Depraved Heart (Kay Scarpetta Series #23)

Depraved Heart (Kay Scarpetta Series #23)

by Patricia Cornwell

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Patricia Cornwell delivers the newest engrossing thriller in her high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

Depraved Heart: “Void of social duty and fatally bent on mischief.”

—Mayes v. People, 806 III. 306 (1883)

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a suspicious death scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts when an emergency alert sounds on her phone. A video link lands in her text messages and seems to be from her computer genius niece Lucy. But how can it be? It’s clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost twenty years ago.

As Scarpetta watches she begins to learn frightening secrets about her niece, whom she has loved and raised like a daughter. That film clip and then others sent soon after raise dangerous legal implications that increasingly isolate Scarpetta and leave her confused, worried, and not knowing where to turn. She doesn’t know whom she can tell—not her FBI husband Benton Wesley or her investigative partner Pete Marino. Not even Lucy.

In this new novel, Cornwell launches these unforgettable characters on an intensely psychological odyssey that includes the mysterious death of a Hollywood mogul’s daughter, aircraft wreckage on the bottom of the sea in the Bermuda Triangle, a grisly gift left in the back of a crime scene truck, and videos from the past that threaten to destroy Scarpetta’s entire world and everyone she loves. The diabolical presence behind what unfolds seems obvious—but strangely, not to the FBI. Certainly that’s the message they send when they raid Lucy’s estate and begin building a case that could send her to prison for the rest of her life.

