Christmas in Miami - the city is wrapped in its own unique
festive cheer, and countless children breathlessly await the
arrival of Santa Claus. Except this year there are hundreds
of Santas. Miami has been invaded by the Red Menace. An annual
gathering of hundreds of red-suited, jolly old fat men and
women swarm over the city, comical and annoying, until one
of them turns up dead. In what should be a time of goodwill
to all the Miami-Dade Crime Lab finds that what appears to
be the simplest of crimes hides darker motives. Who would
want to kill Santa? Who would go to such lengths to conceal
the identity of a victim that they would decapitate him and
remove both his hands? And how does a simple convenience store
robbery suddenly spiral into an international incident of
kidnapping and murder...?
the first book in the Harm for the Holidays series
of CSI: Miami novelisations. With the run up to Christmas
2007, even the CSI team manage to get festive... sort
be expecting office parties and fun and frolics though, this
book still regains the trademark murder/mystery puzzle solving
that we've come to know and love. This book follows the CSI:
Miami Dade Crime Lab as they try to piece together the evidence
of three very different crimes.
there is the case of a man who winds up dead dressed in a
Santa suit. Part of a huge group of revelling mischievous
men and women, who are out to enjoy themselves dressed as
Santa, this man obviously over did things a little. But was
it merely a case of over indulgence? Or is foul play at work?
there's the torso of man, with no arms, legs or head, found
in the swamp. His boat has also sunk to the bottom of the
swamp. What is his story?
there is the case of a man who is knocked unconscious in a
convenience store altercation. The man claims he was knocked
out when he intervened in an argument. The only evidence of
the real criminal is a CCTV film where the man's face is covered.
And the only fingerprint that is definitely from the would-be
robber doesn't match the unconscious man - who is the main
had slight issues with this book as the author spends ages
carefully plotting the crimes and weaving an intricate web
of misdirection and back story, only to conclude everything
in a couple of pages without really explaining things thoroughly.
we are left with is one case that is closed and makes sense;
one crime that is explained but when you sit back and analyse
it you realise it just doesn't make sense; and the final mystery
is kind of left hanging in mid-air as to what on earth is
really going on - you get the start of something you know
is much bigger.
murder that I mentioned that didn't really make much sense
is a little bizarre and logically just doesn't add up. Without
giving too much away, the murder is executed in order to help
the criminal perform a robbery. However, a lot of other factors
could have prevented the criminal from pulling off the robbery
- the murder just seems one step too far. Also, why couldn't
the all important switch simply be achieved in a toilet (with
the real item being thrown out a window for an accomplice
to catch? Or stored on the thief's person until they could
dispose of it somewhere they could pick it up from later.
And how did they know what they would be wearing that night
so that someone could copy it and make the switch? These questions
don't seem to have been answered fully, which is a shame.
the mystery that was never really explained, and looks like
it may have terrorist connections, is also rather quickly
explained away. No real motive is given, nor a proper explanation
of what on earth the magazine argument was all about. If the
criminal intended to put his plan in action that day, what
on earth was that magazine waving antic all about? Wouldn't
it have made more sense for him not to have caused attention
to himself in that way?
my misgivings, I did enjoy Misgivings. The characters
are well formed and the CSI team all act and sound
like their on screen versions. But it's a bit of a crime that
the author, having beautifully set up the crimes, didn't think
to spend a bit more time plugging up the holes in the plot.