Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell

Depraved Heart

By Patricia Cornwell

  • Release Date: 2015-10-22
  • Genre: Crime & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 72 Ratings
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No. 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.

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.



‘Cutting-edge’ Sun

‘A pioneer of the genre of forensic psychological thriller’ BBC

‘With plenty of the forensic detail that Cornwell fans have come to expect from her works this is a fast-paced and exciting read. Cornwell certainly lives up to her title of America's most chilling modern writer' Express and Star

‘She is a brilliant writer and I was absolutely gripped’ Mail on Sunday

‘Cornwell’s books run on high octane fuel, a cocktail of adrenalin and fear’ The Times

‘Forget the pretenders. Cornwell reigns’ Mirror

‘Few writers match Patricia Cornwell when it comes to writing crime and her latest Scarpetta novel is one of her best’ Daily Express

‘When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell’ New York Times Book Review

‘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

‘Dazzling… After reading Cornwell’s thriller, most others will pale in comparison’ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

‘Magnificent plotting, masterful writing, and marvelous suspense’ Booklist

‘Cornwell’s instincts are dead-on.’ Chicago Sun-Times

‘Cornwell remains a master of the genre, instilling in readers an appetite that only she can satisfy’ Publishers Weekly


  • Disappointed

    By Nicbrom
    This is the first of her books I haven't loved. And very rarely do I not finish any book, but this defeated me. An irritating read. Gave up half way.
  • Time to call a halt

    By the biscuit hound
    I found this almost unreadable. The plot is unbelievable, the dialogue unconvincing, and the pace slow. I have loved many of the previous books in this series, but I was very disappointed in this one. Every author, however good, should know when to move on, and I think that time has certainly come for this series. In my view this book is so poor that I doubt it would have been published if it had not come from an author of Patricia Cornwell's standing. Time to say goodbye
  • Time to move on

    By Unclesuperfly
    Found this one tedious and dull with an overwrought plot line. I was tempted not to go on till the end but hung in thinking surely there has to be more to it - alas I was wrong. This will be the last Scarpetta for me and should be the last for Cornwell as well.
  • Her best yet

    By Jemimaduck
    I love these books. So easy to read and the character are relatable. Can't wait for the next one!
  • Not up to much

    By MsAscot
    Not up to the usual high standard. I found parts tedious and uninspiring. Lost all interest in the plot and the narrative.
  • Depraved Heart

    By Casper 3
    Loved ready every word of it. Can't wait for the next book.
  • The end of Scarpetta?

    By Pheebyloulou
    I am sensing from this novel that Scarpetta may be running out of steam. The revival of Carrie in the previous book was an unexpected and exciting twist, however this book feels like it could have been an additional chapter at the end of that one. Also, Surely Scarpetta is reaching retirement age now?