medical Examiner of VA, Key Scarpetta, and her entourage including Det. Marino, Agent Wesley, and her niece Lucy.

    However, this book left a bad after-taste in my mouth. The story moves at a very fast pace, but then that's about the only thing that is good about this book. Rest everything is about average. Sadly, Cornwell tries to inculcate fear of Gault in the reader's mind, but nothing much seems to happen to Scarpetta anyway, despite her working in what could very well be the least secure government offices in the world! Just about anyone can break in, at anytime, anyone can make anything disappear, anyone can crack any security protocol and encrypted passwords - one seems to wonder how's the place still standing!

    It reminded me of those spoof teenage horror movies, where the favourite quip is "don't open that door...", or "someone was lurking in the shadows, and I was alone...". This book has one-too-many of such circumstances, and I for one found my interest wavering on each of those ocassions.

    Forensics is the reason I took to reading her, but this book largely lacks in Forensic Science / Investigation. No foreign material, no strange residue, no inexplicable wound mark... nothing to intrigue the reader.

    The climax is high-tech, but again a little lost on me.

    P.S.: I'm still wondering WTH does it have to do with Potter's Field?

    An average read: 2.5 / 5...more info
  • From Potter's field, buried with no name
    Christmas is always a notoriously bad time for Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia and consulting forensic pathologist for the FBI. When Temple Gault, a cunning serial killer whose killing spree began in Richmond several years earlier, resurfaces in New York with the murder of a female transient left in frozen Central Park, Scarpetta jumps head first into the investigation. The identity of the homeless woman becomes top priority, and when it is discovered who she is, the investigation is spun into a radical new direction. Meanwhile, Gault has set his sights on Scarpetta herself...leading to one final, terrifying encounter in the fetid tunnels below the city.
    A fascinating book with wonderful characterization, grisly accuracy and a high-voltage, suspensful ending. The Scarpetta series is the best! When it comes to crime fiction, no one does it better than Cornwell....more info
  • Cornwell can do better, and I know it!
    I've been an ardent Patricia Cornwell fan, since I read the first of her books, Post Mortem, about two summers ago. Since then, I've been trying to get my hands on her books, in the order that she wrote them, so as to follow the character building that she's done for the Chief Medical Examiner of VA, Key Scarpetta, and her entourage including Det. Marino, Agent Wesley, and her niece Lucy.

    However, this book left a bad after-taste in my mouth. The story moves at a very fast pace, but then that's about the only thing that is good about this book. Rest everything is about average. Sadly, Cornwell tries to inculcate fear of Gault in the reader's mind, but nothing much seems to happen to Scarpetta anyway, despite her working in what could very well be the least secure government offices in the world! Just about anyone can break in, at anytime, anyone can make anything disappear, anyone can crack any security protocol and encrypted passwords - one seems to wonder how's the place still standing!

    It reminded me of those spoof teenage horror movies, where the favourite quip is "don't open that door...", or "someone was lurking in the shadows, and I was alone...". This book has one-too-many of such circumstances, and I for one found my interest wavering on each of those ocassions.

    Forensics is the reason I took to reading her, but this book largely lacks in Forensic Science / Investigation. No foreign material, no strange residue, no inexplicable wound mark... nothing to intrigue the reader.

    The climax is high-tech, but again a little lost on me.

    P.S.: I'm still wondering WTH does it have to do with Potter's Field?

    An average read: 2.5 / 5...more info
  • A Pleaser
    Cornwell continues to keep me gripped into her novels and this one is no exception...Although the ending is a bit of a shock....more info
  • Do we Finally See the End of Temple Gault?
    I read a lot of the reveiws, and I don't agree with quite a few of them. I thought this book was pretty good, and exciting. Yes, the plot is a little thinner than previous books, and yes Kay does wear on one after a time, but the forensics are awesome, and the suspense keeps on and on. I do have to admit that I do tire of Lucy somewhat. To me the books would be better without that added character. In this book Kay, Marino and Wesley are on the trail of the infamous Temple Gault (Kay's long time nemesis). The story is set around the week from Christmas Eve to New Year's Eve, but a lot happens in that short time. We see Kay, Marino and Wesley panicking as they try to nail down what seems to be the most notorious serial killer in the country at that time. Pretty good stuff!...more info
  • Gault is Back
    A Christmas Eve murder in New York bears a haunting resemblance to the work of Tempe Gault (The Body Farm) and the NYPD calls in Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Virginia and a consultant to the FBI. Of course, the Xmas Eve murder is just the beginning of Gault's spree and hard as Scarpetta and her associates try, Gault remains just a step ahead of them. Kay, tenacious as she is, does some investigating on her own and naturally finds clues that lead her to Gault.

