Book Review: At Risk by Patricia Cornwell

2 out of 5 stars


The trouble with a successful author’s work being treated like a publisher’s ‘product’

This ‘novel’ should have stayed a short serial, because it is so thin on plot, there was really no point in trying to blow it up into a full book just for the sake of the with a hefty pricetag, let alone as a hardcover, when it would at best merit a slim paperback.

Winn the main character stars out fantastic, and we love his gran, though it is pretty silly to have her ‘solve’ the crime in some sense. But then Winn goes on the wild goose chase, and the whole book goes to hell in a handbasket.

Every detail the author gave to provide characterisation at the start of the book as they all lurch into action, and manage to go to it with all of the liveliness of cardboard. Once again, the author is thin on motive, and the whole thing smacks of “Phew, glad I got that out of the way!”

All of her most recent books have felt like that–I know her topics are seldom cheerful, but where is the fun, the wisecracks, of the early Kay, Marino and so forth?

It is a shame that Cornwell has descended into the dark realms of despair with her most recent books, but it is not surprising if she is expected to churn and grind out her next book like a hack writer meeting a deadline.

Definitely give this a miss, and her ones where the serial criminal is a werewolf-I mean, I ask you.  Just like sex is supposed to sell, sensationalism is supposed to as well, but this is a real waste of everyone’s money, time and effort.


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