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cold burn

cold burn

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Published by Andy Kirkwood
fiction
fiction

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Published by: Andy Kirkwood on Jun 16, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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06/18/2014

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There’s a heat wave raging in Las Vegas, where it seems, the only people oblivious to the searing temperatures are those laid out on slabs in the mortuary of the Las Vegas Police Department, awaiting the attention of pathologist Dr Al Robbins !e’s about to receive two more guests, the latest victims of crimes being investigated by LVPD, with the e"pert assistance of the #rime $cene %nvestigation &nit Leading the #$% team is the unflappable 'il 'rissom, as cool in temperament as Doc Robbins’ customers are in temperatureLong(suffering Police #aptain )im *rass is coerced by $heriff Rory Atwater into investigating the death of Rita *ennett, successful businesswoman and erstwhile contributor to his political campaign +stensibly, Rita died from a heart attac, but her estranged daughter Rebecca suspects that Peter *ennett, her stepfather, has murdered her mother, and begs Atwater to treat the death as suspicious The complication is that Rita died some three months ago, meaning that her body must be e"humed in order for 'rissom and colleagues $arah $idle and -ic $toes to begin the investigation -obody, however, is prepared for what happens when the coffin is opened The body inside is not that of a fifty(something ageing showgirl turned car sales magnate, but is, instead, nineteen year old .athy Dean, reported missing twenty four hours before Rita *ennett’s funeral too place /ith Rita’s remains missing for the time being, 'rissom and his team must concentrate on establishing both who illed .athy, and how her body came to be buried in the businesswoman’s grave0eanwhile, fellow #$% officers #atherine /illows and /arric *rown are summoned to the $unny Day #ontinuing #are 1acility, following the sudden death of Vivian 2lliott, an elderly, but otherwise perfectly healthy widow, admitted to the home for convalescence following a road accident +rdinarily, there would be nothing unusual about the death of an elderly person in a nursing home, however, assistant coroner  David Phillips is worried about the abnormally high number of 3pic(ups4 he’s made from the home during the  past few months /ithout e"ception, the deceased have been widows, each comfortably off with no families, their not insubstantial estates having been left to charity /as Vivian’s death really due to natural causes, or are there dar clouds gathering at $unny Day5'rave 0atters is one of a series of novels written by 0a" Allan #ollins, based on the highly(acclaimed American drama series, #$%, which focuses on the forensic aspect of  police detective wor, and the painstaing way in which the evidence is gathered and e"amined #ollins is an established crime writer, having penned a number of historical thrillers, and has a number of film and TV related novels to his credit in addition to the #$% series of novels !e has no direct involvement, however, with the television  programme itself As an avid watcher of the programme from its inception, % wondered how the boo would stand up in comparisonTypically, each TV episode has two plots running concurrently, and the boo stays faithful to that format, alternating between each story at a comfortable pace *oth storylines are highly plausible, and slot in well with the Las Vegas bacdrop6 indeed,
 
