The twists and turns of this murder mystery follows Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Virginia Chief Medical Examiner, in Cruel and Unusual, written by Patricia Cornwell, which has Kay finding fingerprints at homicide scenes that link to a convicted rapist and serial killer, Ronnie Waddel,  who was put to death by the electric chair mere days after the fingerprints were found.

The first of three murders link back to the case that got Waddel the death penalty, the day after Waddel is put to death. It’s a mirror image of the first death, and even has Waddel’s finger prints near the body.

As Kay get’s deeper and deeper into the mystery looking for answers, she quickly realizes that this case leads back to her and her coworkers. Not only do these cases seem unseemly linked to each other, it becomes apparent that even her own staff is going against her when it has to do with this unrelated deaths.

When Kay, along with her colleagues and friends, finally get to the bottom of who exactly caused the deaths and who orchestrated the events: the killer isn’t actually caught. Though, the ring leader is dealt with, the end of the book leaves Kay with a new job offer and the realization that she will have to look over her shoulder in case the killer comes after her as he had gone after anyone else who threatened his freedom.

From what I got from the book while reading it: it is apart of a series. Kay’s past, including the death of her lover and previous cases, are spoke about in ways that I’ve read in previous series. Though, this book happened to fall into my lap. I believe I will look into finding more books by Cornwell, because I enjoyed this one. Kay is a relateable character, and her story is one that’s worth reading.

 

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