TABOO by Casey Hill

TabooThis is a CSI Reilly Steel thriller.  whoo whoo.  I really like all that CSI and forensics stuff.   This is a really good book –  interesting plot, well written, and I would call it a psychological thriller.  I am lowering my standards for what I call a ‘thriller’.   Or maybe it is just that I am too jaded for getting an adrenaline rush from reading a piece of fiction.

Reilly Steel is a girl  – woman — who is a hotshot forensics person trained in Quantico and who worked for the FBI in LA, and recruited to the Dublin, Ireland Guarda to juice up their outdated forensics unit.  Shortly after her arrival, a series of rather horrible deaths begin to occur, and after the third one, they — well SHE —- realizes that there is a subtle Freudian clue left at every scene.  The first, a suicide, the note which the police took as a suicide note, but which was really a quote from Freud:

We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so forlornly unhappy as when we have lost our love object or its love.

The next incident was an apparent shooting/suicide of a young college-age couple, found in bed.   On the beside table was a stack of books, covered with blood and brain spatter.  CSI Reilly finally realized that there is one book in the middle of the stack that is clean — obviously placed there after the deaths.  It was a copy of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams.

The next was the shooting death of a solitary male camper.  On a stool inside the tent was found a cigar.  You remember that quote of Freud, who believed pretty much everything had some kind of symbolism:  “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

As the deaths continue to pile up, each with its Freudian clue, it becomes apparent that each was connected with some kind of taboo — incest, cannibalism, homosexuality, etc.

(A bit like Seven.  Remember that movie?)  We learn a lot about Reilly’s background and early life, and it soon becomes apparent that there is a connection — a deadly one.

This is the first of a series.  (Doesn’t anybody write single books anymore?  I think not.)  Looks to be a good series, with some nice interaction between single Reilly and single Detective Chris Delaney.   Thank Buddha he was not described as drop dead gorgeous, because every darn mystery seems to have a single, drop dead gorgeous male detective who falls for the lady cop/detective/protagonist, and frankly, people, how many really good looking cops have you ever seen?  I mean, seriously.


This is Rene Magritte’s (the French surrealist painter) joke playing with Freud’s cigar remark.




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