Welcome to Crime Fiction Friday! Grab a seat, some coffee (or something stronger, if you'd prefer) and join me in my weekly book review of whatever title I managed to pick up in my local charity shop during my lunch breaks. Speaking of lunch breaks, I'd like to take this moment to say a massive shout out to the people of Dolgellau for their fabulous taste in books. You're all sick puppies but I love you, nonetheless.
I was originally going to call this weekly blog post 'Fiction Friday' in the hope that I might actually read something else once in a while, but who am I kidding? Not even me, as it turns out.
At Risk - Patricia Cornwell:
I popped out to Hospice at Home during lunch last week and found a copy of patiently waiting for At Risk, by Patricia Cornwell. I loved all the early Scarpetta novels, although I eventually stopped buying them as they grew more and more far fetched. Also: the book was 85p so, even in the event I hated it, I gave money to charity and I could take it back to the shop for some other poor soul to wade through.
I bought the book purely on the merit of it being written by Cornwell and that it wasn't a Scarpetta volume. The main character on this occasion was a detective called Win Garano, who had good shoes. He also saved a mistreated dog half way through, so I loved him. Good shoes and a dog lover? He's he man of my dreams tbh.
The book is obviously written in Cornwell’s signature style and it was good to see a departure from Scarpetta’s increasingly unbelievable story lines to another pretty unbelievable storyline featuring someone else. Baby steps, people.
The book revolves around an anti crime program called 'At Risk', which I think might be the worst name ever. Anyway, the new program is being pushed by a ball busting bitch of a District Attorney, who ropes in Garano to investigate the twenty year old murder of an affluent lady in Tennessee.
Garano also has a sidekick, who I hated for being petty and jealous and, whenever she was featured in the book I found myself flipping forward a few pages in the hope that she'd be involved in some 'friendly fire' accident at the FBI Training Academy.
She wasn't; I was sad. Anyway, the book is enjoyable but I find myself so disappointed that it didn't compare to any of Cornwell's early Scarpetta novels. The plots left me gasping and the twists and turns were never anticipated. With 'At Risk', I found myself being able to guess what was around the corner and that's never a good thing.
My barometer for sussing out a good book is how often I check to see how many pages are left and how many times I skip through pages without reading the last few lines. Unfortunately, both of these were frequent occurrences. Not a bad book by any means, but certainly not up there with her best.
Have you any crime fiction recommendations for me?