Book Review: Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell (VIDEO)

While we shooters often enjoy perusing the pages of reloading manuals and gun rags in our pleasure reading time, sometimes you just want a good fictional page turner.  Patricia Cornwell, one of the masters of crime suspense, keeps readers glancing over the shoulder.  Depraved Heart, one of the latest in her line of Kay Scarpetta novels, is no exception.  This is the novel that Cornwell herself has described as “the most thrilling thing I’ve ever done” and perhaps most interestingly to readers, found Cornwell at the shooting range for some serious rounds-down-range research.

The hardcover from William Morrow is a thick 461 pages, and those babies turn fast.  Think FBI cover-ups, tangled murder mysteries, data fiction, suspicious deaths, scary-crazy technology advancements, underwater hunting of human prey, a heroine under attack, multiple tactical weapons in mysterious hiding places, and a writer who knows how to use those very weapons.

This is a fictional novel in which some of the main players are not people at all.  In fact, the Heckler & Koch MP5 comes to the front of the stage, and is just one of many guns playing a role in the story.  And Cornwell is not just name-dropping manufacturers or models she has heard in passing; no sirree.  In fact, Cornwell herself is a firearms aficionado and spends time with all of the guns used in her writing. “I can’t imagine writing about a certain type of rifle, a shotgun, or a certain handgun or anything and not having any experience with it,” she said in an interview.  In preparation for writing Depraved Heart, Cornwell did some scuba diving, shot tactical handguns and rifles, and put herself on the edge to present us readers with the most realistic, terrifying, thrilling read possible.   Check out her video here.

In typical Cornwell fashion, she gives readers of Depraved Heart a paranoia-stuffed murder mystery that makes even the most clean and cautious among us wonder if we’re safe from the far-flung reaches of twisted technology setups.  The psychological terror gripping Cornwell’s serial medical-examiner-heroine Kay Scarpetta makes one wonder if blood-and-gore really is the worst way to go.  While the majority of the 450+ page story takes place in a single 24-hour time frame, don’t plan on skipping over sections of the book and still making sense of the tangles that drive the story. readers may wonder what a work of fiction by a mainstream novelist is doing among our book reviews.  The answer is in the author’s video.  Depraved Heart is a psychological thrill-a-minute with some of the latest and greatest tactical weapons playing a role.  Cornwell proves — with knowledge of her weapons, subjects, and a knack for smashing tension headlong into forensics — why she is the best-selling crime writer of our time.

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