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TABOO - CSI Reilly Steel #1: Crime Thriller Mystery Series Kindle Edition

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Length: 401 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


'Very outstanding forensic debut' THE BOOKSELLER

From the Author

TABOO - Excerpt

Reilly sat at her desk, her features screwed up in an expression of intense concentration as she studied the crime-scene inventory for the Clare Ryan case. It was a couple of days after the shooting and nearly all the staff had long since left for the day.
To most people, the clinical setting and the oppressive silence - broken only by the low hum of the machinery - would feel eerie and discomfiting. For Reilly however, the peace and quiet of late evening was her preferred time to work.
Now that everyone had gone home, she was free from the noisy distractions of twenty or so laboratory staff laboring all around her. The silence allowed her more time to work, more time to think, and tonight it might allow her uncover what it was about this shooting that had been niggling at her for the last two days.
She'd sensed from the start that something wasn't right but so far had found nothing out of the ordinary amongst the evidence to back this feeling up. The two things she trusted most during an investigation were evidence and instinct. And since leaving that scene, Reilly's instincts were screaming that something was seriously amiss.
Gorman would have laughed if she'd tried to explain this to him. The long-time incumbent, he was head of the old forensic department and hadn't exactly been over the moon about her appointment, or the setting up of the new unit in general. She was glad that the old man would be away on vacation for a while; it gave her an opportunity to run this case the way she wanted - the way she was trained to do back home.
Since she'd arrived at the GFU he'd tried to put her in her place, inferring that her job was just to oversee work in the lab, and that she should have little or no interference in what he was doing, or had done, up to now. While this was true to a degree, from what Reilly had seen, the older man's current methods were pretty half-hearted and pedantic considering it was such an important role, and the old dog had no interest in new tricks.
On top of it, Gorman had an unbelievable ego - something she'd at least been forewarned about before she got here. Like many traditional scientists, he seemed to operate under the belief that his word was gospel and he was also a condescending old chauvinist - something she could handle were he not such a sloppy investigator with it. Still she resented the way he spoke to the female staff, particularly Lucy, who was a real sweetie and Reilly knew was routinely wounded by her superior's dismissiveness.
But office politics aside, Reilly also had to deal with the force's natural resistance to an 'outsider', to say nothing of the inevitable dumb blond jokes. She shook her head, recalling how on her very first day at the office, she'd come out of a morning meeting to find a crimson Baywatch-style swimsuit laid out on her desk. No doubt the culprit and his buddies found it hilarious but it was water off a duck's back to Reilly; she'd had to deal with a lot worse back in her Quantico days.
She looked again at the evidence for the Ryan homicide. This was one of the first scenes she'd managed to co-ordinate entirely on her own, outside of Gorman's interference. Without him breathing down her neck, she'd had as much time as she wanted to run the scene in as much detail as possible. And plenty of time to apply her 'touchy-feely' techniques, she thought, biting back a smile as she recalled the reaction that had gotten.
It was something she'd learned and perfected in her FBI student days. Her Quantico lecturer Rob Crichton, one of the best forensic investigators in the business, had drilled into his recruits the importance of the three-dimensional crime scene. She smiled fondly, recalling the now deceased Crichton - an anti-personnel device at a perp's apartment having put an end to the life of one of the best criminalists she'd ever had the fortune to work with. Although his death was a tragedy, she figured that Rob would have appreciated the irony of his body being blown to smithereens. He himself finally becoming the physical evidence he'd spent much of his life collecting.
'Your senses are there for a reason, people,' he used to say. 'Never ever discount them.'
While Reilly had initially been sceptical, she soon discovered when she applied Rob's painstaking methods that she had an unusually keen sense of smell - something that had been invaluable in almost every case she worked. For some reason she was particularly attuned to perfume and could draw easily on her inner database of various fragrance brands and body creams. For example, she knew that the ME, Karen Thompson favored Red Door by Elizabeth Arden, and that Carol, the GFU receptionist routinely wore CK One. Interestingly she'd noticed that Chanel No. 5, the American woman's favorite, had a far less fervent following on this side of the Atlantic.
Either way, her instincts had served her well in the past and she wasn't about to discard them just because some red-nosed Irish cop thought they were dumb and irrelevant. All mouth and little substance; Reilly could eat a guy like Kennedy for breakfast - not that she wanted to, she thought, shuddering at the notion. He seemed OK, just old school. She'd heard his partner's name mentioned a few times over the last couple of months; Chris Delaney seemed to have a good reputation within the force, and unlike some of his more conservative colleagues, also seemed to be well disposed toward the GFU. She figured that those dark, almost Mediterranean looks must work well when it came to extracting information - particular from the female side of the population - although from what little she knew about him, he didn't seem the type to play on that. And in contrast to Kennedy, he certainly hadn't given her any attitude that morning, and seemed happy to take on board anything significant the lab might come up with.
Which, at the moment, wasn't exactly much.
They'd sent blood samples off for a toxicology screen which, if they came back positive, might - for the shooter at least - go some way toward explaining his actions. However, with the speed the labs worked at, who knew when she'd get those back.
They'd also collected the usual - fingerprints, trace, and fibers - which were now being analyzed. Ballistics were in possession of the gun and cartridges, and Reilly was planning on calling down there the following morning to see if they'd come up with anything of interest.
In the meantime, she was doing what she did best, going over the scene in her mind, trying to recreate the kill, taking into account the evidence they'd uncovered, and hoping for something, anything, that might just help move this case forward.
But so far, all Reilly could come up with was that something didn't feel right.
She sat forward in her seat and for the umpteenth time picked up the photos of the victims taken at the scene before their removal.
What was it? she thought, kneading her forehead in the vain hope that the answer might somehow be released. What was it that about this whole situation that was bothering her? Given the gun's caliber, trajectory and shooting distance, as well as the residue found on the guy's hand, the results all looked consistent, yet there was something telling her that there was more to this, that she was missing something. Something important.
But what?
Chasing evidence, hoping to find answers - sometimes Reilly felt it was all she'd been doing her whole life.

