At Risk (Winston Garano, #1)
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At Risk (Winston Garano #1)

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  7,533 ratings  ·  486 reviews
A Massachusetts state investigator is called home from Knoxville, Tennessee, where he is completing a course at the National Forensic Academy. His boss, the district attorney, attractive but hard-charging, is planning to run for governor, and as a showcase she's planning to use a new crime initiative called At Risk; its motto: "Any crime, any time." In particular, she's be...more
Mass Market Paperback, 289 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Berkley Books (first published May 23rd 2006)
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This wasn't a book in the Scarpetta series, and I had been finding those getting worse with each new novel, so I thought that something fresh may be better to read.
Nope! I honestly don't like her writing anymore. I don't know if it is the writing that has changed or whether it is me that is changing. I do know that my reading has been a lot broader now than when I first started reading PC, so maybe that is it.

In At Risk, I struggled to follow the plot line. I was confused a lot, and felt that I...more
Oct 22, 2007 Jessica rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people I don't like
Crap. First of all, it uses the rather unprofessional format of present tense grammar. I'm supposing the author intended this to give the story a sense of immediacy and urgency; it just made it sound like it was being related by a Valley-Girl.
The story plodded, large sections of what I would have considered important action are skipped over, scenes jump around with no sense or reason, and it was just plain not exciting.

Reminder: Just because something gets on the Best Seller's list does not mean...more
Oct 22, 2008 Juliet rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Not even my worst enemy
Shelves: 2008
Terrible all around! Whatever happened to Cornwell's writing and why did it get this bad? I remember reading her Scarpetta novels 7-8 years ago and they were captivating and well written. This book is just utter garbage, seriously folks don't waste your time. I actually thought that for a few chapters there, I was reading some of James Patterson's work - the flimsy characters and the short chapters with a shock factor at the end.
At one time, her Kay Scarpetta books were some of the best mystery/thriller fiction around... and then they grew dark & nasty & mean - and I stopped reading them.

Since the "At Risk" series meant a new set of characters and a possible fresh start, I gave both of the books a try this weekend. I'm sad to report that the books read like TV pilot proposals: the sexy ice queen prosecutor with political ambitions who bosses around the good-looking African-American detective hero. The hero has r...more
Meh. I listened to the audio version of this book. I actually have the book but never got around to reading it, i saw the audio version in the library and needed something to pass the time while driving so i grabbed it, thinking... Cool, i will finally get to see what that book is about.
Well... Meh. It was mediocre at best. if I had read it rather than listened to it I might even be more harsh in reviewing this, sorry Patricia Cornwell, but it just wasn't that good of a storyline, in was dry and...more
Sharon T.
Nope. Don't even go there. The main character is OK, but you don't really care about anyone else. And I kept thinking that it read like a long short story (?) Then I discovered a comment on the jacket that I had missed before saying that it was originally a 15-part series in the New Yorker magazine. Her other stuff is much better.
Lette le prime cinquanta pagine in inglese e abbandonato.
Ripreso dopo un anno in italiano.
La lettura è proceduta così molto più velocemente, ma non mi ha lasciato nulla.
Sicuramente in inglese mi avrebbe fornito, almeno, l'esercizio in lingua.
Granted, it's not a Kay Scarpetta novel. but I really felt cheated reading this book. It was short on plot, short on character development, double spaced and just not up to Cornwell's talent.
Quite interesting but a not so appealing book. I am not so sure I'll put some effort to read this new series by Patricia Cornwell.
All the 1-star reviews notwithstanding, I thought AT RISK was pretty darn good. Not classic Cornwell, but a perfectly decent effort nonetheless. It feels very different from her early work: punchier and more sparsely written, but lacking in immersive detail. Also, the main character seems flat compared to Scarpetta. The story is good--albeit rather contrived in some places, especially when the hero has to rely on fortune-telling to dig up clues. It's a quick read and very hard-boiled in tone, cl...more
Neil Collins
Patricia Cornwell was once one of my favorite authors, and I took any opportunity to purchase her books wherever I found them, certain that I would read them all, in order, over time. Sadly, she is no longer writing anywhere near the level she once had, and this is the last of her books I will ever purchase or read. In fact, I read it only because it was already on my shelf, and I hated to think I spent the money and never opened it.

At Risk is the first in Cornwell’s Winston Garano series (there...more
Nov 23, 2012 Karen added it
One of my worst reads EVER! The story line is stupid. The background mystery is stupid. The foreground plot is stupid. Horribly written. It was a total waste of time.

Here is my review of the #2 book, it is the same.

I read the first Garano book "At Risk" and was thoroughly disappointed, but I bought both the books online together, and I did like the character Winston Garano and thought surely she would flesh him out a little more in the second book. Unless you like reading extremely skeletal outl...more
I got this book from the library because I enjoy the author and was a little excited to see a book by her that I could read in less than 2 weeks. I read it in a day. Not because it was good, but because there was no substance to it. I kept waiting for the introduction of characters to stop and the actual story to begin. None of the characters are likable, which is a shame because story line is sacrificed for the sake of getting to know these awful characters. In such a short book, did I really h...more
I have always enjoyed Cornwell's books. Well, that is not strictly true. In that a few years, her writing style changed. Not for the better, I think. I am not sure which novel heralded the difference. It might have been "Precinct". However, this book is so lightweight it gives the impression that it was written in peevish haste, ie she had signed a contract and the publisher was pressurising her for a product. It feels as though it is only partially written like a skeleton of the story but it do...more
"....a brand-new Cornwell thriller, a book filled with all the chilling suspense, rich characters, and trademark forensics that have made her an international phenomenon. But what she does with those ingredients is a revelation."

