Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta has her hands full once again in CAUSE OF DEATH, mega-selling author Patricia Cornwell's latest thriller. CAUSE OF DEATH continues Ms. Cornwell's unbroken string of hugely successful, high voltage thrillers guaranteed to keep you enthralled.

While filling in for an absent doctor, Kay is awakened by a call from a man claiming to be from the police, informing her of a death by drowning in an inactive Naval Ship Yard. As Kay soon discovers, nothing is as it first appears. Not only was her late night caller not with the police, the drowning victim was actually poisoned. It also turns out that Kay knew the victim, Ted Eddings, an award-winning investigative reporter. What was Ted looking for among the old retired ships? Kay receives little help and even encounters threatening interference from local Chesapeake Police Detective Roche.

Quantico Police Captain Pete Marino senses big trouble when he finds evidence that Ted was somehow mixed up with the dangerous Neo fascist hate group, the New Zionists. Kay's FBI Agent/computer genius niece Lucy also gets involved in trying to discover what Ted knew that got him killed.

Death strikes way too close to home when Danny Webster, one of Kay's employees, is murdered while driving her car. Were the killers after Danny; or was Kay their target? Events take an even more ominous turn when radioactive particles are found at the murder scene and in Kay's car. The deeper Kay digs, the more dangerous it becomes. If she is not careful, this could become her last case.

(July, 352 pp., $25.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith