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Patricia Cornwell's At Risk: A Standalone Novel that Introduces Winston Garano, a State Investigator with a Complex Case


- Who are the main characters? - What are the main themes? H2: Plot Summary - How does the story begin? - What is the main conflict? - How does the story end? H2: Analysis - How does Cornwell use forensic science and DNA technology in the novel? - How does Cornwell portray the characters of Win Garano and Monique Lamont? - How does Cornwell explore the themes of crime, politics, and media in the novel? H2: Evaluation - What are the strengths and weaknesses of the novel? - How does the novel compare to other works by Cornwell? - What is the overall impression of the novel? H2: Conclusion - Summarize the main points of the review - Give a recommendation to potential readers H2: FAQs - When was At Risk published? - Is At Risk based on a true story? - Is At Risk part of a series? - Who are the actors in the TV adaptation of At Risk? - Where can I buy At Risk online? Article with HTML formatting: At Risk by Patricia Cornwell: A Review




Introduction




If you are a fan of crime fiction and forensic thrillers, you have probably heard of Patricia Cornwell, the bestselling author of the Kay Scarpetta series. But did you know that she also wrote a standalone novel called At Risk in 2006? In this review, I will tell you what At Risk is about, who are the main characters, and what are the main themes of this novel.




At Risk Patricia Cornwelll


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What is At Risk about?


At Risk is a novel that follows Winston Garano, a Massachusetts state investigator who is called back from Knoxville, Tennessee, where he is completing a course at the National Forensic Academy. His boss, Monique Lamont, is an ambitious district attorney who is planning to run for governor. She wants to use a new crime initiative called At Risk, which uses cutting-edge DNA technology to solve cold cases across the country. She assigns Garano to investigate an unsolved murder that happened in Tennessee twenty years ago, hoping that it will boost her political image. However, things get complicated when a shocking act of violence occurs, putting both their lives and careers at risk.


Who are the main characters?


The main characters of At Risk are:



  • Winston Garano: He is a smart and skilled investigator who has a mixed heritage of Italian and Native American. He is loyal to his grandmother Nana, who raised him after his parents died. He is skeptical of Lamont's motives and methods, but he follows her orders reluctantly.



  • Monique Lamont: She is a powerful and attractive district attorney who has a reputation for being hard-charging and ruthless. She is determined to become the next governor of Massachusetts, and she will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. She believes that At Risk is her ticket to fame and glory.



  • Sykes: He is a forensic expert who works with Garano at the National Forensic Academy. He helps Garano with the DNA analysis and provides him with some clues about the case.



  • Gail Shipton: She is a reporter who covers Lamont's press conference about At Risk. She senses that there is something fishy about Lamont's story, and she decides to dig deeper into it.



What are the main themes?


The main themes of At Risk are:



  • Crime: The novel explores how crime can be solved with modern technology, but also how it can be manipulated for personal or political gain. It also shows how crime can affect the lives of the victims, the perpetrators, and the investigators.



  • Politics: The novel exposes how politics can interfere with justice, and how politicians can use crime as a tool to advance their agendas. It also illustrates how politics can create corruption, deception, and betrayal.



  • Media: The novel depicts how media can influence public opinion, and how media can be used to spread information or misinformation. It also demonstrates how media can create hype, drama, and controversy.



Plot Summary




How does the story begin?


The story begins with Lamont calling Garano to her office and telling him that she wants him to work on a case for At Risk. She shows him a photo of a young woman who was raped and murdered in Tennessee in 1984. She claims that she has a DNA match for the killer, and that she wants Garano to go to Tennessee and arrest him. She also tells him that she has arranged a press conference to announce the case to the public. Garano is suspicious of Lamont's motives, but he agrees to do the job.


What is the main conflict?


The main conflict is between Garano and Lamont, who have different views on how to handle the case. Garano wants to do a thorough investigation and find out the truth, while Lamont wants to use the case as a publicity stunt and ignore the facts. Garano also discovers that Lamont has lied to him about some details of the case, such as the DNA match and the identity of the suspect. He realizes that Lamont is hiding something from him, and that she may be involved in some shady dealings.


How does the story end?


The story ends with a twist that reveals the true killer and the true motive behind the murder. It turns out that Lamont was the one who orchestrated the whole scheme, and that she hired a hitman to kill the woman in Tennessee. She did this because she wanted to frame her political rival, who was having an affair with the woman. She also wanted to use At Risk as a way to boost her popularity and win the governor's race. However, her plan backfires when Garano finds out the truth and exposes her. Lamont is arrested and charged with murder, while Garano is hailed as a hero.


Analysis




How does Cornwell use forensic science and DNA technology in the novel?


Cornwell uses forensic science and DNA technology as a key element of the novel, as they are essential for solving the case. She shows how forensic science can provide clues and evidence that can link a suspect to a crime scene, such as fingerprints, blood, hair, fibers, etc. She also shows how DNA technology can identify a person's genetic profile and match it to a database of known criminals or relatives. She explains some of the technical terms and procedures involved in forensic analysis, such as PCR, STR, CODIS, etc. She also highlights some of the challenges and limitations of forensic science and DNA technology, such as contamination, degradation, interpretation, etc.


How does Cornwell portray the characters of Win Garano and Monique Lamont?


