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At Risk Mass Market Paperback – Apr 3 2007

3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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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: 10.6 x 2.1 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #826,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Cornwell's latest-a stand-alone thriller that was originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine-is likely to disappoint even diehard fans of her bestselling Kay Scarpetta novels (The Body Farm, etc.). This time, the action is set in Boston, where an attractive and ambitious DA, Monique Lamont, seeks to use a new anticrime initiative to propel herself into the governor's mansion. Lamont plucks her top investigator, Winston Garano, from a special forensics course to probe an obscure cold case, but the detective's inquiries suggest that his boss may be playing a duplicitous game. The writing, pacing, characterizations and plot are far from Cornwell's best work, and the solution to the old murder mystery is anticlimactic.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


'This sparky novella-length work... is read with aplomb by Kate Reading. There are two great characters, crackling with suppressed chemistry' Sunday Times 'Kate Reading's telling of AT RISK keeps the listener hooked from the start' Waterstone's Books Quarterly 'The pace is cracking.' DAILY MIRROR 'This book is just as exciting as one of the author's Scarpetta thrillers and is thrilling from start to finish.' THE LADY 'Another Patricia Cornwell appears, and it's a pretty safe bet that At Risk will storm its way to the top of the best-selling charts. Cornwell has been at the top of the American crime writing tree for so long now that her position is virtually unassailable--even when she produces the odd misfire (which he has been known to do). Fortunately, At Risk can be counted among her successes, though its brevity may disappoint some. The book is based on a recent story of the same name serialised in The New York Times, but those hoping for the return of Cornwell's resourceful forensic specialist Dr Kay Scarpetta will have to wait a little longer, as Cornwell introduces a new central character in this book. Having inhabited the mind of a female protagonist for so long, the author has felt the need to move into very different territory with a charismatic male police investigator at the centre of the narrative. The book takes the reader from the cool climes of Cambridge, Massachusetts to the overbearing heat of Knoxville Tennessee. Win Garano is handed a tricky assignment: he is to investigate a murder case that is over two decades old. District Attorney Monique Lamont isn't concerned about the difficulties of the case, though--she simply wants results for personal reasons. Win is convinced that he has been saddled with a very low priority case, but quickly finds that there is much more to this twenty-year-old mystery than he thought. As some very dangerous secrets are uncovered, Win finds himself dealing with both the consequences of his investigation and the remarkable ambitiousness of Monique Lamont as he pursues a political grand prize. In the past, when Cornwell has moved away from the safe territory of the Kay Scarpetta novels, she has slightly alienated her dedicated fan base. But she is absolutely right to take chances like this in order to freshen her literary inspiration, and this fast-moving piece is a laudable effort, even if it comes in at a rather shortish page count.' - Barry Forshaw, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW 'In her latest thriller, At Risk, she has returned to what she does best . . .' INDEPENDENT

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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