I was unable to find any chilling suspense, rich characters or much of ANY forensics in this book. How can an author that was at one time so good at her craft create characters that the reader just does not care about?

After the last Kay Scarpetta novel, I had sworn off C...more
PROTAGONIST: Winston Garano, Massachusetts State Police investigator
SERIES: Standalone - originally written as a 15-part series for The New York Times Magazine
RATING: 2.25

Back in 1990, Patricia Cornwell took the mystery reading world by storm with the publication of Postmortem. That book was groundbreaking in that its lead character, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, was a medical examiner and there was a heavy focus on forensics. The detailed forensic analyses obviously appealed to the reading public; Cornwel...more
Doug Clark
Patricia Cornwell’s most recent paperback, At Risk, is probably a cautionary title suitable for the reader. Cornwell, who is best known for her award-winning series on the forensic scientist, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, offers a mystery involving a 20-year old murder in Tennessee and the assault of a Massachusetts’ DA, Monique Lamont. Investigating both crimes is Boston detective, Winston Garano. I am leery of saying more as I don’t want to raise any reader’s hopes that this is a good mystery.

I wish I c...more
Picked this one up off the "library" shelf at the office, to take on holiday with me. Will abandon it where I finish it, in all likelihood.


Okay, I've read it now. And meh. We got off to a bad start together with the narrative written in present tense irritating me. I got over that, and was initially intrigued by the protagonist and his situation, and the premise of using new technology to solve an old case. But then the storyline diverged, and the protagonist was in one city working a new,...more
It's not often that a serial author gets to introduce a new character to her fanbase, so I had high hopes when I picked up this book. Unfortunately, much like the Andy Brazil series, Patricia Cornwell fires off a panoply of shallow, one-dimensional characters with seemingly little motivation in the actions they take.

The worst offense of this book, however, isn't the character development - it's the lack of an actual story. We're expected to believe that two detectives in different states with di...more
The first book of the new Patricia Cornwell serie gives mixed feelings. The new character Win, is interesting and well described but after years of Scarpetta, also very very diferent. Not the familiar Kay anymore to lead you through te story.

So thinking as a story on its own I think she did very well. Win gets the task to solve an old murder mystery. His first thoughts seem to be correct, it isn't a simple PR task, there is more behind. When politics get into it, it becomes even more complicated...more
I LOVE the Kay Scarpetta Novels so when I saw this book on the Bargain shelf at BN I thought o0o0o Let's Try it!! I should have left it. :(
It was difficult to read. I never felt the characters were fully established, the pictures in my head kept changing the more I read and I never felt the connection I normally get with the main characters. Honestly, I couldn’t care less what happens to any of these people... well, maybe Miss Dog.
When I finished the book, it felt incomplete. Like this really...more
This book is a compilation of a serial story written for the New York Times Magazine....and it shows. I felt like I was reading that first draft. In these days of ghost written franchises (Robert Ludlum, Lawrence Saunders) At Risk doesn't read quite like a Cornwell work; I found myself re-reading sentences that didn't make sense the first time through. Makes me wonder.
Well. I cannot believe I listened to it all.

I don't know if it was just badly written, or if the narration was bad. But sometimes I had no idea who was talking. And the narrator had two options for any of the non main characters, white trash southern (even though these people were in Massachusetts) and.... one other that I can't remember at the moment. But they were seriously only those voices.

I had no idea what was going on in the story for 90% of the book, even the last few minutes I just real...more
Peggy Walker
I that this book was a major disappointment. Patricia Cornwell has certainly written much better books in the past. Everything felt very unfinished. It felt like this might have been a few chapters of another book and was discarded....and now published later. Don't bother.
Jacqueline Hale
Feb 26, 2014 Jacqueline Hale added it
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Jacqueline by: Nobody
I couldn't give this book ANY stars at all. Although Cornwell is one of my favourite authors, I was extremely disappointed. If I had read this book without knowing the author, I would never have guessed it was by Cornwell. It doesn't seem to follow any pattern. It's not easy to read. I was confused by the narrative many times. Characters the reader doesn't care fact the only character that seemed remotely interesting was Miss Dog! The only redeeming quality of this book, is the fact it...more
Very easy to read change from Scarpetta, but it lacked the punch. It was an ok read, but if there are any more in the series, I wouldn't rush to read them.
Elizabeth Moffat
Hmm, trying to find something good to say about this book. Well the character of miss dog was quite good? Apart from that majorly disappointed!
The more I read her books, the less I like them. The plots are becoming way too far out. This book is less interesting, than her Scarpetta series.
I kept checking to see if this was an abridgement! I hate abridgements! Little character development. A real disappointment.
Suzanne Young
A mediocre story, VERY badly written. Can't believe this was written by Patricia Cornwell--or that she would admit to it.
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Patricia Cornwell sold her first novel, Postmortem, while working as a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. At her first signing, held during a lunch break from the morgue, Patricia sold no copies of Postmortem and fielded exactly one question – an elderly woman asked her where she could find the cookbooks.

Postmortem would go on to win the Edgar, Cre...more
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Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta, #1) Cruel & Unusual (Kay Scarpetta, #4) The Body Farm (Kay Scarpetta, #5) Body of Evidence (Kay Scarpetta, #2) Point of Origin (Kay Scarpetta, #9)

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