15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Pointless and rushed, 18 Jun. 2008
As someone who's always enjoyed Cornwell's novels, her books are always among those I pick up when I see a new title in the book store.
I picked up a copy of "The Front" and having recently completed it, I can say is that it is definitely the worst of Cornwell's titles; in fact I'm not sure how it ever came to print.
We re-join the main characters introduced in "At Risk" and start with the premise of re-opening an old murder case where the victim may have been the first to meet their end at the hands of the Boston Strangler.
So far so good.
However the investigation of the case covers a scant few pages. The remainder of a novel (which is thankfully short to begin with) is fleshed out with poorly developed characters which you never feel any affinity with and a couple of clumsy plot devices that only serve to introduce one-dimensional FBI and Scotland Yard characters who bring nothing to tale.
After reading to the end, I was hoping for some twist, some moment of tension or drama to grab my attention and make it all feel worthwhile.
I haven't included any spoilers; but frankly even if I wanted to I'd struggle - there's no real story to spoil.
In some fictional works a lack of interesting plot and drama is compensated for by engaging character development or witty dialog; but this book is completely bereft of any redeeming features.
It's even more irritating as Cornwell has proved several times that she's a very capable writer.
It certainly feels like a project that's been rushed out to meet a contractual obligation to her publishers - some half-developed story that's been pulled out of the trunk and mailed off on deadline day.
I really don't like being negative about someone's efforts and always try to find something to enjoy in a book. But try as I may, I can't think of one good thing to say about it.
If an unknown Patrica Cornwell had sent this off to publishers for consideration I'm pretty sure the response would be a universal "stick to the day job".