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Publisher's 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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-23-16

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Caz
  • 04-21-16

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • A M Underwood
  • 03-06-16

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Victoria
  • 12-06-15

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • charlie
  • 12-01-15

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • chris
  • 12-01-15

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • BettyK
  • 11-25-15

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss AM Hegarty
  • 11-05-15

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Forest Resident
  • 09-15-17

Only an 'OK' story

I have been enjoying the Scarpetta series of books but agree that it has developed into narratives about Scarpetta's family rather than a crime drama. Plus, instead of whining about things, why doesn't she make Kay 'talk' to Benton, for goodness sake?

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  • judith
  • 03-07-17

Good but not her best

The first part of the book is engaging and interesting but it becomes drawn out as the book goes on. There is little character development compared to the other books. It's still an enjoyable and very good read

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  • Janine
  • 11-05-16

Great Cornwell - Disappointing Narration

Patricia Cornwell has delivered another riveting story in the great Scarpetta series! This novel should not be read as a standalone. For followers of the series it ticks all the boxes, but would be hard to grasp as a first-time Scarpetta read. My advice is always start at the beginning and work up from there.

Sadly I found the narration by Susan Ericksen to be grating and irritating. Unlike Lorelei King, there was little difference between character voices, and a great deal of unnecessary pressured speech, making it hard to listen to. I only kept going because, well, it's Scarpetta!

I believe the latest Patricia Cornwell release, Chaos, has also been narrated by Ericksen which is disappointing.

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  • Justin
  • 04-27-16

gripping

I couldn't stop listening to the story. exciting from start to the finish. great read.

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  • Marjorie
  • 12-30-15

Disappointed with the book

What would have made Depraved Heart better?

I have been a big Patricia Cornwell fan for a long time and have loved and enjoyed all the Scarpetta books.This one I am really disappointed in, the story is slow and the Narrator is terrible. I have always liked the portrayal of the character in previous booksI always pictured Kay Scarpetta to be a dignified refined lady, but this narrator makes her sound very low brow and from the same ilk as Pete Marino, the change is not for the better.I won't be getting another audio book if the Narrator is Susan Ericksen.

What will your next listen be?

I will be going back to Kathy Reichs or maybe try and different genre

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Just listening to her voice, it is like listening to Marino all the way through,

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Depraved Heart?

I still like the way that Patricia Cornwell writes but have found this book a little under par,<br/>Also I get a bit fed up of the way Kay is always mentally feeling sorry for her wounds, it makes her come across as mainly focused on herself.

Any additional comments?

Just such a shame to change the Narrator to someone so totally different,Because I am listening to this and obviously not reading it, it spoils the whole experience.

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  • Natasha
  • 11-26-15

Don't waste your time

This is the first and last Patricia Cornwell book I will listen to. Pretty much nothing happened and it was just the main character having inner dialogues and moaning about the same things over and over to the point where I wanted someone to come and off her to end the book. It all just seemed like one big set up for the next book.

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  • Vicki
  • 11-06-15

Poor narration, couldn't wait to finish it.

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

A different narrator

Would you ever listen to anything by Patricia Cornwell again?

After listening to this, I told myself "never again" Will definitely check reviews if a story line sounds interesting before I purchase in future.

What didn’t you like about Susan Ericksen’s performance?

Dreadful, especially trying to be a tough male..