they’re in eeping with the type of plot that %’d e"pect to see on the show each wee #ollins has carried out his research well in terms of police and forensic procedures, although inevitably, the visual aspects of the forensic side are lost, somewhat, in the transposition from film to paper A ma7or part of the appeal of #$%, the television  programme, is its originality in demonstrating, by way of graphic crime reconstructions and computer(generated images, the manner in which the victims died, and how the evidence is carefully pieced together until the illers are found Tae away those special effects and much of the originality is lost, leaving us with little more than a run(of(the( mill police story, which is what has happened here, to an e"tentThere is, for my liing, too little emphasis on the forensic aspect of the wor of the #$% team, and all too fre8uently we find them crossing the lines of demarcation, by accompanying the police detectives on 7ust about every interview, and becoming involved in car chases and shoot(outs, in preference to remaining in the lab, analysing the evidence That happens on television too, but to a lesser degree, and as % read the boo %  began to wonder whether, perhaps, #ollins feels slightly less comfortable writing about the scientific aspect of police wor than he does the practical side There’s no doubt that he puts together a good plot, both of which % found intriguing and en7oyable, so here, he redeems himself considerably% thought the dialogue flowed well, and the author  has undeniably captured the on(screen camaraderie that e"ists between the team6 indeed, % had no trouble at all in relating the characters from the boo to their small(screen counterparts, having the advantage, naturally, of being able to fit faces to names Those less well ac8uainted with 'rissom and #o might feel differently, however, since #ollins doesn’t particularly go out of his way to introduce the characters, relying on the odd reference here and there to individual  personal foibles and prior events %n fairness to him, the boo is undoubtedly intended for the cognoscenti, the diehard fans in need of an additional between(series fi", and to that end, %’d have to concede that he’s fulfilled his commission reasonably well%t’s a boo that relies heavily on dialogue, and both dialogue and narrative are written in a punchy, no(frills style6 again, that’s in eeping with the pattern of the TV show, and one shouldn’t really e"pect a wor of great literary accomplishment Language purists will wince at the use of 9commonality’, 9directionality’ and other gems, but they have to  be taen in conte"t6 this is a boo written by an American, about police procedures in America, and we should, as they say across the pond, 3get over it4A ma7or part of the appeal of #$%, the television programme, is its originality in demonstrating, by way of graphic crime reconstructions and computer(generated images, the manner in which the victims died, and how the evidence is carefully pieced together until the illers are found Tae away those special effects and much of the originality is lost, leaving us with little more than a run(of(the(mill police story, which is what has happened here, to an e"tent
 
his boo reads lie the TV show And if you:re o with that, then you:ll L+V2 this and the other #$% boos %1 you:re looing for a little more personal details and such, you:ll  be disappointed;
th
 in series+therwise, this wasn:t too bad Rebecca *ennett, the estranged stepdaughter of a well(to(do Las Vegas businessman, is hounding the Las Vegas Police Department to reopen the investigation into her mother Rita:s death < alleging that, despite appearances to the contrary, Rebecca:s greedy stepfather actually played a hand in Rita *ennett:s untimely end *ut no one is prepared for the news that #$%s 'il 'rissom, $ara $idle, and -ic $toes report < their investigation is inconclusivebecause the disinterred deceased is not Rita *ennett 0eanwhile, at the $unny Day #ontinuing #are 1acility, #atherine /illows and /arric *rown must investigate the sudden demise of Vivian 2lliot < a  patient whose death may be the result of unnatural causes=/hen a par ranger discovers the naed body of a woman in the Lae 0ead -ational Par, the Las Vegas #$% team is called in to investigate /ith 'rissom away at a convention, #atherine /illows heads up the unit to try and discover why this woman:s  body would be left in such a public place ( as if someone wanted her to be found #atherine, /arric > -ic do not now who the )ane Doe is, but they now that she was suffocated and then fro?en after she died so they have no idea how long ago she was illed /hen they discover that she is 0issy $herman, the housewife who disappeared without a trace over a year ago, they try to sift through year(old clues, 7og old memories and find some suspects *ut, in the end, they are forced to rely on small bits of evidence to trac down the iller 0eanwhile, in -ew @or, 'il 'rissom and $ara $idle were lucy enough to mae it to their hotel before a bli??ard snowed them in /ith the convention cancelled due to transportation issues, 'rissom and $ara settle in to en7oy a weeend of rest when they stumble across the body of a man who has been shot and then set on fire in the snow After a grueling stint guarding the body in the bli??ard, a #anadian #$% teaches $ara and 'rissom how to investigate clues in the snow *ut with no bacup and no crime lab to  process the clues, 'rissom has to use every bit of ingenuity he possesses to trac down the iller before the bli??ard ends and his iller is turned loose % found this third boo in the #$% series to be every bit as entertaining as the other boos and the TV series #ollins does a great 7ob at eeping the personalities of the TV characters consistent in the boo and % can almost visuali?e how they would film the TV episode while % am reading % en7oyed the Las Vegas plot with #atherine, /arric > -ic more than the -ew @or plot with 'rissom > $ara, but it was interesting to find out how  people process clues differently due to regional differences %f you en7oy the TV series you should en7oy the boos ( another great read by #ollins
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