Top critical review
Gruesome and a Little Dull
on 26 March 2013
Television is a passive medium. Don't believe me? Then why are so many murder mystery shows on daytime telly? If you really stopped and thought about the torment that passes through Jessica Fletcher's head as she stumbles across another dead body, you would shudder in horror. The harder edged `CSI' series is now shown during the day, with some of the more gruesome scenes cut out, but is that right? The show is extremely violent and disturbing, any proof you need of this is in the opening section of Max Allan Collins' CSI tie in novel `CSI: Binding Ties'. In this scene, a middle aged man is strangled whilst naked. You are then left with a soiled body for our heroes to investigate. This scene alone was harder edged than the vast majority of the crime fiction I read, but does Collins earn the right?
`Binding Ties' is not a great crime novel; it is just too linear and bland. The various well known CSI agents glean the crime scene for clues and don't come out with much. This hit and miss evidence based storyline may work on screen, but in print it is a little dull. At times its feels as if the investigators are sat twiddling their thumbs when they could have been catching the killer. In the end, it is evidence that should have been `self-evident' that solves the mystery. I felt cheated as the vast majority of the book was unnecessary. This may be the way of the real CSI world, but I expect some artistic licence in my novels.
With elements of the book being dull, whilst others being overly graphic, `Binding Ties' was just a book that left me feeling uncomfortable and a little bored. Some tweaking here and there; perhaps an element of intelligence in utilising clues, would have improved it immensely.