Product Details

  • File Size: 992 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publication Date: January 27, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EA1SW3M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,623 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Casey Hill is the pseudonym of husband and wife writing team, Kevin and Melissa Hill. They live in Dublin, Ireland.
TABOO, the first title in a series of forensic thrillers featuring Californian-born CSI Reilly Steel was an international bestseller upon release. It was followed by subsequent books, INFERNO (aka TORN) HIDDEN, THE WATCHED & TRACE. A prequel to the series CRIME SCENE, is also available. New book, AFTERMATH is out now.

Subscribe to the mailing list. Enter the following link into your browser to be notified of new Casey Hill releases:

CSI Reilly Steel series:
#0 CRIME SCENE (Series Prequel)
CSI REILLY STEEL BOX SET: First 3 books in one great value box set.

For book updates, news and competitions, check out the Casey Hill Facebook Page at or follow on Twitter @caseyhillbooks.

Official author website

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jillian on June 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm trying to get through this book. She keeps saying how Reilly is supposedly sharper than the others working these crimes, but what is she doing that's any different? How are the cops missing any of this? It's all obvious stuff that any cop would see. Showing a cop how to hold the gun at the butt where the raised pattern is so as not to leave a print? really? That's something a lab person would tell a cop, at the murder scene, no less? Just lots of silly little things that are driving me nuts. She's trying to make her look smarter than the rest, with having a class of lab students who are completely dense. I just don't get it. And there is a lot of unintelligent inner monologue the characters all seem to have going on. It's just not well written. Maybe what bugs me the most are the many proofreading errors. Commas, periods, sentence structure - it's a mess. I'll try to finish it. UPDATE: I did finish it. The bad guy is sooooo obvious for the last three-fourths of the book. Wow. I wasted my time.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By morehumanthanhuman on July 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This first installment in a forensic mystery series got off to a strong start (I loved the idea of a forensic specialist helping a police department understand how to fully utilize science in their investigations), but it quickly devolved into a predictable and implausible story.

