Looking for a fiction book from several years ago
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: rab5649-ga
List Price: $4.50
14 Jun 2002 07:33 PDT
Expires: 14 Jul 2002 07:33 PDT
Question ID: 25764
Somewhere between 5 and 8 years ago I saw a segment on Good Morning America about great summer books. One book they discussed was about a serial killer, something about a database of suspects or known serial killers and a cop or person who gained access to this database and was killing the serial killers....or something like that. Don't know the title or author. HELP!
Re: Looking for a fiction book from several years ago
Answered By: mother-ga on 14 Jun 2002 08:59 PDT
Hello and what a great question! When I glanced at your description, I said to myself, wow, that sure does sound like a Kay Scarpetta novel. I believe the book you are remembering is "From Potter's Field," by Patricia Cornwell (1995). This is Cornwell's 6th book in the "Kay Scarpetta" series. I read this book when it came out, so my memories of it are a little dimmed, but I do remember the basic plot. In this series of novels, Kay Scarpetta is a medical examiner and forensics expert whose life is confounded by endless murder cases that sometimes hit close to home. Her niece, Lucy, is a brilliant programmer who has been hired by the FBI. In "Potter's Field," Lucy has created a new database for tracking similarities in murder cases, in hopes that patterns will emerge that can be traced to specific suspects. This database's security is compromised from the outside, and murder and mayhem ensues. Editorial review by Ingram (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0425154092/): "Forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta matches wits with a sadistic killer who infiltrates the FBI's top-secret artificial intelligence system and begins to close in on Scarpetta herself." I don't want to spoil the plot any further, but I am confident that this is the book you are after. Your year range (5-8 years ago) matches the publication date (1995), 7 years ago. At the time, her novels were hugely popular and I've no doubt that it would have been featured on a morning news program. Additional resources: "Kay Scarpetta novels" (MostlyFiction.com) http://mostlyfiction.com/sleuths/cornwell.htm "Patricia Cornwell" (Penguin Putnam Inc) http://www.penguinputnam.com/static/packages/us/patriciacornwell/start.htm Search strategy: cornwell database "serial killer" "kay scarpetta" "potter's field" Please let me know if this is what you were looking for. Regards, mother-ga
rated this answer:
All three answers were great and could potentially be the right book. I'll have to give them all a look. Hmmmm...three books with the same general plot all written around the same time. So much for originality!
Re: Looking for a fiction book from several years ago
From: simchacohn-ga on 14 Jun 2002 09:04 PDT
I'm not so sure that this answers the question adequately, to be honest. The premise was that the person referencing the database was killing the killers, not the serial killers accessing the data. This may be a reference to the answer, as well as a sequel - and it came out at approximately the correct time. From: http://www.alamopc.org/PCAlamode/columns/ives/ Watch Me, by A. J. Holt Paperback, St, Martin's, $6.99, 370 pages FBI agent Jay Fletcher develops a computer program that combs databases matching criminal profiles against bank records and airline reservations. She is banished to the boonies when her unauthorized trolling violates a serial killer's civil rights and he is set free. She continues to track down killers and administer vigilante justice. Meanwhile, a retired agent uses traditional investigative methods to track down "The Iceman," a killer he has been dogging for 30 years. The Iceman hacks into databases to monitor the agent's progress runs an Internet-based fantasy game called "Special K" that attracts other serial killers. When paths converge, all hell breaks loose. Watch Me raises urgent issues about privacy. How far should the government be allowed to go in gathering data on private individuals to prevent and solve crime? Who is the greater threat: government or criminals? This is a very scary book with graphic depictions of rape, murder and mutilation. The web of computer information is terrifying, and the technical details are right on target. Other reviewers have likened it to Silence of the Lambs with a high tech twist. Highly recommended. Catch Me, by AJ Holt Hardback, St. Martin's Press, 1999, $23.95, 327 pages When we left FBI agent and computer guru Jay Fletcher at the end of Watch Me, she was disgraced and fired for turning vigilante and blowing away most of the members of Special K, a computer bulletin board for serial killers. Only one survived - Billy Bones - and he has escaped from his mental institution, embarked on another killing spree and is taunting Fletcher to "catch me." Teamed with a skeptical federal marshal, she embarks on a cross-country scavenger hunt, following his trail of grisly clues. Although computers play a less prominent role in this novel than they did in Watch Me, they are a running thread throughout the plot. Billy Bones is great at cracking through network security and Jay keeps turning to the Internet to research the clever and convoluted clues. Maybe I'm being picky, but some of the details lacked authenticity. She dropped down to DOS to check Billy's cookie file, when everyone knows that they are contained in a file called cookies.txt, and she used Yahoo to search for a long line of poetry when HotBot or Altavista would have been more efficient. Some expert. Good book, though. If you liked Watch Me, as I did, this is a necessary follow-up. Killer of an ending, especially for Sherlock Holmes fans and students of chaos theory. String: fiction "serial killer" database suspects police investigator access "kill the serial killers" hope that helps
"A Philosophical Investigation" by Philip Kerr
From: billathere-ga on 14 Jun 2002 09:18 PDT
Take a look "A Philosophical Investigation" by Philip Kerr. In a realistic sounding future, the ability exists to check DNA for potential mass murderers. Then one of the tagged guys breaks into the database, erases his identity, and begins killing the other maybe killers. And for reasons I don't recall, women are determined to be the best investigators of mass murderers. Not a bad book and the only one by Kerr I'd recommend. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0452271401/qid=1024070839/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/104-9775856-8207110
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