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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Burning Season by Jeff Mariotte
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
Pocket Star Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781439160879
Date: 28 June 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Burning Season, by Jeff Mariotte, is great and fun to read. The mystery takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada and includes the famous characters from the CBS TV show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In Burning Season, the criminal investigation division of the LVPD is following three separate cases:

A massive wildfire on Mt. Charleston that damaged many homes and killed a group of firefighters. The Forest Service's initial investigation indicates that the fire was intentionally set and the Nevada attorney general wants to charge the individual that started the fire with the homicides of the firefighters. The crime lab must determine how the fire started and then find the person who started it.

A crime scene where a dog is gnawing on a mysterious object that turns out to be a human hand. In the past few months, four other severed hands had turned up on the streets of Las Vegas. Four is too many to be random, and the crime lab must investigate and determine the connection.

A bombing of the motorcade of one of Nevada's wealthiest media moguls who is also considering running for governor. Protestors have been picketing outside the mogul's building for weeks, protesting his support for a funding bill they believe will raise taxes. Are the protestors guilty, or is someone else? The crime lab must figure it out.

The novel follows an episode of the TV show, with one main difference--DETAIL. In a book, the author has the ability to describe things that would be shown in pictures on TV. It is easy to miss details when watching, especially if you are not totally familiar with the subject. Here the author explains some of the details behind the scientific tests, which are interesting to read, but also make watching the show more fun. The novel is also able to give some character background that was presented on an episode of the show that a fan might have missed. Burning Season, however, also contains enough detail that knowledge of the TV show is not required, so all readers will enjoy it. I traveled to Vegas recently and visited the CSI Experience at the MGM Grand. It was thoroughly enjoyable. The exhibit gives a choice of three crime scenes and guides the attendee through the analysis of the crime. It is lots of fun. At the end, you get a CSI diploma.

Reading this review, you can tell that I enjoyed Burning Season and I highly recommend it.

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