Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell
(A Scarpetta Novel)


9 Critic Reviews

Cornwell at her worst, Cornwell at her best, but mainly Cornwell at her most.


With high-tension suspense and cutting-edge technology, Patricia Cornwell—the world’s #1 bestselling crime writer—once again proves her exceptional ability to entertain and enthrall in this remarkable novel featuring chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

On her quest to find out exactly what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, murdered six months before, Scarpetta drives to the Georgia Prison for Women to meet a convicted sex offender and the mother of a vicious and diabolically brilliant killer. Against the advice of her FBI criminal intelligence agent husband, Benton Wesley, Scarpetta is determined to hear this woman out.

Scarpetta has both personal and professional reasons to learn more about a string of grisly killings: the murder of a Savannah family years earlier, a young woman on death row, and then other inexplicable deaths that begin to occur at a breathtaking pace. Driven by inner forces, Scarpetta discovers connections that compel her to conclude that what she thought ended with Fielding’s death and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning of something far more destructive: a terrifying terrain of conspiracy and potential terrorism on an international scale.

And she is the only one who can stop it.

About Patricia Cornwell

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Patricia Cornwell is one of the world’s major internationally bestselling authors, translated into over thirty-five languages in more than 120 countries. She is a founder of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Sciences and Medicine; a founding member of the National Forensic Academy; a member of the Advisory Board for the Forensic Sciences Training Program at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, New York City; and a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital’s National Council, where she is an advocate for psychiatric research. In 2008, Cornwell won the Galaxy British Book Awards’ Book Direct Crime Thriller of the Year—the first American to win this prestigious award. In 2011, she was awarded the medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. Her most recent bestsellers include Port Mortuary, The Scarpetta Factor, The Front, and Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper—Case Closed. Her earlier works include Postmortem—the only novel to win five major crime awards in a single year—and Cruel and Unusual, which won Britain’s Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of 1993. Dr. Kay Scarpetta herself won the 1999 Sherlock Award for the best detective created by an American author.
Published December 6, 2011 by Berkley. 540 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Crime. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Dec 25 2011
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Red Mist
All: 9 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 1


Dec 01 2011

Cornwell at her worst, Cornwell at her best, but mainly Cornwell at her most.

Read Full Review of Red Mist (A Scarpetta Novel) | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Nov 14 2011

Cornwell overloads the plot, but Scarpetta’s tangled emotional state and her top-notch forensic knowledge more than compensate.

Read Full Review of Red Mist (A Scarpetta Novel) | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly


Reviewed by John Valeri on Jan 03 2012

...while forensics is still very much an integral part to the proceedings, it’s the emotional dynamics that give the book its true heft.

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Book Reporter

Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum on Dec 15 2011

The book’s mystery content is suspenseful and thrilling. Fans of Patricia Cornwell will find that, like her character, she has been evolving as a writer. And the proof can be found on every page of RED MIST.

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New Zealand Woman's Weekly


Her books are meticulously researched and jam-packed with scientific detail. While fans of contemporary crime capers will appreciate the forensic nitty-gritty

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After Ellen

Reviewed by Heather Aimee O'Neill on Dec 23 2011

Red Mist is packed with intrigue and suspense. A compelling and impressive addition to this popular series.

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Reviewed by Elise Cooper on Jan 04 2012

There is a lot of detective work, connection of dots, and mystery involved in this novel...Overall this was an interesting book with intrigue and suspense.

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The Brazen Bookworm

Below average
Reviewed by Sarah on Dec 12 2011

The mystery was kind of all over the place – part psychological thriller, part cold crime case, part personal vendetta, part potential mass murder – and the book as a whole felt disjointed.

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The Bulletin

Reviewed by Alyssa Welke on Feb 12 2012

It is twists that make Cornwell a master in this genre - just when you think you have it all figured out she throws a curveball that blows your mind.

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