November 19, 2008
Max Allen Collins
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV Tie-In)
Body of Evidence
Pocket Star Books, 2003
I have read TV tie-ins before (I read loads of Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-ins when I was a teen, because I wasn't able to watch the show and needed my fix, haha) but I haven't reviewed one before; it sort of falls under a different category for me.
I'm not a literature snob; I enjoy my Harry Potter series while I read Austen & Woolf, after finishing Christopher Moore. Reading a TV tie-in, it's reading a book but I experience it as if I am actually watching an episode of a TV show I know and love. That's why a TV tie-in is different, what with it being based on existing visual material – characters I don't have to imagine because I know them, the general atmosphere basically familiar to me, and locations seen before. It's… television!
So initially, I wasn't sure about including this book in my reviewing series. But then again, Reading & Reviewing, I think, should cover everything I've read! So without further ado…
It's my first time reading a tie-in based on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a show focused on crime-solving using forensic techniques and science. The set-up is quite like the series; two teams working on one case each; a parallel idea. Case storylines are alternated between chapters, so you get regular updates on how each team progresses with their own investigation. Collins keeps you involved and interested, while he respects the show's canon (history, etc).
Though the book offers plenty of details and information, something's lacking: the visualization, one of the factors which is partly responsible for CSI's strength as a TV show and my fascination with it. CSI tends to visually demonstrate forensic techniques, and that is not nearly as effective – or even as educational – when written down in a book. Collins should also really try to use the comma more often. Finally, the clichéd title "Body of Evidence" is irksome to me.
But I have to give this book credit for being entertaining, without being too predictable, which is something not all mystery or crime novels are able to achieve but should – in my humble opinion. With this tie-in, you've got a pageturner for sure.
Yes, I see it as a bonus to have additional storylines of CSI available to me through tie-ins and wouldn't mind reading another one of these, but for now I'd just rather continue watching Grissom, Willows, Stokes and the others solve crimes on TV.
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2008-2010 and beyond.