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The Burning Season: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation    by Jeff Mariotte Amazon.com order for
Burning Season
by Jeff Mariotte
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2011 (2011)
Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

You guessed it. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is a print version of the popular television series CSI. In The Burning Season, we read of Nick and Catharine, Sara and Greg, and the others who work the Las Vegas Criminalistics Bureau graveyard shift.

It's fun to read of these people and be able to picture them their build, tones of voice, abilities, and interactions with each other. It's not polite to eavesdrop but I felt that's what I was doing while reading - and I enjoyed every moment of my poor behavior.

Six fire fighters fight a fire that would cost them their lives. Might it have been deliberately set? A human hand is found detached from its body. Whose hand is it? Why was it amputated? And where is the rest of the body?

Local big man in town Dennis Daniels is being targeted by picketers for a variety of reasons. Mostly so that the throng can have something to picket about. The man's two-car cavalcade is blown up. He survives. Only to be targeted once again.

The Crime Scene Investigators - who with all their forensic experience, the latest scientific machines and chemicals with exotic names, are able to determine DNA from a wee blood sample or a miniscule scrap of fabric found at the scene of a fire - are called upon to help with all of the above perceived criminal acts.

For those of us who vicariously live in law enforcement, CSI takes us out of our everyday worlds and allows us to imaginatively live the lives of these crime fighters. We all know there's very little romance in the crimes they have to investigate, but this novel allows us to wallow in a touch of what could have been. CSI puts a bit of a spark in our day.

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