    I was on the edge of me seat with this five star thriller. PC just keeps getting better and better. By now I know everybody in Scarpetta's world, but somehow her characters continue to surprise.

    Reviewed by Vesta Irene...more info
  • Hey! Wait a minute!
    I really enjoyed this story and the writing very much -- until I got to the end. The events that bring us to the climax are intriguing and shocking (and grisly, as a warning to anyone not familiar with Cornwell). The interpersonal relationships among the "good guys" -- Kay, Benton, Marino, Janet and Lucy -- added texture and enhanced the suspense. And I enjoyed moving from Virginia to New York to Hilton Head with Kay. BUT this ending! So much action brings us to a very unsatisfying climax. Throughout the book, we hear at least two characters muse as to why the villain behaves as he does. This made me want to hear a definitive answer. And we never get it. The book ends so abruptly, you would think Ms. Cornwell simply ran out of paper....more info
  • From Potter's Field by Patricia Cornwell.
    This was a very good book with excellent descriptions. It's a real page turner and keeps you wondering what's going to happen next. The best parts are at the very beggining and the end....more info
  • Potter's Field
    I loved this book. I had read several of Patricia Cornwall's books and have enjoyed them all. She has a way of making you see what you are reading. The surprise eliment of someone doing such an evil thing to, not only his sister, but his twin sister, gives this book an interesting twist.

    I loved this book....more info
  • Scarpetta rocks!
    I love the Kay Scarpetta series, that's how I got hooked on the whole forensics stuff! Patricia Cornwell is an excellent author!...more info
  • Terrific again!! Keep them coming!!
    I've read all of the Kay Scarpetta books up to this one and I was so glad the villian was foiled!! I love these books!! I recommend them to anyone enjoying mystery series books!...more info
  • Wow!
    Ater reading Cruel and Unusual, this book definitley lived up to my expectations! Loved it!...more info
  • The Life of the Chief Medical Examiner?
    I am currently taking a murder mystery class at my college. I have not read many murder mysteries before this class. We have read a variety of novels for this class, with the most number of novels by one author being three. The one Patricia Cornwell novel our class read is "From Potter's Field." I very much enjoyed this novel, though I think it should be considered a thriller instead of a murder mystery. The novel also had some hard to believe aspects about it, which were difficult for the members of my class to look beyond.

    Why should this novel be labeled a thriller and not a murder mystery? Well, the reader clearly knows who the murder is. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Chief Medical Examiner, has the feeling the murderer is her "nemesis," Temple Gault with plenty of reason. The only mysteries are for her to prove Gault is the murder, identify the first body of the girl, "Jane" and of course to find Gault, before he finds her. A thriller is also more appropriate because it had several moments that were extremely suspenseful, the kind that makes the hairs on your neck stand up. There is a section of the novel where there is a murder in Kay's office building and she believes the killer is still in the building. As she walks around the building, you expect Gault to jump out at any moment. There is also another section in which a trap is set for Gault in NYC's subway system. Not knowing whether or not he'll show up had me on the edge of my proverbial seat.

    As much as I liked this novel, there were several things that irked me about it. A Chief Medical Examiner seems more like an office, administrative position than a really, REALLY hands on job. Kay almost takes on the role of a detective. I could almost believe her occasional tasks of doing autopsies, but to travel to see a suspect's family seems over the top. Cornwell tried to combine too many types of people into just one character. Kay is the Chief Medical Examiner, technician, administrator, loving aunt and family member (sister and daughter), mistress, detective, seemingly EVERYONE'S friend, CIA/FBI associate, and still has time to be the nemesis of a serial killer. How the woman has time to eat is beyond me. Cornwell also did not take the time to really develop Kay as a character. It is far more difficult for a writer to show you what someone is like opposed to telling you information. Cornwell clearly is a teller, hence the really wordy and winded sections of the novel. This writing style is not as affective in writing a believable novel.

