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Risk    by Colin Harrison order for
by Colin Harrison
Order:  USA  Can
Picador, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Roger Corbett walked out of a Manhattan bar and died when struck by a truck. Now, when the action of the highly recommended Risk begins, for reasons only she might be able to explain, Corbett's wealthy, eccentric mother wants answers. She isn't asking about the death - there are no real mysteries involved there - but she is wondering why on earth her son had been in a bar for several hours before he died.

So, with plenty of money to fund the investigation, with time running out because of her health, and with important connections to her deceased husband's prestigious law firm, the eighty-one year old matriarch of the Corbett family recruits George Young, a lawyer from the firm, for her singular investigation.

Young is more accustomed to making inquiries into insurance fraud cases - that is, after all, the firm's very lucrative bread-and-butter - but he finds himself curiously intrigued by Mrs. Corbett's demands. Young's investigation soon leads him to the dead man's fascinating mistress, and all seems seductively easy for Young to figure out at that point. However, Young will uncover more than a few surprises, one of which will force him to reexamine everything - including his own versions of reality.

As an intriguing mystery about families, the power of money, and the insidious risks of living in a volatile post-modern world, Colin Harrison's seventh novel Risk is a sophisticated literary mystery that is sleek, stylish, and surprising. Enjoy!

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