Spoiler alert - if you follow the series but haven't read this book yet, some details may be revealed below.
I have followed the adventures (and mis-adventures) of Kay Scarpetta for the past several years, and this book did not disappoint. Several loose ends from the end of the last book were cleared up, and more so that some of her other books, there was a happy ending. I finished the book with a smile on my face, rather than biting my nails wanting another one right away. Now with a successful series, that may be a mixed blessing. After the ambiguous ending of her last book, I had my name on the waiting list at the library as soon as this book came out, but I don't feel quite the same urgency to get my hands on the next book (whenever it is written).
The standard cast of characters made an appearance - Kay and Benton, Lucy, Marino - and some old faces make a comeback, including Berger. There is a tentative reconciliation between Marino (who isn't dead) and the others, and we learn about the death of Rose, shortly after the end of the previous book.
The central mystery itself was conventional and a bit disappointing - nothing too complex, and it seemed designed to further the story of the cast of characters.
I don't think that Patricia Cornwell has ever written a bad book. This one isn't one of my favourites in terms of the mystery to be solved, but I did enjoy the focus on her characters that I have been following for years. And it was no challenge to get through the 500 pages in a week - the pages just flew by.
Now back to finish up the book that was interrupted...