Book Review: Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell

Depraved HeartDepraved Heart
A Scarpetta Novel #23
Patricia Cornwell
William Morrow, October 2015
ISBN: 978-0-06-232540-2

Dr. Kay Scarpetta works out of Cambridge, Massachusetts these days. In Depraved Heart, she’s been called to a historic home where a woman has been found dead in rather gruesome circumstances. The death is supposed to be a straight forward accident, but of course, Kay finds much to rouse her suspicions. In the midst of this, a message arrives on her cell phone, consisting of video clips of her niece Lucy which would seem to make Lucy into an enemy of the state. No sooner has Kay watched the whole video (and it seems to take forever) than the whole thing disappears.

Kay is recovering from a near death harpooning and is still not at her best. She almost doubts herself, but surely Lucy is in danger. So Kay, aided by her raucous partner, Pete Marino, is out to save those she loves from a dangerous woman from the past. One who is supposed to be dead. As for the FBI, they appear to be as big an enemy as Carrie Grethen.

The plot is good, convoluted and devious, with surprises around every corner. Still, I’m sorry to say I don’t enjoy Scarpetta like I used to. The characters by whom she’s surrounded never seem like anyone I’d care to meet, let alone spend time with. Especially Lucy, who always plays such a large part in the stories. Kay herself spends a lot of time whining, always distrustful, even of those she should be able to count on. I thought this novel overwritten, rather slow moving, and with a lot of people saying the same things over and over.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, January 2016.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.


8 thoughts on “Book Review: Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell

  1. I stopped reading Cornwell for the very reasons you mentioned. The first few were riveting but a turning point came for me when (and I can’t recall which book it was) her friend the cop attacked her. I loved the interactions between those two characters and when it ended so did all the good plots.


  2. I loved the early Scarpetta books but I gave up on her a few years ago. None of the characters are likable and the stories no longer make sense.


  3. Hi Leliia: At one time, Patricia Cornwell had been my penultimate favorite writer, and I read each book as soon as it hit the market ( despite cost), and devoured them; however, when Kay’s life changes, the focus seemed to be placed upon her niece; the locale of her books had changed and I just lost interest.


  4. Ah, an author’s name from the past. I used to read Patricia Cornwell books. Then went to her audio books that I listened to on a long commute to a job. I now have a short commute to work and got away from the audio books and started reading other authors. This looks good.


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