Book Review: Cult Following (CSI: Miami)
Publication Date: December 27, 2005
Publisher: Pocket Star Books
· Donn Cortez
by R.J. Carter
Published: March 4, 2006
A stainless steel toilet. A copper pipe. A lightningbolt from the heavens.
These are the three initial pieces of evidence given to Horatio Caine and his Miami-Dade CSI team when they first investigate a death that most people would write off as a freak accident. But digging in a little deeper, Caine begins to uncover all the hallmarks of a homicide.
Murder by lightning.
The prime suspect in the case is Doctor Kirpal Sinhurma, a diet guru and founder of the Vitality Method. But again, initial appearances are deceiving. What appears to the public as the latest health craze being flocked to by celebrities and the beautiful people is, in Caine's estimation, a brainwashing cult. When one of the members comes to him with information she's a little uncomfortable about, she's soon found dead, shot through the chest with an arrow.
Guns and bullets can be ballistically tested. But how can even Calleigh Duquesne match an arrow to a bow, and prove the bow was fired by a specific person? As if proving that someone aimed a lightningbolt wasn't impossible enough...
Donn Cortez's genre novel demonstrates that he has a keen grasp on the characters and their interactions with each other. The action starts on the first page, and the investigation immediately grabs the reader's attention. Cult Following is the written equivalent of a 2-hour CSI: Miami movie, full of suspense, science, and even a little tongue-in-cheek humor as the characters go off on tangents about trivial things, such as a discussion Horatio has with a researcher regarding the qualities of Batman versus Captain Marvel.
If you're a fan of seeing the CSI teams do their thing, then you'll really enjoy digging into this novel with both hands, unearthing the plot, studying the story structure -- even doing voice analysis as you let the actors speak their lines in your head while you read. The evidence is in: Cult Following is a heckuva fine read in the media tie-in category.
Horatio nodded. "Pretty interesting work, sounds like."
"Most of the time, yeah. I get to tell people I yell 'Shazam!' for a living -- unfortunately, it seems the more attractive the person I'm talking to, the less likely they are to get the reference."
"I always preferred Batman to Captain Marvel, myself."
"Me too! You know, between Adam West camping it up and Michael Keaton in a rubber suit, people forget he's the World's Greatest Detective. The Batcave has to have the best crime lab on the planet."
"Well, we can't all be playboy billionaires...." Horatio peered at the equipment Jason had been working on. "So this is where you launch from. Nice setup."