The great thing about novels is that you can get inside the characters' heads, which you can't always do on a television series. The bad thing about tie-in novels is that they can't make any major changes or revelations to the characters, as they have to leave that to the television show.
CSI novels can be hit or miss in that respect, but Jeff Mariotte's The Burning Season is actually pretty good for that. The problem is almost everywhere else, though the stories (there are three) Mariotte tells are actually kind of interesting.
My review of the book is now up on Curled Up With a Good Book.
From the review:
"Three separate crimes need to be solved by the intrepid Las Vegas nightshift CSIs. A fire in a small resort town of Mount Charleston, near Las Vegas, results in almost the entire subdivision being burned to the ground, as well as the deaths of six firefighters. There is the attempted roadside bombing of the head of a major cable news network[Dennis Daniels], a network beset by large protests outside of the building and numerous death threats against the owner. Finally, a dog has taken a severed hand underneath the front porch of a suburban home. Retrieving the hand will lead Ray Langston into the dark underbelly of the illegal immigrant community."As you can see, the book is rather political. The problem is that Mariotte tries so hard to not offend anyone that he makes the story almost unbelievable. I'm sorry, but "moderates" do not inspire the outrage that Mariotte shows in this novel. Not to mention the fact that Daniels' views are fairly left of center, though not too extreme, so even that attempt at "even-handedness" isn't that effective. The ostensible "bad guys" are two right-wing groups: one that's just Conservative and one that's very extreme.
I'll let you read the rest of the review to get my thoughts on the book itself. It's definitely a decent CSI book, and if you agree with the politics, it might even be more so for you. You won't go wrong reading this one if you're a CSI fan, but there are much better ones out there (like Mariotte's own Brass in Pocket)