Chaos - Patricia Cornwell


By Patricia Cornwell

  • Release Date: 2016-11-15
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 835 Ratings


“When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell.”

—New York Times Book Review



From the Ancient Greek (χάος or kháos)

A vast chasm or void. Anarchy. The science of unpredictability.

On a late summer evening in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her investigative partner, Pete Marino, respond to a call about a dead bicyclist near the Kennedy School of Government. It appears that a young woman has been attacked with almost superhuman force.

Even before Scarpetta’s headquarters has been officially notified about the case, Marino and Scarpetta’s FBI agent husband, Benton Wesley, receive suspicious calls, allegedly from someone at Interpol. But it makes no sense. Why would the elite international police agency know about the case or be interested? It soon becomes apparent that an onslaught of harassment might be the work of an anonymous cyberbully named Tailend Charlie, who has been sending cryptic communications to Scarpetta for over a week.

Even Lucy, her brilliant tech-savvy niece, can’t trace who it is or how this person could have access to intimate information. When a second death shocks Scarpetta to her core, it becomes apparent she and those close to her are confronted with something far bigger and more dangerous than they’d ever imagined.


  • Too wordy

    By Gstrick3
    Lost interest…
  • Read!

    By Lala Karla
    Really good one!
  • Worst Scarpetta book ever!

    By Esy Ray
    Save your money and don’t buy this book. The story line drags on forever and the plot line is weak. 500 pages into this book I almost stopped reading it because I was so bored.
  • Kind of a bore

    By I uLvr
    I usually love the Scarpetta series books. This one was almost boring, too descriptive of things that just didn’t matter. It seemed like a long way to go to get to the heart of the matter, DNA
  • Chaos

    By Aliceinyogaland
    I usually really enjoy Patricia Cornwall, but I feel like she phoned this one in. Disappointed.
  • Chaos

    By mollie1944
    It was good
  • Chaos

    By Say-Say Jane
    Took me a while to get through it , because I kept nodding off. No action.
  • Awful

    By LiVvY4301
    So boring. Gave up at page 147. Waste of time and money. Tedious, boring, no plot, goes on forever about the smallest thing and drags it out for pages. Never again.
  • Chaos (or... the lack thereof)

    By Negativenowhere
    As a longtime fan, I'm very sad to say that this was the worst novel in the Scarpetta series to date. After several books worth of buildup to bring back the old arch-nemesis Carrie, I was intrigued. Then this book drags along with a few hundred pages of predictable and disconnected events, with the majority of the actual plot and action literally taking place elsewhere - only to finish out the dramatic climax in just a few rushed pages, almost like an afterthought. Even the final "big plot twist" at the very end wasn't all that surprising. Lucy barely even makes an appearance throughout the entire book, which I found rather lame since this story is apparently the big finale to Carrie's "return from the dead". I've read quite a few very negative reviews of the past several Scarpetta novels, yet even when Cornwell made the regrettable switch from first person to third person narration awhile back, I still stuck around and gave her a chance. I was thrilled when she switched back to first person, and even though some of the the books that followed didn't quite measure up to her original style, there was at least a somewhat interesting and fairly suspenseful storyline. This is was the first Scarpetta book where I actually put it down several times to go do something else... not because I was busy or had to get some sleep, but because I was actually bored with the story! Hopefully next time around Cornwell will devote the time needed to develop a great story instead of rushing to publish a new book every year. She would do well to remember that quality is far more important than quantity.
  • Very Disappointing

    By Jason's Amy
    This book felt rushed, as if she put it out just for the sake of selling another Scarpetta book. I usually love these books, and this one centered around a single day with no character development or suspense. The final takedown of Carrie Gretchen was written in 3 pages. This is the first time I ever felt cheated by a story.