Cornwell portrays Win Garano as a sympathetic and likable protagonist who has a sense of duty and integrity. He is smart, resourceful, and courageous. He cares about his grandmother and his friends. He is not afraid to challenge Lamont or question her authority. He is also curious and observant, which helps him solve the case.


Cornwell portrays Monique Lamont as an antagonistic and unlikable antagonist who has a sense of arrogance and greed. She is manipulative, ruthless, and selfish. She does not care about anyone but herself. She is willing to lie, cheat, and kill to get what she wants. She is also paranoid and insecure, which makes her act impulsively and recklessly.


How does Cornwell explore the themes of crime, politics, and media in the novel?


Cornwell explores the themes of crime, politics, and media in the novel by showing how they are interconnected and how they affect each other. She shows how crime can be used for political purposes, such as framing an opponent or creating a false image of success. She also shows how politics can interfere with crime solving, such as obstructing an investigation or covering up a scandal. She also shows how media can influence crime and politics, such as reporting on a case or exposing a corruption.


Evaluation




What are the strengths and weaknesses of the novel?


The strengths of the novel are:



  • The plot: The novel has a fast-paced and suspenseful plot that keeps the reader engaged and curious. The novel has a twist at the end that surprises and shocks the reader. The novel also has some action scenes that add excitement and tension.



  • The theme: The novel has a relevant and timely theme that reflects the current issues of crime, politics, and media in society. The novel raises some questions and challenges about the use and abuse of forensic science and DNA technology in solving crimes. The novel also exposes some of the corruption and deception that exist in the political and media spheres.



  • The style: The novel has a clear and concise style that is easy to read and understand. The novel uses some technical terms and jargon related to forensic science and DNA technology, but it explains them in a simple and accessible way. The novel also uses some dialogue and humor that make the characters more realistic and relatable.



The weaknesses of the novel are:



  • The characters: The novel has some flat and stereotypical characters that lack depth and development. The novel focuses more on the plot than on the characters, which makes them less interesting and memorable. The novel also has some unrealistic and inconsistent behaviors and motivations for some of the characters, such as Lamont's sudden change of personality and Garano's attraction to her.



  • The length: The novel is too short and rushed for its complex and ambitious plot. The novel does not give enough details and explanations for some of the events and situations that happen in the story. The novel also does not explore enough of the background and history of some of the characters, such as Garano's family and Lamont's rival.



  • The originality: The novel is not very original or innovative for its genre. The novel uses some clichés and tropes that are common in crime fiction and forensic thrillers, such as the lone hero, the evil villain, the cold case, the DNA match, etc. The novel also does not offer any new or fresh insights or perspectives on its theme.



How does the novel compare to other works by Cornwell?


The novel is different from other works by Cornwell in several ways. First, the novel is a standalone novel, not part of a series like the Kay Scarpetta series or the Andy Brazil series. Second, the novel has a male protagonist, not a female protagonist like Kay Scarpetta or Judy Hammer. Third, the novel is set in Massachusetts and Tennessee, not in Virginia or Florida like most of her novels. Fourth, the novel is shorter and simpler than her other novels, which are longer and more complex.


The novel is similar to other works by Cornwell in some ways. First, the novel is a crime fiction and forensic thriller, which is her main genre. Second, the novel uses forensic science and DNA technology as a key element of the plot, which is her trademark feature. Third, the novel explores some of the themes that she often writes about, such as crime, politics, media, corruption, deception, etc.


What is the overall impression of the novel?


The overall impression of the novel is that it is a decent but not outstanding work by Cornwell. It is a quick and entertaining read that offers some suspense and action, but it does not have much depth or originality. It is a good choice for fans of Cornwell or crime fiction in general, but it may not satisfy readers who are looking for more character development or more innovation.


Conclusion




In conclusion, At Risk by Patricia Cornwell is a crime fiction and forensic thriller that follows Winston Garano, a state investigator who is assigned to solve an old murder case by his boss Monique Lamont, a district attorney who has ulterior motives. The novel has a fast-paced plot with a twist at the end, a relevant theme that reflects current issues of crime, politics, and media in society, and a clear style that is easy to read. However, the novel also has some flat characters that lack depth, a short length that leaves some gaps in the story, and a lack of originality that makes it predictable. It is a decent but not outstanding work by Cornwell that may appeal to fans of her genre but may disappoint others who expect more from her.


FAQs




When was At Risk published?


At Risk was published in 2006 by G.P. Putnam's Sons.


Is At Risk based on a true story?


No, At Risk is not based on a true story. It is a fictional work that uses some elements of forensic science and DNA technology that are based on real research and practice.


Is At Risk part of a series?


Yes, At Risk is part of a series. It is the first book in the Winston Garano series, which also includes The Front (2008) and The Scarpetta Factor (2009).


Who are the actors in the TV adaptation of At Risk?


The TV adaptation of At Risk was made in 2010 by Lifetime. The actors who played the main roles are:



  • Daniel Sunjata: He played Winston Garano.



  • Andie MacDowell: She played Monique Lamont.



  • Annabeth Gish: She played Sykes.



  • Ashley Williams: She played Gail Shipton.



Where can I buy At Risk online?


You can buy At Risk online from various platforms, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Apple Books, etc. You can also find it in your local library or bookstore. 71b2f0854b


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