Depraved Heart: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia CornwellDepraved Heart: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell

Depraved Heart: A Scarpetta Novel

byPatricia Cornwell

Hardcover | October 27, 2015

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#1 New York Times Bestselling Author

Patricia Cornwell delivers the twenty-third 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.

“Dr. Kay Scarpetta . . . [is] an awesome force in the field of forensic science.” —The New York Times Book Review

PATRICIA CORNWELLis 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 Creasey, the Anthony, the Macavity, and the Prix du Roman d’Aventure. Beyond the Scarpetta series, Cor...
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Title:Depraved Heart: A Scarpetta NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.25 inPublished:October 27, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443436739

ISBN - 13:9781443436731

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! Was a great book to bring on my trip!
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Continuing on from Flesh and Blood 3.5 I started with the first book (Postmortem) in Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series way back in 1990 when forensic mysteries were becoming popular. Her latest release, Depraved Heart, is the 23rd entry in this series. Now, I must admit, I just haven't enjoyed the last few books - they seemed mired in extraneous detail and became repetitive. But I was willing to give this latest a go. And up front, I want to say, I did enjoy Depraved Heart. Scarpetta and Marino are at the scene of what appears to be the accidental death of a wealthy young woman when a video link appears and starts playing on Kay's phone. Although her policy is to never interrupt a scene investigation with personal calls, she is powerless to stop watching. The video is a twenty year old video of her niece Lucy - and her then lover Carrie Grethem. Grethem was thought to be dead, but surfaced in the last book and attempted to kill Kay. It looks like she's back and still determined to wreak havoc with Kay and her family. "The FBI placed the niece I raised like a daughter into a psychopathic monster's care, and that decision changed the course of our lives. It has changed absolutely everything." Depraved Heart picks up two months after the abrupt ending of the last book, Flesh and Blood. Readers who have kept up with the Scarpetta books will have a better understanding of this perpetrator and plotting. One key element of Depraved Heart is the concept of 'data fiction'. "It's what can happen if we're so reliant on technology that we become completely dependent on things we can't see. Therefore we can no longer judge for ourselves what's true, what's false, what's accurate, what isn't. In other words if reality is defined by software that does all the work for us, then what if this software lies? What if everything we believe isn't true but is a facade, a mirage?" I was fascinated - and somewhat disturbed - with this notion. (I thought of how much time I spend online...) Are the videos (yes there's more than one) true? Or false? Is Benton lying to her? Who and what can she believe and trust? The reader sees the entire book unfold through Scarpetta's eyes and thoughts. Marino is a perennial favourite of mine and this time Scarpetta seems to be a little kinder towards him. For the life of me, I have no idea why she stays with Benton. Lucy just annoys me, but I think there's more of a forthcoming story with her new partner Janet. The book takes place during a twenty four hour period. The book moves along quickly as Kay and Marino attempt to deal with both their latest case - and the apparent danger to Lucy. The tension is palpable as everyone's actions and motives are called into question. I was easily caught up in the story and possibilities. Cornwell does weave an intricate plot, one I appreciated. (But one glaring omission by investigators, that is mentioned and is part of the final whodunit, will be caught by sharp eyed readers.) The title? "Legal definition of Depraved Heart - 'Void of social duty and fatally bent on mischief.' Mayes V. People, Illinois Supreme Court. 1883." The ending leaves the door open for a continued story in this vein. Although I quite enjoyed this latest entry more than the last few, a wee bit of me thinks it's time to end this ongoing storyline and give readers a fresh mystery and investigation next time 'round.
Date published: 2015-11-04

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Patricia Cornwell and Kay Scarpetta:“Cornwell has created a character so real, so compelling, so driven that this reader has to remind herself regularly that Scarpetta is just a product of an author’s imagination.” —USA Today“When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell.” —The New York Times Book Review“Cornwell’s books run on high octane fuel, a cocktail of adrenalin and fear.” —The Times (London) PRAISE FOR FLESH AND BLOOD“Cornwell is still the ace of forensic science mysteries. Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her family and friends just keep growing as characters, and Cornwell’s plots are still taut and tangled. . . . With Flesh and Blood, Cornwell is at the top of her game.” —RT Book Reviews “Everyone knows Scarpetta; she has the wit, intelligence, and strength that any forensic sleuth should own. This never-stop action plot is yet another gift to readers from Patricia Cornwell-a literary artist that is never going to stop writing some of the best and most memorable thrillers out there.” —Suspense Magazine“Absorbing.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette“Readers should be both thrilled and jolted.” —Connecticut Post “Scarpetta is one of the most believable characters in crime fiction.” —The Vancouver Sun“In her twenty-second Scarpetta novel, Cornwell’s forensic knowhow is still at the cutting edge—even though Scarpetta was the prototype for most of TV’s crack forensic investigators today—and her final scenes are both logical and shocking.” —BBC “Forget the pretenders. Cornwell reigns.” —Mirror (London)“This is in many ways the best of the recent Scarpetta novels, boasting an involving story and some fine writing. Kay has finally found her voice as a first-person narrator. . . . Readers will give this one an enthusiastic thumbs up.” —Booklist“The ending is unseen and unexpected-and terrifying. VERDICT: Deduction is the key to solving this mystery, and Scarpetta fans will relish this nail-biting novel.” —Library Journal (starred review) "Scarpetta uses a microscope in her forensic lab the way Sherlock Holmes wielded a magnifying glass." —Cosmopolitan