cover image Depraved Heart

Depraved Heart

Patricia Cornwell. Morrow, $28.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-232540-2

In bestseller Cornwell's stirring 23rd novel starring Dr. Kay Scarpetta (after 2014's Flesh and Bone), what at first appears to be an accident quickly turns to murder once Scarpetta determines that Chanel Gilbert, the grown daughter of Hollywood producer Amanda Gilbert, didn't simply fall while trying to change a light bulb in the historic house Amanda owned near the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Mass. Meanwhile, Scarpetta receives a mysterious text, seemingly from the cell of her technical entrepreneur niece, Lucy Farinelli, with a video link showing Lucy's FBI dorm room almost 20 years earlier. It's a surveillance camera clearly planted by Carrie Grethen, Scarpetta's archenemy, who was Lucy's one-time mentor and lover, and now sociopath Carrie is sending potentially incriminating video to Scarpetta at the same time Lucy's nearby house is being raided by the FBI. Scarpetta's current case, Lucy's troubles with the Feds, and Carrie's spooky blast from the past are all on an inevitable collision course, and Cornwell shows surprising restraint in reining in her plot and keeping it tightly focused on her well-developed core characters. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Oct.)