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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

Review

'Very special...an 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: 993 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publication Date: January 27, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EA1SW3M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,649 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: http://eepurl.com/FFE2D

CSI Reilly Steel series:
#0 CRIME SCENE (Series Prequel)
#1 TABOO
#2 INFERNO
#3 HIDDEN
#4 THE WATCHED
#5 TRACE
#6 AFTERMATH
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 www.facebook.com/caseyhillbooks or follow on Twitter @caseyhillbooks.

Official author website www.caseyhillbooks.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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If a novel is going to be a soap opera without an ending it should be noted. I have read works that are part of an ongoing story, that have a beginning and an end and the characters then move on to another adventure. This is more a soap opera. I enjoyed it until I got to the end and discovered there isn't one. End that is.
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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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The plot is interesting. The writing is so-so. The science sucks.

The detective has joint pain and fatigue. The brilliant CSI draws his blood and runs a serum ferritin test. Next test is serum transferrin saturation. Doesn't appear she ran any other tests. Gimme a break. Hemochromatosis might make the top one hundred list of things for which a scientist would check. Of course the diagnosis is "confirmed" later through inadvertent phlebotomy because the therapy works. The "scientist" needs to go back to school. The blood sample should have been exhausted after a CBC, an ANA test, a Rheumatoid Factor test and about twenty five others. Hemochromatosis inspiration my foot.

The hair has a follicle and the DNA matches the heroine's. Just a few differences. When the source of the hair is discovered this result is, of course, not impossible. Simply far less likely than an invasion from Mars. Please, somebody tells me the science gets better in the later books.

The heroine is American-born and -educated, hired away by the Dublin, Ireland, police. Her idiomatic expressions are all from the British Isles. Her internal thoughts are all expressed in words few natives of North America would ever use.

The writing in general tends to wander about. It's consistent, which doesn't necessarily make it any better than adequate. It is a shame that such a fabulous story idea was wasted in pedestrian writing and junk science.
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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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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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Things I liked: The central character, and those most likely to become continuous throughout the series are all well drawn, and very likeable. Overall, the storyline moves at a reasonable pace. I also liked that this particular story felt completed whether I read any others or not. And, I appreciate the economy of using this initial crime sequence as a means to educate us about Reilly Steel's background and motivation.

Things I don't quite get: If Ms. Steel is the eminent forensic expert she is purported to be, why did someone with no background (me!) notice fundamental oversights in the handling of evidence from the crime scenes? I also would have preferred that the perpetrator remain a mystery just a bit longer. As it was, I got a bit bored with the second half of the book.

Still, this is,overall, a nice introduction to a new series of forensic stories.
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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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