In Scarpetta, Patricia Cornwell has a character as strong as any in popular fiction" —Wall Street Journal
New York Times bestselling author 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.
In bestseller Cornwell's stirring 23rd novel starring Dr. Kay Scarpetta (after 2014's Flesh and Bone), what at first appears to be an accident quickly turns to murder once Scarpetta determines that Chanel Gilbert, the grown daughter of Hollywood producer Amanda Gilbert, didn't simply fall while trying to change a light bulb in the historic house Amanda owned near the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Mass. Meanwhile, Scarpetta receives a mysterious text, seemingly from the cell of her technical entrepreneur niece, Lucy Farinelli, with a video link showing Lucy's FBI dorm room almost 20 years earlier. It's a surveillance camera clearly planted by Carrie Grethen, Scarpetta's archenemy, who was Lucy's one-time mentor and lover, and now sociopath Carrie is sending potentially incriminating video to Scarpetta at the same time Lucy's nearby house is being raided by the FBI. Scarpetta's current case, Lucy's troubles with the Feds, and Carrie's spooky blast from the past are all on an inevitable collision course, and Cornwell shows surprising restraint in reining in her plot and keeping it tightly focused on her well-developed core characters.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Awfully Close to Non-Fiction
It was rather disturbing how close the author got to real life events these days. Reading it caused knots in my stomach. Government conspiracy, collusion, covert operations. You got some closure in the end, but not enough. Guess there is another novel after this one to read.
Manic, repetitive read. Far from her best.
If you are a Kay Scarpetta fan, this book does not disappoint.
Although there is a better sense of continuity if the books in the Scarpetta series are read in order, fans of forensic novels and medical mysteries will enjoy reading any book in the series, in any order.
Read in order, each novel builds on the next, as each character develops. Readers are introduced to each character, and then throughout the series readers experience family bonds, friendships, growing-up, challenges, mystery, and sometimes surprise.
The villains are usually different in each book, although many have ties to previous psychopaths, and a few appear multiple times.
There are a variety of elements to every book, and most all include forensics, criminal profiling, technology, FBI, law enforcement, and the workings of a medical examiner, (just to name a few.)
The medical and forensic terminologies used are accurate, but not distracting from the storyline because they are clearly explained and not difficult to understand.
After I read the first book in the series in less than a day, I found I wanted to read the next. By about the tenth book, I had read all that had been written to date, and anxiously anticipated the next book being published.
I would read the book cover to cover in less than a day,
and then the waiting started again.
No matter how hard I tried, it is nearly impossible to not want to read “just one more chapter.”