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At Risk Mass Market Paperback – Apr 3 2007


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (April 3 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425214761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425214763
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.8 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #433,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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AN AUTUMN STORM has pounded Cambridge all day and is set to play a violent encore into the night. Read the first page
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By Anakina on July 9 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I admit I was sceptical about this short novel by Cornwell, being very short, but I had to change my mind. Dear Patricia in this little gem of hers shows her great ability to use the synthesis without depleting the story. She just narrates the basic features, without frills and without being long-winded, giving rise to a compelling story that you do not get bored of and that pushes you to get to the end as soon as possible.
The only downside to this type of work, halfway between a novel and a novella, is the fact that they often have exorbitant prices for something that, having the time, you read in a few hours. Fortunately, there are flea markets.
In any case, it is an reading that I would recommend to lovers of thrillers and beyond. It's a story that everyone can really like, but do not get distracted in reading, because, given the brevity, you should not skip even a comma, otherwise you may miss something important. This latter aspect is actually typical of all the novels by Cornwell, especially in the final parts, often very hastier than the rest. In this case, however, since the entire novel is very short, the whole is much more balanced.

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 20 2007
Format: Hardcover
While Alexander McCall Smith has shown ample ability to write serialized novels (44 Scotland Street and Espresso Tales), At Risk by Patricia Cornwell proves that it's harder than it looks. My advice to Ms. Cornwell is to either give up turning her serials into novels or to stop writing serials altogether. This book is a mess. Most novels start with an interesting premise: At Risk doesn't even have that going for it.

If you feel you have to read At Risk, go to the library for a copy. You won't want to own this book: Trust me.

What's the best thing about At Risk? It's brief. Otherwise, I would have graded it at one star.

Winston (Win) Garano, a Massachusetts State Police investigator, has been in Tennessee taking a course at the National Forensics Academy. Why? He can't figure it out because the state already has a CSI unit, but his boss insisted. That same boss, District Attorney Monique Lamont, has just called him back on an emergency basis. After waiting dripping from the rain in the Harvard Faculty Club for 45 minutes, the DA finally arrives and tells Win to get cracking on solving a cold case in Tennessee using the crime lab in Massachusetts. Win can't believe his ears, and he's even more surprised to learn that the DA has already announced her plans in the press. What is she, some kind of moron? He knows she's politically ambitious, but this path offers little possibility of gain in that direction.

From there, everything begins to unravel, and explained mysteries pile up on top of curiosities. Win, the intelligent superman who can't pass a test, has to hold the whole ball of wax together while the heat is on with little assistance.

If that introduction intrigues you, go ahead and read the book.
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By Ron Atola on Nov. 11 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I agree with the 1st poster. I only finished this book because it was short. I liken it to ripping off a band-aid. It was painful but quick. I tried hard to understand the plotline and hoped that it would all make sense in the end. Maybe it did to the Author. I actually stopped trying to put all the strings together in the last quarter of the book and just plowed through it, hoping a grand revelation would tie them all up. I couldn't be bothered to try and figure out what was happenning after awhile. The ending was very anti-climactic as well.
Luckily I got this book for free, but it still cost my time. I have another of her books and I might give her another chance after the bad taste of 'at risk' wanes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 260 reviews
368 of 380 people found the following review helpful
At Risk is Right! May 23 2006
By BeachBum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I don't usually write negative reviews even when I don't like a particular book. But in this case, I have to make an exception. As usual, I rushed out to get At Risk just as soon as the local bookstore opened with it (sorry about that Amazon....in the case of Cornwell books, I usually just can't wait!). Finished it in a couple of hours and felt like throwing it against the wall.

It's a real stretch to believe that the same person who wrote Cruel and Unusual, The Body Farm, From Potter's Field and Unnatural Exposure could have written this book. The dust jacket says it was originally written as a fifteen-part serial for a magazine, and it shows. Very little plot continuity with disjointed leaps all over the place; little, if any, meaningful character development; even the usual sterling scientific minutiae we've come to expect from a Cornwell book is superficial and mostly unexplained.

