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The Front

Cover of The Front

The Front

Winston Garano Series, Book 2

When Patricia Cornwell introduced a quicksilver, cut-to-the-bone style and extraordinary cast of characters in At Risk, the result was electrifying. Now, America's #1 bestselling crime writer returns with an audacious new adventure.

View the trailer for "Patricia Cornwell's The Front", premiering on Lifetime on April 10, 2010.

When Patricia Cornwell introduced a quicksilver, cut-to-the-bone style and extraordinary cast of characters in At Risk, the result was electrifying. Now, America's #1 bestselling crime writer returns with an audacious new adventure.

View the trailer for "Patricia Cornwell's The Front", premiering on Lifetime on April 10, 2010.

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  • From the book ONE

    Win Garano sets two lattes on a picnic table in front of the John F. Kennedy School of Government. It's a sunny afternoon, mid-May, and Harvard Square is crowded. He straddles a bench, overdressed and sweaty in a black Armani suit and black patent-leather Prada shoes, pretty sure the original owner of them is dead.

    He got a feeling about it when the saleslady in the Hand-Me-Ups shop said he could have the "gently worn" outfit for ninety-nine dollars. Next she pulled out suits, shoes, belts, ties, even socks. DKNY, Hugo Boss, Gucci, Hermes, Ralph Lauren. All from the same celebrity whose name I can't tell you, and it occurred to Win that not so long ago, a wide receiver for the Patriots got killed in a car wreck. One eighty, six feet tall, muscular but not a moose. In other words, Win's size.

    He sits alone at the picnic table, more self-conscious by the moment. Students, faculty, the elite-most of them in jeans, shorts, carrying knapsacks-cluster at other tables deep in conversations that include very few comments about the dull lecture District Attorney Monique Lamont just gave at the Forum. No Neighbor Left Behind. Win warned her it was a confusing title, not to mention a banal topic for such a prestigious political venue. She's not going to appreciate that he was right. He doesn't appreciate that she ordered him here on his day off so she could boss him around, belittle him. Make a note of this. Make a note of that. Call so and so. Get her a coffee. Starbucks. Latte with skim milk and Splenda. Wait for her outside in the heat while she hobnobs inside the air-conditioned Littauer Center.

    He sullenly watches her emerge from the brick building escorted by two plainclothes officers from Massachusetts State Police, where Win is a homicide detective currently assigned to the Middlesex County District Attorney's detective unit. In other words, assigned to Lamont, who called him at home last night and said effective immediately he's on leave from his regular duties. I'll explain after my lecture at the Forum. See you at two. No further details.

    She pauses to give an interview to the local ABC affiliate, then to NPR. She talks with reporters from The Boston Globe the AP, and that Harvard student, Cal Tradd, who writes for the Crimson, thinks he's from The Washington Post. The presses loves Lamont. The press loves to hate her. No one is indifferent to the powerful, beautiful DA-today, conspicuous in a bright green suit. Escada. This year's spring collection. Seems she's been on quite the shopping spree of late, a new outfit practically every time Win sees her.

    She continues talking to Cal as she walks confidently across the brick plaza, past massive planters of azaleas, rhodendrons, and pink and white dogwoods. Blond, blue-eyed, pretty-boy Cal, so cool and collected, so sure of himself, never flustered, never frowns, always so damn pleasant. Says something while scribbling on his notepad, and Lamont nods, and he says something else, and she keeps nodding. Win wishes the guy would do something stupid, get himself kicked out of Harvard. Flunking out would be even better. What a friggin' pest.

    Lamont dismisses Cal, signals for her plainclothes protection to give her privacy, and sits across from Win, her eyes hidden by reflective gray-tinted glasses.

    "I thought it went well." She picks up her latte without thanking him for it.

    "Not much of a turnout. But you seemed to make your point." He says.

    "Obviously, most people, including you, don't grasp the enormity of the problem." That flat tone she uses when her narcissism has been insulted. "The decline of the neighborhoods...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 25, 2008
    In Cornwell’s latest mystery thriller, the celebrated author’s At Risk team pairs up once again to tackle a loose association of police departments known as the Front. With a powerful stage presence and a voice that captivates for hours, Kate Reading delivers a home-run performance that captures the essence and authority of Cornwell’s prose. Reading, whose name tells us exactly what she’s best at, leaps into character in this understated yet creatively nuanced reading that is both honest and entertaining. She understands just how to bring Cornwell’s words to life and does so with great passion. A Putnam hardcover (reviewed online).

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