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Extended Audio Sample The Last Precinct Audiobook, by Patricia Cornwell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (16,867 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patricia Cornwell Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Kay Scarpetta Series Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9780062376190
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In the eleventh Scarpetta novel, chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta is under a grand jury investigation for murder.

Physically and psychologically bruised by her encounter with the killer Chandonne, Dr. Kay Scarpetta must leave her home in the hands of the police team investigating the attack. She finds shelter with an old friend, Anna Zenner, but it is not the haven of security she needs when she discovers that Anna has been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury investigating Kay for murder. She knows she is being framed, and she knows she can’t trust anyone.

Meanwhile, it appears that Chandonne killed a woman in New York before his murderous spree in Virginia. But when Scarpetta looks more closely into the case with New York prosecutor Jaime Berger, proof of his guilt is far from certain—in fact she begins to believe that he may not be the perpetrator of any of the crimes he is accused of. As she follows the forensic trail to the real killer, she gradually realizes that someone has been spinning a web for years with the aim of entrapping her. Who is it, and why are they so desperate to be rid of her?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ignites on the first page…Cornwell twists escalating violence, unrelenting tension, and growing paranoia into a thick rope of horror and unfolding conspiracy. No one depicts the human capability for evil better than she…Cornwell has created a character so real, so compelling, so driven that this reader has to remind herself regularly that Scarpetta is just a product of an author’s imagination.”

    USA Today

  • “Plots within plots, fraught atmosphere, and unrelenting suspense keep readers on tenterhooks while one trap after another springs under unwary feet. Cunningly designed, ingeniously laid out, composed with Cornwellian skill, this far-from-the-last precinct is a model of the art.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “The most unexpected of the Kay Scarpetta novels so far…The Last Precinct unfolds deliberately, keeping you in the dark along with Scarpetta so that when the revelations dawn, you’re almost reeling, too. The overwhelming feeling, though, is that Cornwell has the series on the verge of spinning off in a thrilling new direction. The Last Precinct may just be a terrific first step toward something even more exhilarating.”

    Miami Herald

  • “One of Ms. Cornwell’s better novels…There are surprises and unexpected plot twists…A page-turner that will engage, surprise, and engross readers to the final page.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 2/16/2014

    " Now we know how Benton died and why Lucy's new company is called "The Last Precinct". There are lots of twist and turns in this story. I'm not sure how much sleep Kay Scarpetta gets at night. She is constantly on the go! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 2/14/2014

    " ..a tightly woven plot with a multitude of twists and turns..all of which get resolved... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 2/14/2014

    " I probably would have appreciated this read more had I read Black Notice first, as the story is continued from there and makes frequent reference to the first book. It is, still, a good solid read, and the bad guy, the Werewolf, sounds like the first book will be a great read also. Looking forward to tracking it down! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ilana | 2/12/2014

    " Patricia Cornwell just 150% redeemed herself. This was her best book so far, and I've already started the next one and am hooked. She wrote this in first person present tense, as opposed to first person past tense, which threw me a bit but really worked with the story line of this book. It was a better view into Dr. Scarpetta's mind, and now I feel kind of bad for calling her whiny...though overall I'd say she could still stand to not obsess so much. Rock on, Cornwell! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carolyn | 2/1/2014

    " Way too much recap of previous book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chuck Sheppard | 1/25/2014

    " It seems like the author is creating a trilogy in the middle of a series. It's wonderfully crafted and hopefully the next book brings the stunning conclusion "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 M.E.G. | 1/22/2014

    " Audio booked this on a road trip. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cyndi | 1/18/2014

    " As usual, hard to put down. The twists and turns keep you thinking. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joanie | 1/16/2014

    " I really had to force myself through a lot of this book. I found it much less interesting than the other Scarpetta books, even the ones that weren't that good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexa | 1/6/2014

    " I agree with some other reviews that it isn't as good as the beginning on the series was- mostly because the characters are becoming so angry and bitter but I still enjoyed it and am ready for the next one. With hope, some of the story lines that twisted together a bit strangely will be resolved. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chrisb | 12/31/2013

    " Good page turner / whodunnit though I had it figured out early. Sucked it down in a couple of sittings. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 12/13/2013

    " Kay is part of an investigation accused of murdering new police chief. Marino was suspended by this chief. Lucy has left the FBI and works for AFT. Story revolves around a family in Paris and "werewolf" killer. The story doesn't really end- werewolf killer continues into the next book in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Glenda Keating | 12/5/2013

    " I found this a bit slow- like all of the Kay Scarpetta stories. But there is great attention to detail as always from the author Patricia Cornwell. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ayelet | 10/25/2013