In the latest novel in her bestselling series featuring chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Cornwell will captivate readers with the shocking twists, high-wire tension, and cutting-edge forensic detail that she is famous for, proving yet again why she’s the world’s #1 bestselling crime writer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062325419
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Series: Kay Scarpetta Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 52,248
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.40(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 (Kay Scarpetta Series #23) 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 112 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is written well but the story isn't compelling. Cornwell was SO GOOD when she first started writing, that I keep buying her books hoping for that original magic... but it's not there. She has strayed so far from the science and waded too far into the dark side of the human condition. She was better at the science.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a huge fan of Cornwell since the beginning and can't believe I'm writing a bad review. I thought the two books prior to this were more reminiscent of her early work, but this one sure wasn't. I miss the forensics and detective work. I'm tired of Lucy, her deranged exlovers, her omnipotent cyber abilities, helicopters and guns. The plot was incredibly convoluted and unrealistic. There was no ending or real conclusion. I believe the positive reviews are examples of data fiction. I wish Cornwell would return to stories centered around Kay's forensic sleuthing. Sadly this may be my last purchase/read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Patricia Cornwell but this book was a big disappointment The author has all these plot lines happening and all this tension but wraps up the book in the last few pages without a satisfactory explanation as to what was going on and why
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanted to like this book. I have read others of her books and always considered her one of my favorite authors who took you into the story and characters lives. The last few have been more like a technical journey. Very disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While reading this book, I felt as distracted as Kay Scarpetta was at the death scene while viewing the video that was sent to her. I never overcame that feeling of distraction as I read the entire book. I have always loved the Scarpetta series, so this book was a huge disappointment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was so happy to see the new book could not wait to dive in what a let down slow not like her other books took a long time to finish hope ther will be another book soon and it is up to her other great books oh well one bad one out of so many is not bad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring. I just read 400+ pages of overinflated dialogue that only spanned 1 day in the life of Scarpetta - in which nothing was ultimately resolved and a repeat killer got away (again).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to agree, I keep purchasing her books and continue to be disappointed. Scarpetta has been reduced to paranoia and indecision! There's no story- telling. I want the old Patricia Cornwall talent!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have also read all of Patricia Cornwell's books, and I agree that she is a great writer. However, I am tired of the same plots about whether or not Lucy is breaaking the law.. Time for some new criminals that all of those super smart people can work together to capture.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the most convoluted and confusing story I have ever rwad by Cornwell. Readers are kept to much in the dark to understand what is happening. Thrre is little action, mostly it is just thought processes so it is pretty boring. In the end, there is a bit of understanding but it is still cloudy and there is no actual conclusion. The book just sets up a sequel. I looked forward to tjus book for so long but now I wish I had never read it. Stephanie Clanahan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms. Cornwell: Please go back to writing about cases that Scarpetta is solving, not cases that involve her personal life, including Lucy and Benton. I miss Scarpetta when she is on the hunt for a predator that is not Carrie Grethen. The Carrie Grethen story line has run its course and I miss the old Scarpetta. Please. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please, please bring back the team of Marino and Scarpetta let arrogant Benton Wesley and ridiculous millionaire Lucy go!! Your books are getting tiring, ridiculous and boring my favorite has always been Marino but he is always made to be the bumbling fool in the last few books get rid of Lucy and Benton and bring Pete marino back!!! I hated the last four books and i am afraid to buy the next one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all her books. Earlier in the series she wrote with were great science and well written suspense. This book was confusing , sorrowful and dull. The last of her books I will buy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drawn out uninteresting filler dialogue. One day with no closure. Great disappointment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very disappointed in this latest Kay Scarpetta book. Only determination to finish and a hope that the book got better kept me reading. I have read the entire series, eagerly awaited each new book, and requested these books as gifts as well as purchasing them. If I read any future books in this series, I will borrow from the library and not waste my money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You need to read her first or second or third Scarpetta book to see that it's gone all wrong. Everything now is deep and mysterious and paranoid and conspiratorial - and filled with flaws. It used to be about the victim and the science and the perpetrator - now it's all about Kay and how the world is out to get her. Characters grow overtime and don't remain stagnant but she's getting to be one note and wearisome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read every book Patricia Cornwell has written but this is my last! I will not waste money on another one! It is a shame that an author finally gets to the point she has nothing to write and sits down and writes nonsense knowing that people will buy it because of her name! If you are going to write, give Benton a personality and have Kay know that the whole world don't revolve around her and Lucy....really, why does she have to be so obnoxious!
marymaca More than 1 year ago
Agree with other reviewers Carrie has to be gone permanently, she has worn out her usefulness. Loved most of the other Scarpetta books, looking forward to the next one hope it's more engaging. This one was a struggle.
Marged04 More than 1 year ago
I've read the entire Scarpetta series beginning with the first book. For the most part, the books were terrific. This book was at first, boring, then frustrating. Towards the end, it was incredibly intense. Much of the reader's time is wasted with boring details. I'm not sure Ms. Cornwell knew what she wanted to do with this story. I waited, along with every other fan for this book to be released. I read some of the other reviews, and I agree that Carrie Grethen must go! I was very disappointed with Depraved Heart!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read every book by this author and Dr. Kay finally seems embedded in Boston (like Richmond prior) despite detours and rough road! This book is very difficult not to gobble up at once! Bringing back old nemesis Carrie was brilliant... Fabulous read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This could of been a chapter or two in the last book. Drawn out with little substance. I have read every book she wrote and this is the least favorite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Little action, too much introspextion - where is the Scarpetta of old? E poi, onestamente, sarebbe bello che le espressioni in Italiano, grammaticalmente corrette che siano, fossero usate correttamente...
bamudpi More than 1 year ago
One of the worst books I've ever read. Rambling dialogue, boring and not worth the money I paid for it. The Scarpetta novels have gone from a great read to don't bother.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This and the last few books have been a disappointment. Instead of focusing on interesting cases and the forensics as the series started out, now it's all about the weird family dynamics in Scarpetta's life and the Carrie character. The characters are becoming less and less likeable - boring and uninteresting, and frankly, not very believable. Kay gets snobbier and snobbier, Lucy richer and weirder, and Benton shows no real personality. Carrier manages to trick the FBI, PD and everyone else possible. It's frustrating. I wish the author would go back to focusing on the forensics and mystery as she used to and get rid of this storyline with Carrie.