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Postmortem Analysis Paper

767 words - 4 pages

1. Title: Postmortem 2. Author: Patricia Cornwell Original Publishing Date: 1990 3. Title: The title, Postmortem, meaning after death, refers to everything that the main character does in the book. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner, performs all the autopsies and all the investigating of the bodies.4. Conflict and Plot: The first major conflict is between Kay and Lucy, her niece. Lucy is upset because Kay promised her that they would spend the day together, but the murder kept her away all day. Kay's sister, Dorothy, is very involved in her work and rarely spends time with her daughter Lucy. So, when Lucy planned on staying with her Aunt, she figured that they would always be together. With the killer being so careful while he committed the murders, solving them was even more difficult for Kay, Marino, and everyone else involved. Kay realized how much she was neglecting Lucy and found time to spend with her. After the murders are solved, Kay and Lucy take a ...view middle of the document...

She told her that she knew this and that when she dies, she is going to die happy.Bill Boltz works at the RPD with Kay. Him and Kay have been "involved" for a few months, but their relationship ends before the murders are resolved. Bill's wife committed suicide by shooting herself in the chest with Bill's gun while she was lying in their bed. Bill informs Kay that Abby Turnbull, a reporter for the local newspaper, might have something against him, and that is why she is linking the leaks about the murders to a "medical source." Earlier in the year, Abby did a report on Bill Boltz. After the interview, they went out for a late dinner. Abby claims Bill took advantage of her that night.6. Theme: The theme of the book is to pay more attention to the people around you and close to you. Kay should have found more time to spend with Lucy.7. Setting: The novel takes place in Richmond, Virginia. It's set in late spring, possibly June. A specific year was not mentioned. The atmosphere is suspenseful and unpredictable.8. Point of View: The narrator of the story is Kay Scarpetta. The story is told in first person. The reader sees everything the way Kay sees it and only knows what she knows.9. Tone: The tone of the novel cannot be summed up in one word. It is suspenseful, astonishing, powerful, fearful, captivating, stunning, fascinating, and has a good rhythm. The setting and feeling of a room is evident in the narrator's descriptions and the character's dialogue.10. Irony: An example of situational irony is Kay almost becoming a victim of the killer instead of capturing him. The reader expects Kay and her colleagues to solve the murders and capture the killer before he strikes again. Instead, the killer goes after Kay.11. Symbol: The only apparent symbols are the rituals that the killer performs while murdering the women. The killer ties the women up on their bed, slices their nightgown from collar to hem, enters through a window, and leaves a substance on their bodies that sparkles under a laser.12. Style: The novel has an even balance of dialogue and description. The book is divided up into 16 well-sized chapters with well-written sentences. There is also good imagery. The reader gets the feeling that they are standing along side Kay and experiences everything with her throughout the novel.

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