    I did find a unique aspect of the novel for me, personally. I'm from NYC and grew up there. I really could visualize the sections of the novel that described Central Park, the Museum of Natural History and the subway area at the end. It just added a realistic element to the novel that initially bought my interest in it.

    Overall, the novel's plot flowed for me, even with the occasional extremely unrealistic sections and poor writing. The ending was a big let down for me, but decide for yourself. If you're looking for a thriller with entertaining potential, give this Cornwell novel a try....more info

  • Gripping from start to finish
    I am currently set to read the next Kay Scarpetta novel, "Cause of Death" and I can't wait. After reading the previous novels and enjoying them, I must say that "From Potter's Field" ranks among three of my favourite Scarpetta novels along with "Body of Evidence" and "The Body Farm". As with every novel in the series, Patricia Cornwell's writing is crisp and entertaining, even if the ending of this book is quite silly. If you want an entertaining, gripping read, try "From Potter's Field" and every novel in the Kay Scarpetta series....more info
  • Good from start to Finish!
    Cornwell's writing is sharpe in this book. You have Temple Gaunt still on the loose and he just likes to kill for the thrill of it. It seems like he is focusing on Kay and her niece Lucy. Cornwell's books are a master-piece in my mind. It is amazing how she writes all these great book's. I don't think I would want to do her homework that she does while writing her book's...more info
  • The Manhattan Sanction
    This 1996 book starts on a cold and snowy Christmas Eve; Santa Claus is handing out presents on an urban reservation. Suddenly there is a shooting, and a night forever silent for an intruder. ME Scarpetta has another customer for the morgue. Afterwards they learn that a serial killer has struck again in New York. Scarpetta and Captain Marino are then summoned from Richmond to work with the FBI.

    This book gets up to speed in the first pages, unlike a Hammett or Chandler. The author also tells more of the personal life of the fictional heroine, and her faults. Times have changed.

    A known serial killer is operating in NYC, and is stalking the police who are searching for him! Quite a change from the usual story. [Is this believable?] The computer used to track killings has a virus in it; this mirrors the real-life serial killer. Scarpetta's niece is involved with this computer system, and is searching for the virus. [Could someone just out of college be hired for this seemingly important job?] The serial killer then plays games in the morgue!

    Scarpetta locates the serial killer's parents, and learns how they wire money to one location. A trap is set but the serial killer at first eludes it. But in the last pages the killer is found and eliminated. The book moves as fast as an action movie....more info

  • The Definition of a Thriller!
    In FROM POTTERS FIELD, Temple Gault is back and he's at his worst (which is great news for the reader!). This psychopath is Kay Scarpetta's nemesis and New York is his home turf, which puts her at a definite disadvantage. Gault leaves special clues knowing Scarpetta will know it's his calling card and lure her closer to his trap for her. She knows she's in his web and he's drawing her ever closer but she is not able to stay away, for doing so would keep him free to increase his fatality rate.

    This has to be my favorite Patricia Cornwell book. I loved the game of cat and mouse that Gault plays with Scarpetta. I loved the way Scarpetta plays the game determined to win no matter what Gault tries to throw at her. And I especially loved the gift of the scalpel and the chase through the subway tunnels all over New York City (I can't say anymore without giving away too much!).

    This book is constant action with no slowing down so the reader can catch his/her breath. It's almost as if the same cat and mouse game being played between Scarpetta and Gault is being copied between Cornwell and the reader. I found myself "reading just one more chapter" so I could figure it all out and Cornwell keeping those answers just a few pages out of my reach. Oh sure, she'd dangle a carrot to tease me, a little morsel to keep me going, but kept me chasing the answers until the end!

