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Summary

Number-one New York Times best-selling author Patricia Cornwell delivers the 23rd 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.

©2015 Patricia Cornwell (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Cornwell's books run on high octane fuel, a cocktail of adrenalin and fear." ( The Times)
"Forget the pretenders. Cornwell reigns." ( Mirror)
"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)
"Cornwell remains a master of the genre, instilling in readers an appetite that only she can satisfy." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Depraved Heart

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Good but different

Stick with this book, when I started it I felt it was very 'all about poor me' as in Kay Scarpetta. It took a while for me to really get into it but it was worth the wait.
Not in the usual style and feels quite bleak at times compared to the others in this series.

3 people found this helpful

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Still Scarpetta, but not much changes...

Would you listen to Depraved Heart again? Why?

I probably won't listen to this book again. The Scarpetta stories are always good, but this one isn't quite as great as the others.

What does Susan Ericksen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I was a little worried that Lorelei King wasn't reading this, as usual, but Susan Ericksen is actually really good and after a few minutes, i didn't really notice it was a different reader.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

The Scarpetta stories are getting a little samey these days. they're still great, but I don't find myself being as excited by them as much as I used to

3 people found this helpful

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Another Scarpetta Triumph

Great story as an old nemesis continues to dog Scarpettas steps. Performance was if not always well read from an English perspective. cant wait til the netxt one.

2 people found this helpful

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Oh dear what a load of rubbish

Patricia Cornwall should retire . This Kay Scarpetta book was dreadful. Meandering , boring with little forensic content. Scarpetta is not a likeable character at the best of times nor is her ghastly niece but this book depicts them in a really bad light.
Total rubbish !!

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyable performance by the narrator

I thought the narrator was very good. She created the right amount of tension at the appropriate moments. I liked how she created each character through her voice & way of talking. Story flowed well & it wasn't an expected ending! I recommend to listen to it.

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Not much of the usual forensics but good story

I prefer more of the forensic pathology in the Scarpetta books however despite there being less of this in the book the story was gripping a good read.

1 person found this helpful

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Scarpertta at her best.

What made the experience of listening to Depraved Heart the most enjoyable?

The tension of this fast paced book is Scarpetta at her best. The story runs fluidly leaving you begging for more in the next chapter. The story keeps you so enthralled that you can't stop listening.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It has to be a close call between Scarpetta and Marino who is still bitter , hurt and ashamed of his feelings for Kay. Marino 's feelings for Scarpetta run deep and he doesn't know how to deal with them other than striking out at Benton. As brusque as he is, he is actually a complex character who's feelings run deep and confused.

Which character – as performed by Susan Ericksen – was your favourite?

Susan Ericsson played Scarpetta extremely well and convincing and sounds like how I feel Scarpetta sounds. Even reading the male characters she still gets the subtle nuances of them

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It is very difficult to pick one particular moment in the book as it is so complex and surprising, it is almost impossible to pick one moment. The whole book is one of Patricia Cornwell best books.

1 person found this helpful

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Not as good as previous books

This booked had a lot of personal story for Kay and less of the criminal and forensics which I why I have enjoyed previous books.

It skimmed over the crimes at the ending and was short about telling what had happened outright instead or piecing bit by bit as in previous books.

1 person found this helpful

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Slow

What disappointed you about Depraved Heart?

The story is painfully slow, any interest or suspence is replaced by frustration at the over description of everything. I've read all of the Scarpetta novels and this is the most disappointing.

Would you ever listen to anything by Patricia Cornwell again?

I finished this so maybe! I won't pre-order again I'll wait for reviews

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The reading is flat however the narrator can only do so much to jazz up a long winded story

What character would you cut from Depraved Heart?

New characters would make the next novel more interesting

1 person found this helpful

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what you expect

same old same old, but if you like that then you like reading the same story over and over again you'll love this

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  • Annette
  • 14-03-16

Drawn out

Was looking forward to the next instalment and hoping for an upswing in story and momentum. Instead it was at times was tedious and annoying with all the superfluous secrecy.