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VINE VOICEon 12 March 2008
'Dead of Winter' is the first of the C.S.I: NY novels, written by Stuart M Kaminsky , which is based on the TV show. The snow has hit New York City hard as the story begins when Mac and Aiden investigate the murder of a man who is found shot in an elevator in a up-market apartment building. On the other side of the city, a woman who is in witness protection for a high-profile court case is murdered in her locked hotel room, seven storeys up and guarded by two armed police. Stella and Danny take on the case.

If you're a fan of the TV show you'll be familiar with the characters and the locations, making this a fairly quick and easy read. The characters are written exactly like the in show and the scenes within each chapter are short, jumping from one character to the other, making me actually "see" the epsiode I was reading. There's plenty of action and the twists keep coming throughout. The killer of Mac and Aiden's case is fairly obvious from the start but the reason why is the mystery. With Stella and Danny's case, with the help of Don, it is a also more a reason of how as opposed to guessing who the killer was, as again this is fairly easy to work out.

One of the things that I liked the most about this book was that there was a lot more of an insight into Mac's background and his relationship with his wife, Claire. This is something that isn't really covered much in the TV show and is something that I found added to his character and something that make me understand the hurt that his character is going through in the show and the book, maybe explaining why he is so protective of his personal life and sometimes a little distant. A good touch from the author, I felt.

Stella's unusual illness was a little bit of a waste of time as it didn't really go anywhere and made me think it was only added to let the reader know that Kaminsky has a bit of knowledge in medicine and science and maybe to fill a few more pages.

Overall this is a highly enjoyable and easy read that I flew through in no time at all. Fans of the show should really enjoy it and I look forward to reading the others in the series.
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on 30 January 2008
It was the genre of this book, rather than the author, that led me to purchase it. I do like CSI:NY, although I am not a habitual viewer. I had never heard of Mr Kaminsky, or read any of his other books, so am unable to compare his other works.

I found his writing here on the spare side - it was brusque, wasting little time on unnecessary words. Thinking back on it, it reminded me very much of Mac Taylor - how he speaks, the words he uses. I can almost hear him reading the text.

That is a style that works here. I have never been to America, but the different CSI shows are, in my opinion, shaped as much by the locations as by their central character(s). NY seems tighter, more cynical, than the others, and the book reflects that.

It was a very intriguing dual-plot, most notable (to me, at any rate) for making good use of Detective Don Flack. In season one of the show, I felt he was woefully under-used; here, he gets the chance to demonstrate that he is actually a trained police detective. This is the Flack we should see on the screen. I think it's inevitable to compare book with show, since most people probably will only come by the former through the latter, and I understand that the focus of the show is always going to be the forensic team rather than the police detectives they work with, but Brass on CSI has managed not to be overshadowed by his scientific colleagues.

All in all, an interesting read. It could have been a little more pacy, more exciting in places - the fight scene between Flack and the murderer felt like reading an instruction manual when this should have been heart in your mouth stuff - but I can't fault it too much. Although, it will be the CSI:NY angle, rather than the author, that would draw me to other books in the series.
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