CSI: Miami

Authors: Various
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP 9.99
ISBN 1 84576 003 4
Available 21 January 2005

In three cases as hot as a Florida summer, Horatio Caine and his team pick their way through a mass killing on a popular beach, the labyrinthine plot behind the hanging of a businessman and the ethical dilemma of investigating the murder of a prominent criminal...

This collection of illustrated CSI: Miami cases starts with Smoking Gun in which several innocents are killed and a hi-profile model is wounded in a drive-by shooting. This is by far the best story in this collection. The ending has a surprise twist and the story plods along at a good pace.

However, the following two stories (Thou Shalt Not... and Blood/Money) are a little weak. Thou Shalt Not... builds well, but then falls apart in the closing pages. There are almost seven pages of flashback which explain how the murder occurred. But instead of hard evidence the case for the prosecution rests, as with some of the CSI: Miami TV episodes, on the flimsy speculation of Horatio Caine - who insists on fitting the evidence to his theories. Also, why does the CSI: Miami team insist on interviewing the witnesses and generally doing the job of the police? Is that how the forensic teams work in the US?

Blood/Money is another disappointing tale. As with Thou Shalt Not... this is not really the fault of the writers for these stories. The problem rests with the totally unlikeable character of Caine. He's arrogant, self assured and a real pain in the arse. Not only that, but he knows everything (he's more of an expert on every subject than the real experts) and is constantly proven right. Sorry, but there is no one alive that is that perfect all of the time.

Titan Publishing's first dip into the world of CSI: Miami comes up disappointingly short. The sad thing is that if you strip Caine out of the stories and let the forensic team do the real detective work you'd have a great collection of stories.

Nick Smithson

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