Note: Some reviews called out that the story ends with a cliffhanger and you have to buy the second part. This issue has been resolved, as this is now a complete book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. I. HOOD on April 13, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not sure what I was expecting but this story kept me guessing even when I felt I just "knew" what was to come. The problem was that many times I was wrong. This was not really a problem but a well crafted story that kept me involved .

There are many facets to this story that add a message that adds sparkle to what might have been "just a mystery" Having the story set in another country added to it's personality.

I liked the female main character because she was not perfect. Too often authors make WOMEN bigger than life. I like to root for someone who shows weakness that I can identify in myself. I plan to read this author again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Quilter Sammy on June 8, 2015
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I'm pretty much a sap for forensic-type yarns. Reilly Steele is an Irish-American forensic expert trained by the FBI. Her family is messed-up badly and this tarnishes most every human interaction she has. She is hired by the Garda in Ireland to come and help them set-up their brand new labs and train new techs. Enter a villian who nightmarishly manages to bring new taboos to the killing fields. I will read more books by this author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mommyyep on May 3, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ok, so maybe Kathy Reichs got there first, BUT Casey Hill doesn't fall behind☺️ I found this a fast paced thriller, cleverly written and DEFINATELY not boring. The fact that it's based in Ireland is a plus (you don't need an atlas to get your bearing) and i thought the characters realistic and engaging. For a first novel i can easily anticipate her writing only getting better. A must read in my world☺️
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Diane C.S. on May 14, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Totally enjoyed this book. I didn't have high expectations as I had never heard of the author. I usually read Clive Cussler, Brad Thor, Jack DuBrul... and love them. But this book was exciting! Kept me intrigued right up to the end. I believed and enjoyed the characters... got just enough CSI stuff to make me happy... and kept me thinking until the end! I'm looking forward to book#2.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. Teeter on June 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, I will say that there are some one and two-star reviews based on a book that stopped half way through. The version I read was complete. It's a good thriller with an interesting plot. Though some aspects require one to suspend reality, the book is pretty engaging. I felt that the author dragged out the story a bit, and that there are parts that a good editor would tweak. There are also some spelling and grammatical errors, but even best-sellers are guilty of that. The weakest part of this book is the epilogue which was written to tell the reader the outcome of the cop injured in the final chapter. All through the book a big deal was made about some likely serious disease this guy had and at the end we are told he's symptom-free. Yea, right.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gini Rainey on November 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It didn’t take me long to download this book to my kindle after my daughter emailed me, saying “Mom, you need to get this book I just read about. It’s the first book in a series of books for people that like Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs!” I absolutely love the convenience of e-books, because in the time it took me to finish reading her email, I now had in my possession another great book! Don’t get me wrong – I still love to hold the real thing and turn the real pages – but being able to have immediate access to a great read is very, very nice.
“Taboo” centers around Quantico trained forensic investigator Reilly Steel from San Francisco and a serial killer in and around Dublin. Sent to Ireland to help drag the Garda forensic team into the 21st century, and to also keep an eye on her Irish born father who had returned to his roots, Reilly becomes entangled in a series of murders that are cryptically tied to Freudian precepts.
This book has enough blood and guts to keep those who enjoy that sort of thing interested, while also having a lot of the antiseptic work of modern day lab technologies to keep the techies happy. Reilly is savvy, not only in the lab, but also on the scene and in the squad room. Combining Reilly’s background with the forensic team members she is training, there’s not a whole lot that gets past the scrutinizing eye of one of the best investigative teams to hit the streets of Dublin.
Hill does a remarkable job of building the crime scenes into easily imaginable visuals that help to immerse the reader directly into the middle of the investigations. With characters that are so completely developed and identifiable, the intrigue of “Taboo” has all the makings of a great, page-turning read.
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