July 4, 2022 - Autopsy (Patricia Cornwell). She's ba-a-a-a-ck! After a five-year absence, Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta returns in what the author describes as a reboot of her bestselling series. Will the apparent happiness that Kay and company seemed to have found at the end 2016's Chaos endure? Let's find out, shall we? Oh, who are we kidding. Of course Kay and her friends and family can't have any lasting happiness.

In Chaos, Kay and her profiler husband, Benton, were living in Massachusetts. They finally put an end to Scarpetta's arch enemy, Carrie Grethen. And, Carrie's son was being taken in by Scarpetta's niece, Lucy, and her partner, Janet. Jump ahead to Autopsy, and we're now in fall 2021. The author makes reference to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, and Covid has not been kind to Scarpett's loved ones.

Kay and company are now back in Richmond, where Scarpetta has accepted a job as Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia. Sounds great, but it doesn't take Scarpetta long to feel as though she's been hired under false pretenses. Her new boss turns out to be a former colleague, and Scarpetta suspects that he has it in for her.

Vendetta or not, there is still work to be done. Specifically, solving the grisly murder of a woman whose mutilated body was found in a popular park. The case becomes a media sensation. Scarpetta faces pressure from all sides, but she pursues the truth in the face of obstacles including her own secretary, a call from the White House, and even a possible attempt on her own life.

Overall, a quick read that I had difficulty putting down. But, the ending seemed rushed and, as I recall, a couple of questions were left unanswered. Still it's nice to have Kay and company back, and I'm eagerly awaiting (I hope) future installments.