Monday, July 27, 2009

#BookReview: The Front - Patricia Cornwell

Fans of Patricia Cornwell know her best for her Kay Scarpetta series, about a medical examiner/forensic specialist that solves difficult crimes from Virginia to Florida. Cornwell really started to go off script in her last few Scarpetta books, changing the character's tone from first person to third person and almost writing about her as if she were a stranger instead of a character she developed herself.

With The Front, a follow up to At Risk, the author has a chance to redeem herself with a new character, Win Garano, a bi-racial state investigator. I only mention that he's bi-racial because the author does. I'm really not sure that it adds to or takes away anything from his character. Maybe it will serve a purpose farther down the line, but for now it's a moot point.

Win finds himself assigned to a forty year old murder case by publicity-seeking District Attorney Monique Lamont that, up until now, everyone believed was the work of the Boston Strangler. Working with Stump, a quirky detective from another department, Win sets out to prove that the wrong person may have been accused.

This book has fewer pages than an average Cornwell book so it should have been a quick read. However, the storyline is all over the place and I found myself re-reading sections trying to make sure I understood what was really going on before moving forward. Her writing style was so different from anything I've seen her put out, that I almost have to wonder if she did a James Patterson and just added her name to a book that someone else wrote to help it sell.
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