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The Front by Patricia Cornwell
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The Front (edition 2008)

by Patricia Cornwell

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1,071357,827 (2.7)14
Member:Dannelke
Title:The Front
Authors:Patricia Cornwell
Info:Putnam Adult (2008), Hardcover, 180 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Patricia Cornwell, fiction

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The Front by Patricia Cornwell

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
It's been a while since I've read anything from Patricia Cornwell, and, I have to say, this book was somewhat surprising.

For instance, I was halfway through the book and was still trying to discern the plot of the book. The story unfolded slowly, allowing the reader to familiarize him- or herself with the characters, and it was done so smoothly and was so well paced, you found yourself turning the pages quickly to see where everything was headed.

The Front centers around an old, unsolved murder of a young woman. An ambitious D.A., Monique Lamont, has her own agenda when she assigns Win Garano, a state investigator, to the case. What are her reasons for digging up this case? Win is not too thrilled to be pulled into it, especially when he finds that he will be working the case with Stump, a Watertown detective.

A quick read. At the end, though, I was found wanting more. It was well written, I really liked the characters, and I could have kept reading for another 100 or 200 pages. ( )
  cmeilink | Jul 8, 2014 |
Read 04-27-2014
  trexm5qp7 | Apr 28, 2014 |
Audiobook. Ugh, Kate Reading narrator. Least favorite narrator I've ever heard =( Hope I can still enjoy the book, otherwise I might have to just go ahead and read it myself.

Didn't like it. I will stick with the Scarpetta series that I love. ( )
1 vote Barb_H | Apr 1, 2013 |
I used to be a huge fan of Cornwell’s Scarpetta books but some years ago found they had become bogged down in unnecessary length and the plots were increasingly convoluted and ridiculous. I eventually gave up all together after Trace in 2004. Since then I have, very occasionally, wondered whether I am missing out on anything by forsaking all things Cornwell so when I noticed The Front, the second of a series featuring Massachusetts State Police investigator Win Garano, was short (under 5 hours or less than 200 pages in the print version) and on special at iTunes I took the opportunity to check it out.

Monique Lamont is a District Attorney with greater political ambitions and as part of her long term publicity strategy she orders Win Garano, a special investigator assigned to her office, to re-open a 40 year old case in which a young English woman living in Boston was murdered. Lamont seems to think they can tie the murder in to the infamous Boston Strangler case and Garano is both skeptical and reluctant to have anything to do with the investigation. He is supposed to be helped by a female cop nick-named Stump (which we discover has nothing to do with the fact she has a prosthetic leg) but she is occupied by other things including investigating a series of robberies.

The book is better than that last Scarpetta I read in that the story moves at a faster pace and is a more manageable length. But it reads more like the treatment for a new, not very good, TV series than a novel. There’s little depth to the characters and they all felt like stereotypes to me (the ice maiden female, her disgruntled, smarter underling, the feisty disabled woman, the hippy grandmother…). There’s lots of dialogue but most of it is the kind of unrealistic psycho babble that no two humans would ever actually engage in.

The real downfall though is the plot. After meandering down some not terribly interesting alleys (maybe someone could make the theft of copper from building sites interesting but Cornwell couldn’t) the protagonist makes a huge leap of logic and the whole thing is wrapped up neatly. Except for the Scotland Yard connection: I still don’t know what that was about and I even re-played the last hour to make sure I hadn’t been daydreaming. Even though the book is short Cornwell manages to find room for a swag of irrelevant subjects including terrorism, the mafia, JFK’s Presidency and the aforementioned Scotland Yard. I hope Apple paid her for the numerous mentions of their famous phone because the gratuitous product placement didn’t help the book in any way. No one I know mentions the brand of their phone every time they check the thing for messages.

I can’t say I was disappointed by the book because I didn’t set out with tremendously high expectations. Perhaps that’s an unfair way to head into a book but this is the woman who revived a favoured character from the dead in the silliest plot device I’ve ever had the misfortune to read. Given that I didn’t pay much for it and it didn’t occupy a lot of my time I guess I’m happy to know for sure that I’m missing nothing by reading other authors in preference to Cornwell.

Audibook specific comments: I thought the narrator did a good job given the book was so dialogue-heavy and there were a lot of characters but as an Aussie I didn’t notice what was, according to other reviewers, a less than stellar Boston accent.

( )
  bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
I felt like this book went nowhere and did so very slowly. I really just didn't get the point of it, this book could have been a couple of chapters in one of her normal books. ( )
  jjnaaucoin | May 9, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Ursula MacKenzie

who publishes me so brilliantly in the UK
First words
Win Garano sets two lattes on a picnic table in front of the John F Kennedy School of Government.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399154183, Hardcover)

The second book featuring Winston Garano.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:33 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Dispatched by the district attorney to a declining Massachusetts neighborhood to address a case related to a new public relations campaign, state investigator Win Garano suspects a deeper agenda and becomes involved with a loosely organized association of vigilante police officers, in a case during which he is assisted by his intuitive grandmother.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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