Friday, May 23, 2014

CSI: Binding Ties by Max Alan Collins

I was at Rainbow Plaza looking for something mindless to read when I stumbled upon this. I quite like CSI (I used to watch it intermittently, until they swapped out almost all the characters), so I was intrigued as to how a novelisation of the series would be like.

Truth be told, I was hoping this was based on an episode of the actual series, so that I could read the book, watch the episode and compare both. However, this is an original case. In Binding Ties, a copycat serial killer has surfaced. The original serial killer is called CASt (Capture, Afflict and Strangle) and he is not happy about it. The CSI time has to work to solve not only this case but the previous ones.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The plot was interesting and I could believe that this is a CSI case. As usual, the CSI team (and not the detectives) are the ones that actually solve the case. With the dual, but related cases, this book had some complexity (one case influencing the other). Of course, unlike a traditional mystery, this case is solved by forensics (i.e. DNA), and not deductions - this means that it's impossible for the reader to guess who the killer is from clues in the book.

What I didn't really like about the book was that it veers to the side of the dramatic. The starting scene of a murder was definitely over-dramatic for me, as were the opening descriptions of the characters. That's probably because Grissom doesn't resemble an "angel of death" to me. However, once all the characters are introduced, the book settles down and proceeds nicely.

Bottom line, if you're a CSI fan (even if you're just a casual fan like me), you'll enjoy this book. If you're not, well, perhaps you'll prefer a traditional mystery.

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