    If you want a book that will help you relax before you go to bed or a book that will leave you with a feeling that all is wonderful in the world, pick up a book of poetry because this is definitely not the book for you. If you don't mind losing some sleep and want to be catapulted on a journey that is unforgettable, then pick up a copy of FROM POTTERS FIELD today! This story is the definition of a "thriller". Definitely a "stop light book" in my opinion. (If you would like know what I mean by a stop light book, please see my review on Ugly Duckling by Iris Johansen.)
    ...more info
  • Entertaining, but one major quibble.
    I listened to the tape version, which is pretty good for getting you to the beach, etc. There is a strong narrative drive that carries you along. However, having the text read to you highlights some of the lack of "tightness" that good editing could have fixed. Also, please don't TELL us that Gault is the worst murderer of the century, SHOW us. Prove it! My personal quibble is that when our heroine is talking with a woman's father and he asks if his daughter is dead, Kay answers with a flat yes, when at most she's got a hunch as to the identity of the dead woman. This is inconceivable for a forensic pathologist whose specialty is not only what she knows, but what she can prove. I'd probably listen to another Scarpetta book on tape, if I got it from the library....more info
  • Excellent Read!
    Patricia Cornwell does it again! This is my third Kay Scarpetta novel and I loved it as much as the first. Ms. Cornwell has the unusual talent of getting the reader hooked from the very beginning. I flew through this book because the storyline was very fast-paced and exciting. Can't wait to read the next in the series!...more info
  • Mixed Feelings
    Like the reviewer from Nova Scotia, this was my first Patricia Cornwell novel. I found myself liking the characters, especially Kay Scarpetta, and the plot's good, as is the writing. But I felt that it was a bit like arriving half way through a party. Everyone seemed to know each other and I had a bit of catching up to do (since it was my first time). It was also quite detailed, and I found myself looking back to pick things up. Perhaps I didn't read it quickly enough. But on the other hand that might have been because it wasn't quite as absorbing as it might have been.

    I'll try another Cornwell book in a few weeks and see how I feel....more info

  • Chilling
    This is my favorite Cornwell story and it will leave you a little spooked. This was my first exposure to Patricia Cornwell which lead me to many of her other books. Temple Gault is an exceptional villain and the development of his character leaves you know how he looks, feels but no always what he may be thinking. Chillingly effective! Well worth reading....more info
  • this book is great
    I really enjoy Patricia Cornwells books and this is no exception.Even though it deals with a character previously written about it does not stop you from understanding.I really like the descriptive nature of her books even though I don`t know some of the terms I enjoy learning about them.The book is compelling and fastmoving even if it is sometimes gory. It is unputdownable and the concepts within it are believable.An excellent and exciting read....more info
  • Thanks
    Received very quickly, only a few days after purchase. Book is in excellent condition as promised. Thank you very much....more info
  • Cornwell's Books are a MUST Read!
    This book, along with all others of Patricia Cornwell's, was wonderful. She is my absolute favorite author. Her plots are always very tense and cause me to want to stay up all night to finish the book. Ms. Cornwell will be anyone's favorite who loves the subject of forensic pathology and mystery all-in-one. I definitely recommend Ms. Cornwell's books...they are ALL a MUST read....more info
  • Disappointing - Not Up to Other Books in This Series
    Let me preface this review by saying I am a fan of Patricia Cornwell and her Scarpetta series. This book, however, is not up to the other books in this series and I was disappointed.

    This mystery features the same cast of characters as the other Scarpetta mysteries. However, the crazy sadist, Gault, appears to be a caricature of a person. There's one formulaic clue after another and it becomes unbelievable. The protagonist, Kay Scarpetta, is shop-worn and new characters are introduced but never developed. Marino, the politically incorrect, chain-smoking cop is the most real and endearing character in the book.

    Supposedly a mystery, this book drops clues from the sky, more in line with a fantasy....more info
  • Predictable but Good
    Most of the story you could have guessed at and unless you were deaf, dumb and blind you were not really shocked as to how the story ended.
    Still not a bad little book. I would recommend it. I still like Dr. Kay even after all this time.
    ...more info