Book Review: Chaos by Patricia Cornwell

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Chaos (Kay Scarpetta, #24)Chaos by Patricia Cornwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chaos is the 24th book in the ‘Kay Scarpetta’ thriller and suspense series focusing on a medical examiner’s investigations. It is currently the last book Patricia Cornwell has written in this series as of 2016 as well as serves as the third issue in an arc about serial killer Carrie Grethen.

The novel is a slower read than usual. We spend a lot of time in Kay’s head worrying about things that we don’t know a lot about yet. For the most part, the book takes place in just a few days. Several odd deaths occur, and little by little, Kay, Marino, Benton, and Lucy connect them together with the help of various staff. It seems like Carrie Grethen has found another accomplice, and she’s sought revenge on Kay. Unfortunately, someone close to Kay pays the price in this installment. We also end the books with an incredibly concerning secret reveal about a new character who was introduced a couple of books ago. What drama!

As a three-book arc, it was definitely interesting to see the progression of the serial killer’s mind. I almost wish we had chapters from Carrie’s perspective, so that we fully appreciated her psychotic need to get revenge. That’s my biggest concern in this series right now… if an author wants to build up a huge nut as the crazy killer, we need to know why not just through other people’s views, but through the killer’s mind, too. We get that only if they provide messages in writing, make phone calls, or interact in scenes with dialog. That hasn’t much happened in this arc, so I struggled to really understand ‘why’ it was so important to hurt Kay.

As a standalone book, other than being a little too slow of a read, it was fascinating to learn all about the technology and weapons being used. It’s probably one or two levels above my knowledge base and capability of understanding the detail, but not so much I felt removed. It clicked, but I found myself skimming on occasion when we got into paragraphs about exactly how it came to be in the hands of the serial killer. The best aspects were seeing Kay’s connections with Marino and her staff. She shines with them. Not with Benton. He’s a bit too boring for her. And Lucy has been too far removed for a boatload of books, so I’ve kinda lost any interest in her. The new girlfriend and son angle is interesting, but I wish we’d met them sooner.

That said, it’s a fine ending for the arc. I’m left wondering where the books go next… she’s due for one this year, but I can’t find anything about it. I’ll get it when it comes out… this installment was a 3.5 for me.

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365 Challenge: Day 173 – Rapid

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Rapid: happening in a short time or at a fast pace


Sometimes life happens all around us, quickly moving along without you realizing it’s passing by. I reminded myself all week long that I would be away for a few days on the upcoming weekend, but did I pre-draft any posts that I could edit and release each day? No… too much going on to remember everything I had wanted to accomplish by today. When I awoke this morning, I realized that I leave on a flight at 8am tomorrow, which means I need to write at least four posts today to keep the 365 Daily Challenge humming along. I’ve got Saturday thru Monday planned in my head, so really, I just need to get through today’s concept. The word ‘rapid’ felt appropriate, given how things have been proceeding around me in the last month. And in the spirit of being rapid, a lovely rapid-fire shout out to all the things this week going on around me…

  1. Finished writing the first draft of ‘Father Figure – nearly 380 pages – more on that later in its own separate post, assuming I can find time! 9 weeks went by incredibly quickly.
  2. My Goodreads author page went up and I had to feverishly draft a bio. You can see it at:
  3. The weekend trip to visit family. Leave early tomorrow morning, come home Tuesday afternoon. My response time on WordPress may be slower while I’m away. But I am looking forward to seeing family and stepping away from all these pesky deliverables on my to-do list. Never ends!
  4. A bug that wandered into the apartment last night. It was green and about two inches in length. Not a grasshopper or praying mantis. It flew all over the place. Ryder ignored it. I couldn’t catch it. Finally, this morning, it landed on the floor. I scooped it up, yelled at it, then threw it outside. Told it to counts its blessings I didn’t kill it. Mean, I know. But it was torture knowing it lurked in my home last night, somewhere in hiding, waiting to pounce on me.
  5. The migraine that stole 4 hours from me last night. Not nice. But at least it didn’t stick around as long as the bug. I’m grateful for some things.
  6. The end of hot weather? I hope. We’re in the 60s today here in NYC. Go away summer! Bring on the autumn weather ASAP. I need a pumpkin.
  7. Help to those in the Houston areas — I hope it is as rapid as possible to get them all they need. It will take years to help the city and all its inhabitants, and even then, it won’t be the same anymore. Much love to them all.
  8. To finding a few minutes today to ‘stop and smell the roses’ amidst the chaos we sometimes encounter throughout the day. It’ll make the day so much easier.
  9. Ryder turns 10-years old on September 3rd. I am a bit shocked at how an entire decade has gone by since this little guy came into my life. I adore him more than I can even begin to explain in a single post. And I can only hope he enjoys the birthday present he’ll have while we were away. I feel awful being gone, but this was the best timing for everyone. We’ll celebrate it when we are home on Tuesday with his favorite meal. Rapid forgiveness on this one, please.
  10. This post. I need to write a few more this morning, so today’s is a whole new sort of rapid! Hopefully it still has a bit of humor and quality. And if not, everyone has a bit of a slow day, even when the 365 Daily Challenge word is rapid. Please forgive me… and just take a moment to laugh at the poor guy below.

Couldn’t resist including this one today!


How about you? What’s occurring too rapidly in your life? What’s not going quickly enough? Anyone going on fun trips soon? I’m touring North Carolina for 10 days in September. Any recommendations on where to stop or where to avoid? It’s share time!


About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.