Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell
trade paperback; 496 pages
Dr. Kay Scarpetta Series #23
Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell is a highly recommended
addition for fans of the long running Dr. Kay Scarpetta series. It is set
during one day.
Scarpetta is at a crime scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
investigating the death of a young woman. While taking note of the
scene and her observations, Scarpetta receives a message, a video, from
Lucy's in case of emergency (ICE) cell phone line. While simultaneously
watching the video and observing the crime scene, Scarpetta knows two
things. First, from the initial impression of the scene it appears the
death was accidental, but upon further observation it seems to have been
staged. Second, Lucy is in trouble.
The video sent to her was a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost
twenty years ago by Carrie Grethen at the FBI academy when she was
mentor and lover. Carrie, a sociopath and the archenemy of both
Scarpetta and Lucy, is the depraved heart "void of social duty and
fatally bent on mischief." Scarpetta rushes to Lucy's house where she
discovers the FBI is in the middle of a raid. They are harassing Lucy
and trying to build a case, any case against her. "Data fiction" may
play a part in the case being built against her. But even more suspect
is how and why Lucy's harassment may be related to the death scene
Scarpetta is investigating.
Patricia Cornwell is an accomplished writer. Her long-running Scarpetta
series indicates just how talented she is at writing great crime scene
investigation/psychological thrillers that keep her huge fan base
reading. I started reading the Scarpetta series from the beginning and
stayed with it for years until I finally took a break from it several
novel ago. Depraved Heart provided some of what I love about
Cornwell's books - the great writing and the detailed scene
investigation - and also why I took a break from the series. The
positives are the quality of the writing, the tight focus of the plot,
and the tense atmosphere. The downside is that this is the 23rd book in a
series so it is competing with all the other books in the series for a
rating. That is tough competition.
It's a given that I know the characters and could jump into Depraved Heart
after a hiatus from the series. If you have never read any Scarpetta
books, this is not the place to start. At All. Go back to the beginning
and work your way through them. At this point the characters are so
established and so well-developed that long-time readers know them
intimately. It's simply a fact that you can't include a detailed
background of these characters for new readers after so many novels
Is Depraved Heart my favorite addition to the series and worthy
of my highest rating? Nope. Is it a huge disappointment? Nope. I like
Kay Scarpetta. I enjoyed the novel, was hooked to the end and felt like
it was a perfectly satisfactory novel. I do wish questions were answered
and threats removed rather than continuing. It's a 3.5 for me (rounded
up). It's not going to be one of my favorite books in the series, but
it's not worth a horrible review.
After I finished reading I was ready for Scarpetta to take a break from
Marino, Benton, and Lucy. It's my opinion that the woman needs some
quiet time to reflect on the way her loved ones treat her and how much
she should be willing to tolerate. Perhaps a break from them would help
Marino, Benton and Lucy realize how much they need and depend on her.
(Not that I could ever tell Patricia Cornwell how to write any novel.)
My copy was courtesy
TLC TOUR SCHEDULE
This series has been going on for a long time, and there are bound to be books you enjoy more and books you enjoy less in that time. I'm glad you're still interested in following along with these characters (albeit after a break) even though this particular book wasn't your favorite in the series.
Thanks for being a part of the tour!
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