Christina M. Hinke



Body Trace

Reviewed by Christina M. Hinke
Publishers Weekly
July 24, 2006
D. H. Dublin. Berkley, $7.99 (320p) ISBN: 0-425-21239-4

In this brisk, tight novel about the crime scene unit of the Philadelphia Police Department, debut author Dublin borrows from television'sCSI , bringing a similarly quirky, career-driven cast to the printed page. Through a beautiful, book-smart rookie, technician Madison Cross, Dublin introduces us to the forensics team, where Madison's uncompromising uncle, David Cross, is in charge. Her first assignment, with partner Melissa Rourke, is to investigate the deaths of two overdosed coeds at the University of Pennsylvania. On day one, Madison manages to annoy homicide detectives, set off a media frenzy and draw the ire of the police commissioner, the mayor and the president of the university. Though David wants the case closed quickly and cleanly, pressure from the media and the officials above him puts Madison and the team to work disproving the possibility of homicide. Madison, of course, thinks the evidence points toward foul play, and soon she discovers there's more to the girls' story than a bottle of pills, leading her into Philly's criminal underbelly. Dublin's novel isn't groundbreaking, but his detailed approach and lively characters make an immersive read; anyone waiting for aCSI: Philadelphia spinoff should be pleased with this well-written, well-meaning derivative.(Sept.)

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