Depraved Heart

A Scarpetta Novel, Book 23
Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
Series: Scarpetta, Book 23
Length: 14 hrs and 53 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (2,326 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 20 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 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 Wesle, 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 best-selling series featuring chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Cornwell will captivate listeners 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 number-one best-selling crime writer.

©2015 Cornwell Entertainment, Inc. (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Depraved Heart

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Depraved heart

I hated this book! Not 1 autopsy in the whole story. This is what I got hooked on with this series. I suppose the scarpetta series has run its course. The narrator couldn't become a different person like the others. I felt like I knew and could see the story. This one was horrible. I have to return it I would never listen to it again. I have gone back and started from book 1 a few times because I loved the characters like they were real and I could see like I was actually there in the room. Ms Cornwall I wanted a year for this book and I'm truly disappointed

45 people found this helpful

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  • GH
  • 10-29-15

A train wreck you can't look away from.

I have read every single Scarpetta novel. I am sorry to say the trajectory is still downward and looks to be auguring into the ground at mach 10. In this novel the super-villain woman is back to taunt. The first hour is a recap of the background of the main characters -- yawn. The setting is a murder. I almost shot myself in the face from horrible writing in this scene alone. Sorry to say, it only managed to get marginally better.

The narration is horrible. I only gave it one star because zero was not an option. I will say this once again, unless Cornwell stops taring down Scarpetta and other and focus these characters on EXTERNAL challenges, this series is going no where. I'm tired of inter-family-friendship drama. Let's go get a criminal and let people someone be a hero instead of Debbie Ultra-downer.

Conrwell mailed this in with insufficient postage. I am so disappointed. This is one of my favorite got series. Pass on this one until you can get is for 1.99 or on a two for one.

72 people found this helpful

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If you skip this one, you won't miss much.

The last few books in this series haven't been up to par. This one is no exception. Much as I like Scarpetta, I don't want to spend 15 hours in her head.

It's an okay plot, but the script is very little action and way too much erratic thought process. The book would've been a much better story if told in the third-person.

I didn't enjoy the narration, either. Every time Pete Marino says something, I had to turn the volume down.

If you aren't already a Scarpetta fan, don't start with this one.

25 people found this helpful

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Thank goodness it's over.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Nothing could have helped this book -- except a complete rewrite.

What was most disappointing about Patricia Cornwell’s story?

It took forever to get anywhere -- and then where it 'got to' wasn't worth get to.

How could the performance have been better?

She had crappy material to start with, so she did the best she could.

What character would you cut from Depraved Heart?

The writer.

Any additional comments?

I can't believe this is the same author I fell in love with all those decades ago. I'm going to have to go back and reread the early books -- maybe I just had no judgement back then -- but this book was actually among the worst books I've ever read.

I actually yelled at it during the narration -- begged it to get somewhere.

I'm so disappointed -- I can't see myself ever spending money on another Scarpetta novel and that is such a shame. I have fond memories of reading these new characters back in the beginning -- and now it is just torture.

21 people found this helpful

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painful to get through

it was as if this book was written to just add another book to the series without regard to structure or narrative

2 people found this helpful

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Not enough forensics.

Too much “story” and not enough science. I was disappointed, but I did finished it.

2 people found this helpful

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Good novel with bad narration

I've been reading Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta novels for 25 years as Scarpetta moved from Richmond to Miami to Boston. The constant characters are back including policeman Pete Marino, niece Lucy who was first in the novels as a 10 year old prodigy and is now a 35 year old very wealthy prodigy, and FBI profiler Benton Wesley who was Scarpetta lover who apparently was killed before being brought back and eventually became Scarpetta's husband. Scarpetta, an MD and JD, has been a medical examiner throughout.

Depraved Heart is different because the entire book except for the last chapter is set in one day. As usual there is a bed guy, in this case a woman. She is a ex-FBI agent who tried to kill Scarpetta in an earlier book. She is also an acquaintance of Lucy from almost 20 years earlier. As usual in recent books Lucy is the most interesting character.

Those who liked prior Kay Scarpetta novels will like Depraved Heart because this novel is typical.

Choosing Susan Erickson to narrate was a mistake. Her voice is fine for the material but she reads much too slowly. I played with playback speeds using the Audible app and found that using 150% of the recording speed works fine to make Erickson sound much better. It also reduced this 15 hour novel to 10 hours.

Recommended for Patricia Cornwell fans when played at 150% speed.

22 people found this helpful

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Love Scarpetta novels, hate this one

I have been an audible member since it first began. This is the first book I returned. I have read and enjoyed every Scarpetta novel. Pre-ordered this one and began listening. At first I thought that there had been a mistake and one of cornwall's previous novels had been sent to me. I knew what was going to happen next!? I was listening to a previous novel, I thought. Next the performance began to grate on me. It has become narrator's "fashion" in many recently released books that I have listened to for the narrator to speak in a melancholy voice (read BORING). It is very s l o w and plodding. I began to investigate whether or not a mistake had been made an I got the wrong recording. I Soon discovered from the reviews that the beginning of the book, but I am talking hours, is a rehash of prior novels. I guess that was to bring us all up to speed. I determined to slog on though hoping it would get better. I turned the narrators speed up to 125% so that I wouldn't be in such pain listening to it. Well what did pick up was the narrators pace but not the story line. I returned the book and I would like to say, returning was simple. Thank you Aubible for standing behind your product. Great customer service. Glad I am a member.

14 people found this helpful

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Ending

I was pretty disappointed with the ending of this book - it was such a great plot and story line and then just dropped off and left me hanging. I guess I’ll have to see if there is a sequel....

1 person found this helpful

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Couldn't finish

Love her books but this one dragged so bad and seemed so unreal super secret, just lost interest.

1 person found this helpful