Best-selling crime novelist Patricia Cornwell thought she was done with writing books for good, until the coronavirus pandemic struck and with it, inspiration for a new novel starring the character highly regarded by the American author, the medical examiner Kay Scarpetta.
âAutopsy,â released Tuesday, is Cornwell Scarpetta’s 25th novel, a series she began in 1990 with âPostmortemâ. Cornwell believed she ended Scarpetta’s story with 2016’s âChaosâ, but when the world went into lockdown last year, she began to wonder what the fictional medical examiner would do with it.
“I started to think, what would Scarpetta say about all of this? What would she do with this universe we live in now? … Because it’s not the same as when I stopped doing this he five years ago, âthe author said. . âAutopsyâ takes Scarpetta back to where she started – Virginia – where she works as a chief medical examiner and is faced with a grueling murder case and potential crime in space, a situation Cornwell has thoroughly investigated.
âThe way I describe it is absolutely correct. I have an astronaut who lived in the space station and I worked with him to talk about what the fluids do up there. How would you handle that? I mean , how does NASA deal with it? ” she said. Cornwell’s research took her to places most people would never visit, including the Secret Service headquarters in Washington and the White House.
Although she thought she was done with the writing, Cornwell said she was already writing Scarpetta’s next story, a tough murder trial. âThey took five years away from her and it’s like she sent me back to college. She said, ‘You know what? Go hang out at NASA. Go hang out with smart people. Go learn something. something new. You’re driving me crazy. ‘ . ”
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