Depraved Heart: A Scarpetta Novel

Depraved Heart: A Scarpetta Novel

by Patricia Cornwell


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Depraved Heart: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a suspicious death scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when she receives a text message with a video link that seems to be from her niece Lucy. But how can it be? It’s clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken years ago.

As Scarpetta watches she comes to grips with frightening secrets. That first clip and others sent soon after raise dangerous implications that isolate Scarpetta, leaving her confused and not knowing whom she can tell—not her FBI agent husband, Benton Wesley, or her investigative partner, Pete Marino. Not even Lucy.

Cornwell launches these characters on a psychological odyssey that includes the bizarre death of a Hollywood mogul’s daughter, wreckage on the bottom of the sea in the Bermuda Triangle, a grisly gift left in a crime scene truck, and videos from the past that threaten to destroy Scarpetta’s entire world. The diabolical presence and singularly “depraved heart” behind what unfolds seems obvious—but not to the FBI, who begin building a case against Lucy that could send her to prison for the rest of her life. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062561329
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/03/2017
Series: Kay Scarpetta Series , #23
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 628,594
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is recognized as one of the world’s top bestselling crime authors with novels translated into thirty-six languages in more than 120 countries. Her novels have won numerous prestigious awards including the Edgar, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, the Anthony, the Macavity and the Prix du Roman d’Aventures. Beyond the Scarpetta series, Patricia has written a definitive book about Jack the Ripper, a biography and two more fiction series among others. Cornwell, a licensed helicopter pilot and scuba diver, actively researches the cutting-edge forensic technologies that inform her work. She was born in Miami, grew up in Montreat, North Carolina, and now lives and works in Boston.


Boston, MA and New York, NY

Date of Birth:

June 9, 1956

Place of Birth:

Miami, Florida


B.A. in English, Davidson College, 1979; King College

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Depraved Heart: A Scarpetta Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell is a highly recommended addition for fans of the long running Dr. Kay Scarpetta series. It is set during one day. Scarpetta is at a crime scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts, investigating the death of a young woman. While taking note of the scene and her observations, Scarpetta receives a message, a video, from Lucy's in case of emergency cell phone line. While simultaneously watching the video and observing the crime scene, Scarpetta knows two things. First, from the initial impression of the scene it appears the death was accidental, but upon further observation it seems to have been staged. Second, Lucy is in trouble. The video sent to her was a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost twenty years ago by Carrie Grethen at the FBI academy when she was Lucy's mentor and lover. Carrie, a sociopath and the archenemy of both Scarpetta and Lucy, is the depraved heart "void of social duty and fatally bent on mischief." Scarpetta rushes to Lucy's house where she discovers the FBI is in the middle of a raid. They are harassing Lucy and trying to build a case, any case against her. "Data fiction" may play a part in the case being built against her. But even more suspect is how and why Lucy's harassment may be related to the death scene Scarpetta is investigating. Patricia Cornwell is an accomplished writer. Her long-running Scarpetta series indicates just how talented she is at writing great crime scene investigation/psychological thrillers that keep her huge fan base reading. I started reading the Scarpetta series from the beginning and stayed with it for years until I finally took a break from it several novel ago. Depraved Heart provided some of what I love about Cornwell's books - the great writing and the detailed scene investigation - and also why I took a break from the series. The positives are the quality of the writing, the tight focus of the plot, and the tense atmosphere. The downside is that this is the 23rd book in a series so it is competing with all the other books in the series for a rating. That is tough competition. It's a given that I know the characters and could jump into Depraved Heart after a hiatus from the series. If you have never read any Scarpetta books, this is not the place to start. At All. Go back to the beginning and work your way through them. At this point the characters are so established and so well-developed that long-time readers know them intimately. It's simply a fact that you can't include a detailed background of these characters for new readers after so many novels featuring them. Is Depraved Heart my favorite addition to the series and worthy of my highest rating? Nope. Is it a huge disappointment? Nope. I like Kay Scarpetta. I enjoyed the novel, was hooked to the end and felt like it was a perfectly satisfactory novel. I do wish questions were answered and threats removed rather than continuing. It's a 3.5 for me. It's not going to be one of my favorite books in the series, but it's not worth a horrible review. After I finished reading I was ready for Scarpetta to take a break from Marino, Benton, and Lucy. It's my opinion that the woman needs some quiet time to reflect on the way her loved ones treat her and how much she should be willing to tolerate. Perhaps a break from them would help Marino, Benton and Lucy realize how much they need and depend on her. (Not that I could ever tell Patricia Cornwell how to write any novel.) Book courtesy of HarperCollins.