Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell - #review

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.



Carrie Grethen makes Hannibal Lecter and Elizabeth Bathory look like amateurs.

What is totally brilliant is the only time she actually 'appears' in the book is on a 17 year old series of videos she took and saved on the off-chance she might need it to get revenge on Dr. Kay Scarpetta & Co. 'someday'.

As a mother, the worst thing someone could do to me is try to hurt one of my children.  Now, Lucy is Kay's niece, but Kay raised her from a young age.  Carrie was the mentor assigned to Lucy who was a wunderkind at the FBI.  Carrie is also a sociopathic, narcissistic, highly-skilled and psychotic genius.  From behind the scenes she is able to orchestrate schemes that send federal and international agencies into tizzies of paranoid activity, whether or not she intends to cause personal harm to anyone at any certain time.  When Carrie says, "Don't make me angry.  You wouldn't like me when I'm angry," the Incredible Hulk quakes in fear and huddles with his eyes closed in his happy place.

Depraved Heart is a heart-pounding-in-your-throat, edge-of-your-seat (on the edge of a cliff) thriller right up until the end.  I must confess it did not end the way I thought it would.  It was like one of those 'dead-drop' rides at amusement parks.  They take you high up in the air and you practically freefall until about 10-20' from the ground, where the brakes trip and you kind of float down the rest of the way.  It's a disconcerting feeling...but that's the point of a thriller novel, right?



In 1990, Patricia Cornwell sold her first novel, Postmortem, while working at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. An auspicious debut, it went on to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d'Aventure prize - the first book ever to claim all these distinctions in a single year. 

Today, Cornwell's novels and now iconic characters, medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, her niece Lucy and fellow investigator Pete Marino, are known all over the world. Fox 2000 is actively developing a feature film about Kay Scarpetta. Beyond the Scarpetta series, Patricia has written a definitive account of Jack the Ripper's identity, cookbooks, a children's book, a biography of Ruth Graham, and two other fiction series based on the characters Win Garano and Andy Brazil.

Cornwell was born in Miami, grew up in Montreat, North Carolina, and now lives and works in Boston.

Find out more about Patricia at her website, and follow her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.


Click on the button to go to the tour schedule, where you will find links to more reviews of this title.  You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)


  1. This sounds like a great thriller! From what you describe, Carrie sounds like Gretchen Lowell in Chelsea Cain's books. I've never read about someone as terrible as Gretchen.

    Thank you for being on this tour!

  2. Ooh your "dead drop" description of the ending is enough to get my anxiety up a level - I love that in a book!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  3. Sounds like a good thriller! I'm not a mother myself, but I can see how harming or effecting your children negatively would be one of the worst things someone else could do.