    " It's a little weird to read these books when I know what comes later in the series... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erik | 10/25/2013

    " Seemed to wrap up a few loose ends from the last book or two in the Kay Scarpetta series. Enjoyable plot, but the swearing, general bitterness, and focus on sex lives appears to be growing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly | 10/7/2013

    " This was very good but had a different character in it, I almost felt sorry for, almost. The whole book had a unique ring to it...not sure what was going on in Cornwell's mind at the time, but the story is engrossing and bizarre. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 9/26/2013

    " Dr. Kay Scarpetta is back in my world! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 9/10/2013

    " so far so good, a little bit plodding at the start. i'm new to Patricia Cornwell and may not remain a fan. i far prefer Kathy Reichs. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annette Meier | 4/13/2013

    " Scared the daylights out of me at times! Excellent, dark mystery "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nat | 1/10/2013

    " Its a bit slow to get into, but once you are absorbed into the book, its amazing!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kalyn | 12/19/2012

    " I really liked this book. I like how it tied up a lot of loose ends and leaves Kay open to pursue a different path. However, I feel like maybe Cornwell initially intended to leave the series here and I am kind of puzzled as to why it continues. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol Waters | 9/30/2012

    " There was no reason to call the Grand Jury. Cops don't do that to each other. The crime story was tighter than some of her recent stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandra | 8/25/2012

    " #11 Scarpetta finds herself the target of a corrupt police investigation. sifts through the forensic evidence that seems to link Chandonne to other horrific events in her past "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Clark-cook | 8/15/2012

    " Good read, as usual, she keeps her lead characters growing, yet with still some depths to be plummed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meghana | 6/19/2012

    " Deals with gory murders in such a factual way that it doesn't seem vulgar or insensitive at all! To add elements of emotions to such a well-laid out plot is pretty laudable. Worth a read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vicki | 2/6/2012

    " Its very good if you like a good murder mystery "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gillian Wyckoff | 12/11/2011

    " This is where it all went downhill for me.. I loved them all until this one. I just could NOT get through it. The characters 'turned' on me, and I haven't found a Scarpetta book since that has held my attention, and that I've read cover-to-cover since. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nat | 5/17/2011

    " Its a bit slow to get into, but once you are absorbed into the book, its amazing!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeanne | 4/27/2011

    " This was the best one of her books, I think. I am to the point where it is time to start reading her stories again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 4/24/2011

    " Definitely one of my favourite Scarpetta thrillers so far. Although not so much death and action as some of the others in the series, there is a lot of detail into the characters themselves and it is very well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 3/14/2011

    " This was my first Patricia Cornwell book & I have since read all of them. The series is starting to seem different with the last few books, but I highly recommend her earlier books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 2/14/2011

    " A Kay Scarpetta novel. A very good read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thenerdmom | 12/31/2010

    " I read all the books in the Scarpetta series. I really like the characters and the mysteries. There is nothing earth-shattering about the writing or the concept, but they are fun and entertaining books and easy to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jane | 11/3/2010

    " I found this book difficult to get into. Cornwell wrote all previous Scarpetta books in the first person, yet this one was written in the third person and it takes some getting used to when you have read the series from the start. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rona | 10/7/2010

    " A bit too pat for my tastes, rather predictable, and poorly written ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 9/30/2010

    " Cornwell just gets better and better as Kay Scarpetta goes on with her life. These are becoming "can't put down" books for me. Alas, all too soon, I'll be finished with this series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Savage | 9/25/2010

    " Nice turn of phrase now and then. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cupcakencorset | 9/21/2010

    " The weakest Scarpetta novel so far in the series. The heavy psychoanalytic aspect of the plot is murky and slow. The bitter tone is difficult to warm up to. The staccato narrative style doesn't flow. If not for its overall interesting plot, the book would have been a 1 out of 5. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 9/15/2010

    " It's a Kay Scarpetta book. You know what you're getting into before you start reading it. If you like this style of book, it's an okay example. Nothing super special here, but worthy of the genre/series. "

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About the Author
Author Patricia Cornwell

Patricia Cornwell sold her first novel, Postmortem, while working as a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. It is the only novel to win five major crime awards in a single year. She has since gone on to become a #1 New York Times bestselling author, with some of her more recent bestsellers including The Bone Bed, Red Mist, Port Mortuary, and Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper—Case Closed. To date, Cornwell’s books have sold more than 100 million copies in thirty-six languages in over 120 countries. Her character Dr. Kay Scarpetta won the 1999 Sherlock Award for the best detective created by an American author. When not writing from her home in Boston, Cornwell tirelessly researches cutting-edge forensic technologies to include in her work.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received thirty Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.