About the Author

MAX ALLAN COLLINS, a Mystery Writers of America 'Edgar' nominee in both fiction and nonfiction categories, was hailed in 2004 by Publishers Weekly as 'a new breed of writer.' He has earned an unprecedented fourteen Private Eye Writers of America 'Shamus' nominations for his historical thrillers, winning twice for his Nathan Heller novels, True Detective (1983) and Stolen Away (1991).

His other credits include film criticism, short fiction, songwriting, trading-card sets, and movie/TV tie-in novels, including Air Force One, In the Line of Fire, and the New York Times-bestselling Saving Private Ryan.

His graphic novel Road to Perdition is the basis of the Academy Award-winning DreamWorks 2002 feature film starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, and Jude Law, directed by Sam Mendes. His many comics credits include the Dick Tracy syndicated strip; his own Ms. Tree; Batman; and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, based on the hit TV series for which he has also written three video games, two jigsaw puzzles, and a USA Today-bestselling series of novels.

An independent filmmaker in his native Iowa, he wrote and directed Mommy, premiering on Lifetime in 1996, as well as a 1997 sequel, Mommy's Day. The screenwriter of The Expert, a 1995 HBO World Premiere, he wrote and directed the innovative made- for-DVD feature, Real Time: Siege at Lucas Street Market (2000). His latest indie feature, Shades of Noir (2004), is an anthology of his short films, including his award-winning documentary, Mike Hammer's Mickey Spillane. He recently completed a documentary, CAVEMAN: V.T. Hamlin and Alley Oop, and a DVD boxed set of his films will appear next year.

Collins lives in Muscatine, Iowa, with his wife, writer Barbara Collins; their son Nathan is a recent graduate in computer science and Japanese at the University of Iowa in nearby Iowa City.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

--01 Double Dealer (05-2002)

In memory of our friend

David R. Collins

author, teacher, mentor

M.A.C. and M.V.C.

With a scientific third degree, the master criminalist makes the physical evidence talk, wringing confessions from blood, guns, narcotics, hair, fibers, metal slivers, tire marks, tool marks, and bullets.



THE SIREN'S SQUEAL SPLIT THE MORNING, THE FLASHING BLUE-then-red-then-blue dashboard light reflecting off other cars as the black Chevy Tahoe weaved its way through rush-hour traffic on US 95. The sun was rising orange and bright, tinting the clouds pink, and the air conditioning within the SUV was already grappling with the July heat.

In the passenger seat sat Gil Grissom, graveyard-shift supervisor of the Las Vegas Criminalistics Bureau. In the driver's seat was Warrick Brown-rank CSI3, just one notch under Grissom-and in back was another member of their team, Sara Sidle, rank CSI2. Warrick sawed the steering wheel right and left as he dodged between cars, his expression impassive. He might have been watching paint dry.

Grissom's boyishly handsome features were slightly compromised by the gray encroaching on his brown hair, and crow's feet were sneaking up on the edges of his eyes, frown lines etching inroads at the corners of his mouth. The politics of this job had taken their toll on Grissom of late. As much as he loved the science of investigation, the constant jousting with dayshift supervisor Conrad Ecklie, the strain on his budget, and the pressures of management had started to age the perennially youthful Grissom. This reality was aided and abetted by the fact that, even though he had never needed much sleep, now he hardly got any at all.

The SUV hurtled toward a small Honda. Warrick slashed to the right, barely missed a FedEx truck, then bounced back left, coming within inches of a blue Lincoln stretch limo.

From the back, Sara yelled, 'Geez, Warrick, he's not gonna get more dead. Slow down.'

Warrick ignored her remark and jumped into the diamond lane to pass a cab, then hopped back into his own lane.

'Why didn't you let me drive?' Sara asked her boss as she bounced around, her seat belt straining. 'Grissom, will you say something to him?'

Ignoring the exchange, Grissom turned his gaze toward the reddish sky. Quietly, without even realizing he was talking, Grissom said, 'Red sky at night, sailor's delight-red sky at morning, sailor take warning.'

Sara leaned forward. 'What was that, Grissom?'

He shook his head as he studied the clouds. 'Nothing.'

'Please tell me that wasn't an aphorism,' she said. 'Please tell me you're not spouting quotes while this maniac is-'

'Sailors?' Warrick asked. 'Gris, we're in the desert.'

'Shut up,' Sara snapped, 'and keep your eyes on the road.'

Warrick shot her a glance in the rearview mirror, twitched a half-smirk, and crossed all three lanes of traffic, jerking the wheel to the right as they turned onto Decatur Boulevard. Seconds later the SUV squealed to a halt in front of the Beachcomber Hotel and Casino.

'Six minutes, twenty-seven seconds,' Warrick said as he threw open his door, bestowing on his boss a tiny self-satisfied smile. 'How's that for response time?'

As the limber driver turned to jump out of the truck, Grissom gripped Warrick's shoulder, startling him a little. Grissom kept his voice quiet, even friendly, but firm. 'From now on, unless I say otherwise, you obey the speed limit-okay, Mario?'

Warrick gave him a sheepish smile. 'Yeah, Gris-sorry.'

In the backseat, Sara shook her head in disgust, her ID necklace swinging as she muttered a string of curses. As she climbed out, dragging a small black suitcase of equipment with her, she said, 'Gonna get us all killed, then who's going to investigate our scene? I mean, we'll all be dead.'

Grissom turned and looked over his sunglasses at her, through the open back door. She got the message and piped down.

Warrick grabbed his own black suitcase from the back of the vehicle and fell in next to Sara. Climbing down, Grissom-carrying his silver flight-case-style field kit-led the way. This early, the sidewalk was nearly empty in front of the hotel, the doormen outnumbering the guests. The little group was almost to the front door when Captain Jim Brass materialized to fall in step with Grissom.

Brass said, 'The hotel manager wants to know how soon we're going to be out of there.'


Brass blinked his sad eyes. 'Why? So he can let the guests move in and out of their rooms on that floor.'

Shaking his head, Grissom asked, 'What'd you tell him?'

Brass shrugged. 'As soon as we possibly can.'

A rotund doorman stepped forward and opened the big glass front door for them. Sunglasses came off as they moved through the gaudy lobby-Grissom tuning out the sounds of spinning slots, rolling roulette balls, dealers

Вы читаете Double Dealer
Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату