Title: At Risk
Author: Patricia Cornwell
A concise, direct, and fast-paced crime novel, At Risk offers a glimpse of the fascinating world of crime and forensics, all coated in a deadly game of politics.
Winston Garano, a Massachusetts state investigator, receives an urgent call from his boss, Monique Lamont; an attractive, direct district attorney, who is planning to run as governor. With her new crime campaign, At Risk: ‘Any crime, anytime.’ , she opts to get ahead of the political race and found a promising way on the field of DNA technology.
Garano is then tasked to work on a 20-year old murder case in Tennessee, which Lamont thinks will be a breakthrough to her campaign. The problem? Garano eventually received a threat, and the 20-year old murder case seemed to have been hiding something more after all.
While ‘At Risk’ is generally a good read, I found it rather short to accommodate the complexities of Forensics as incorporated in the whole story. And while the characters are really fascinating, albeit engaging, I don’t think I was able to sympathize much on any of them.
Perhaps these can be attributed to the fact that I found the focus of the story on two equally different conflicts (..and I mean ‘huge’ conflicts..) First would be, as presented on the first pages of the book, is the political side of the story. I’m under the impression that it’s a situation big enough to actually pull out related conflicts in the succeeding pages, without downgrading the core: politics.
However, when the 20-year old murder case has been presented, (relating to the first huge conflict of course), the events seemed to have taken a significant turn that I actually forgot about why it was brought out in the first place. I was like reading it as a separate story entirely, though Monique’s apparent mention would zap me back again to the first issue.
To cut it short, I feel detached about the series of events. Not that I don’t get it. I just wonder why it’s written the way it was written.
And actually, I think ‘Sykes’ is a more engaging character than ‘Monique’ (…and Garano in the later part..) . But I think she was more like a supporting character in the story.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I know I’ve been ranting…So in a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I’ll give At Risk a ‘6’.
I just so love Forensics. And I know that I’ll be reading more Patricia Cornwell novels in the future!
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