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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 16 reviews
VINE VOICEon August 14, 2014
I've read all of the other CSI novels by Max Allan Collins and loved all of them, but this one, written by a different author, is a total fail! I actually had a hard time finishing it because it was so boring - the story itself had a lot of holes in it and didn't give the reader a sense of closure about the plot. In the Max Allan Collins CSI books, he wrote in a much more flowing style and his dialogue was consistent with what the characters on the show would actually say, but in this book, several of the characters just didn't sync with what we know of them. But what really killed this book for me was the textbook way the author had of writing - I felt like I was reading a forensic textbook instead of a mystery/thriller! Of course it's important for us as readers to understand the forensics as related to the story and how they are collected and analyzed, but it was definite overkill by this author. You're so busy trying to comprehend the forensic language, that you get distracted from the story.

If you're a fan of the previous CSI books, you're going to be very disappointed in this one because it's nowhere near as good - skip this one all together.
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on October 30, 2007
I eagerly awaited this book after reading & enjoying all the other C.S.I. (Las Vegas) novels. Although the author is obviously extremely knowledgeable about forensic science and writes very well, he did not produce a book I enjoyed. There was no real crime-solving plot but a lesson in conducting field investigations. The villain was an interesting man, one that I could regard with amazement for his talent and training while despising him for his lack of humanity. It would have been nice to know why his target had been chosen and exactly what his plan had been.

I have given this book 5 stars for scientific content and 1 star for enjoyment, which averages to 3 stars. Some people will love it. I didn't, but I did admire it.
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on February 8, 2008
Of all of the books out there based on the original CSI series, this is the only one I cannot recommend. The other books, all by Max Allen Collins, have a much better understanding of the television characters. The other books don't leave things hanging. Ken Goddard left several things unanswered. Whether the criminal is captured or not, in the other books, the reader learns the answers to his/her questions. Unfortunately, the reader does not have this luxury with "In Extremis."
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on November 12, 2007
I like how Grissom (and Goddard in the intro) remind us that while evidence-gathering procedures are valuable and important, CSIs are scientists and they're supposed to be thinking about what they're seeing. When the characters begin to think outside the box, the book kicks up several notches -- with CSI intellect on one side and an icewater-veined hunter-killer on the other. Like the storm that is gathering throughout the course of this book, the story builds slowly, and then it breaks out - with all the mayhem I enjoy in Goddard's books.
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on January 7, 2008
This is an interesting book by Ken Goddard, and if you love the details of the forensics work, you'll like this book. I thought it was a little heavy on the nitty-gritty of the investigation and a little light on story and plot, but if you're a CSI fan, you will probably enjoy it. I did.
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on September 6, 2012
The book had a good story line in itself. It has an air of mystery that keeps you motivated to keep reading it. In the end, however, you never really find out who was in the truck. The ending with Viktor, however, was interesting and mysterious. The only problem I really had was all the technical words that were used. I've read CSI books before by other authors, and they used technical terms but they were easy to understand and follow. In this book, however, everything is VERY technical and it can become confusing at times when the characters are explaining their findings.
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on November 29, 2007
Isaac Asimov once defended his no-frills literary style against elitist criticism by asserting that what he brought to the table was a gift for clarity (and indeed, he expressed complex ideas with laser-sharp and easy to follow precision).

Mr. Goddard aspires to that kind of clarity here, but falls far short with technical descriptions involving math, computer projections and vectors that can pull up short even one who has a knack for following all that stuff. What IS clear is his attempt to create the literary equivalent of a "bottle" story -- locale limited to the crime scene and the lab, few other meaningful settings, and those, I think, only at the very end -- and show Our Heroes in a scientific Race Against the Clock.

The drawback is twofold: First, there's not all that much at stake. There's a professional assassin unable to get away from a mountaintop locale, and if Our Guys don't solve the mystery of who's responsible for what in a "hail of bullets" crime scene at a nearby stakeout site, he'll get away. Not get away to do something bad like kill an innocent or deliver a bio-hazard into "the wrong hands," just get away. Second: There's very little human drama, and it's the balance of shattered lives against the technical road to justice that has always been the trick to a CSI mystery -- to say nothing of those cameo, yet cumulative glimpses into the humanity of the CSIs themselves.

Goddard does seem to have a handle on the regular characters in terms of attitude and tone ... but for the most part they lack depth outside of their scientific curiosity; and this is made manifest in the long technical and expository speeches he gives them to rattle off -- often peppered with internal sidebars, like this one, set off by dashes -- that keep ironically violating the verisimilitude he's trying so hard to maintain; because for all his veteran CSI knowhow (Goddard was one in real life), real people, even real science people, simply don't talk that way. Even allowing for the inevitable neatening process of art, that gives fictional characters the ability to be unusually articulate and concise, Mr. Goddard way overindulges the literary license.

It's not a horrible book, and if you like the CSI universe enough, perhaps not even a dull one ... but it makes you miss the (seeming) ease with which Max Allan Collins managed to walk the tightrope with all his previous CSI novels ... and makes you appreciate his openness in acknowledging Matthew V. Clemens as his researcher and co-plotter. I can't imagine a more difficult TV series to wrangle into satisfying tie-in novels, because the template is SO restrictive ... and reading Ken Goddard's noble but labored misfire puts into perspective just how artful the Collins books are, and how deceptive their easy flow.
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on December 30, 2012
I won't read anymore CSI books. Like the TV show but not the books. Very short on plot. Most of book was based in the lab.
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on April 7, 2008
I got this book for free when I purchased the 4 for 3 books. My granddaughter is interested in criminal justice so I got it for her...she was excited to receive it. Nice sized paperback book she can put in her purse.
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