I have been a loyal fan of Cornwell's since I first stumbled across Postmortem. I even enjoyed her efforts in the Andy Brazil series that most everyone else hated. But in all honesty, At Risk seems like she felt obligated to get another book out in a hurry and just threw this one together. The dust jacket says "...this is the master working at the top of her game." If this is the top of Cornwell's game she's at risk of losing her legions of fans.

Not worth the time or money, folks.
147 of 150 people found the following review helpful
At Risk... of losing her fans? May 28 2006
By R S Cobblestone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
At Risk is an interesting novel. It is much shorter than Patricia Cornwell's previous books, with new characters within the medical examiner/police framework. However, in this case, the mystery story is weak, the characters forgettable, and the motivations and plot are, frankly, unclear. It seems as if this is the prelude for a deeper, richer story, not a complete story in itself. The wordsmithing isn't quite up to my expectations of her standard work. All in all, this book reads like a rush job, an editorial demand that a book, whether ready or not, had to come out prior to the start of the summer reading season.

I'm not the biggest fan of Patricia Cornwell's more recent work. Body Farm, to me, was her best book. Since Body Farm, the characters in her books (and their behaviors) are getting more bizarre, as are the crimes.

Let's hope Cornwell's stories improve at the same rate our crime-fighting technologies advance.... quickly. This book needs to go back into the incubator... it's not ready to hatch.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Mean-spirited and negative June 22 2006
By Library Lady - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Having worked at a library for more years than I care to tell, I have seen Cornwell's novels consistently snatched from the shelves the moment they arrived. She has been on my "to read" list for ages and this book seemed like a good way to get acquainted with her work.

However, after reading about two-thirds of the book, I couldn't take any more. Nobody likes anybody. Heck, they don't even like themselves! Now, I'm no Pollyanna, but shouldn't SOMEONE have SOME kind of positive interaction or relationship with SOMEBODY?

Don't get me wrong - any good tale needs tension and adversarial relationships, but an entire volume of insecure, mean-spirited internal dialogue is not my idea of a good read. I don't even care enough to finish the book.

I can't help thinking that this author must be better than this, or she wouldn't be so popular. Maybe once I get the taste of "At Risk" out of my mouth, I'll try one of her others.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Thank goodness for libraries! Aug. 25 2006
By Kimberly Duncan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've been a huge fan of Ms Cornwell for a long time, and I have a hard time believing that the author who wrote the first nine Scarpetta books is the same person who wrote Blowfly, Trace, Predator, and now, At Risk. The last of Ms Cornwell's books that I actually purchased was Blowfly (big mistake!), and since then I will not spend a cent on one of her books until I've read a copy from the library. When I first read the jacket on At Risk, I was very surprised and pleased to see that it wasn't another Scarpetta novel - all her characters in that series had become much too bizzare, pathetic, or just plain unlikeable - and had great hopes that she had written something new and fresh. However, At Risk is no better (and probably worse in many ways) than her last three. It actually doesn't start out too badly (not brilliant, but the characters and plot have some potential), but then, just as the plot and suspense are rising, you start the next chapter and find out that the detectives have it all solved! The story has no rhythm, continuity, or logic to it. The last half of the book reads like it was thrown together in about an hour. Very disappointing. I'm still hoping that Ms Cornwell will write another wonderful thriller (particularly if she continues to concentrate on fresh material and forget about the Scarpetta series) - after all, that talent must still be in there somewhere! In the meantime, I won't waste my money and will be using my library card more.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Cornwell, did you just get dumped??????? June 4 2006
By Jason - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First of all let me say that I loved Patricia Cornwell and the Scarpetta series was very addicting. I was very excited about this new book At Risk, well not anymore. I think she must have just been dumped or went through a tramatic time in her life for her to just dump her fans like this. From the moment I opened the "official" hardback which by the way is book club size, I was disgusted. The margins are so wide and the text is double spaced, I felt like I was about to read a third grader's Goosebumps book. That would have been okay had the book been about 750 pages. However, you just know if the publisher has to space it out just to make it 212 pages, this is not going to be good or have any suitable detail. Lukily I opened the book before wasting my money. I sat down at the book store and read the whole book in an hour and half. The conclusion: Cornwell- maybe someone needs to study your brain and figure out what went wrong with it like they did with the criminals in PREDATOR because something isn't working anymore up there!
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