TV Review: CSI:Vegas Meets CSI:NY Part 1

Okay, this blog is meant to be a book and film review site however my CSI Fangirl side of me wanted me to write a quick review of part of last nights CSI crossover. I promise to make this spoiler-free for those who might have recorded part 1 last night so they can watch the LV episode then the NY episode and I ask any readers who are in the USA to please NOT post anything that would be classed as spoiler as we, here in the UK, are about 1 season behind!

Detective Mac Taylor heads to Las Vegas to surprise his girlfriend, Christine who is in Vegas for a convention. After a quick pit stop into the LV lab, he heads over to Christine’s hotel with DB Russell to surprise her. However, they discover that Christine is not there and there are signs that Christine has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, the Vegas team investigate the death of a man stuffed into a wine barrel to pickle.

Now, the premise is great fun and works great however I felt that the episode seemed very lopsided. There seemed to be more time given over the wine murder plot and not to the LV/NY cross plot, which is what this episode is MEANT to be about! This is a bit of a disappointment as I thoroughly enjoyed the all the earlier crossover episodes between all three series (LV to Miami, Miami to NY and back and the CSI Trinity episodes). I was also slightly confused about who Christine was. We have not got Season 9 of CSI:NY yet over here in the UK so maybe that is explained in the next series or, if that started in the last series, I must have missed it as I have also missed some CSI in the last couple of years due to not being able to watch at university for various reasons.

The wine plot was fun though and provided some laughs and would have been excellent in another episode but seemed to suffocate the crossover plot which was the main attraction for this episode. I feel this was a great shame. Also, I have been on the Channel Five website and an article about this says something that annoys me a little:

“Although star Gary Sinise was involved in two stories that merged his series with CSI: Miami, he’d never before been on the set of the Vegas-based drama and, since Ted Danson only joined CSI last season, this is first opportunity to visit a related show”. (Channel Five Broadcasting (2013). CSI: Vegas Meets New York on Channel 5. [Online]. Available at [Accessed 21/5/2013])

Um, can I just remind channel 5 that, to my recollection, NY has NEVER been to LV. LV has gone to NY but not vice versa! This is the first time we have ever seen anyone from NY in Las Vegas! Yes, I might be being picky but as a big fan of the show, that annoyed me!

Anyway, the episode was fun and I would reccommend it to fans of the show because, as I have just ranted above, this is the first time any of the NY team has been to Vegas, but the episode was not maybe as goof as it could have been, Maybe, and hopefully, tonight’s episode, part 2, will be a heck of a lot better…and not confusing!


Book Review: The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas by Chris Ewan

The Good Thief‘s Guide to Vegas is the third book in this series and follows Charlie Howard, part time mid list novelist, part time thief,  as he heads for Las Vegas, USA, following events in Paris. No sooner has he arrived is he pick pocketing a poor sucker at a roulette table for his wallet and checking out a magic show. The wallet happens to belong to the magician, Josh Masters, who takes quite a liking to Charlie’s agent, Victoria. Charlie isn’t one to hold a grudge but decides to use the key card he finds in the wallet to have a look round Master’s suite. Unfortunately, that’s when things start to go wrong, not least of all discovering a dead body in the bath tub…

This novel is great fun, written in the first person with wit and humour, and features everything that has come to be expected of Ewan. The series can be read out of sequence (I really need to read the other books!) as very little of the storytelling really relies on past events in previous books. All the characters are full of surprises and keeps you grip from page to page. The events in the books can be a little confusing if you are unaware of Vegas’s strip layout (even after watching over a hundred episodes of CSI:LV), especially the story takes place (mainly!) in two fictional hotels however that disorientation isn’t enough to break the suspension of disbelief and Ewan does explain the location of them at the end of the novel as an author’s note. The events and actions of the characters keep ramping up the danger the characters are in, especially Victoria reveals that she hasn’t been all that honest when playing the tables.  There are also a lot of surprises and twists and turns, making the solution to everything that has happened an enjoyable and satisfying ending.

This instalment is very much aimed at an adult audience as the themes of gambling, threat of death, betrayal, prostitution and sex are extremely prevalent. This might seem like an odd thing to note considering the novel is set in Las Vegas, the city of sin, but the story itself could easily appeal late teens and young adults who might not necessarily like having these sorts of themes so in their face. Of course, society often brings these issues into the public forum and many people read to escape that reality which makes this novel rather gritty and these themes not necessarily appropriate and/or wanted in a novel such as this.

As a rule, I don’t tend to look at reviews before reading a book or seeing a film but, whilst writing this, I have read reviews on GoodReads and Amazon which indicate that this book a bit like Marmite: either you really enjoy it and take the book as part of an excellent series by Chris Ewan or you hate it because the plot is holey and/or the characters are underdeveloped and/or the writing a little rambling. (I would note that the rambling might be down to the fact that the novel is written in first person and Charlie ends up exhausted which often leads to rambling).

In general though, I do like this book, it’s story and how well Ewan utilises his chosen location. It is definitely an adult book and can be read as a one off or part of the series. For me, I intend to track down the other books and get reading. I might end up doing reviews on those books in the future too.