Shock Treatment is the latest CSI novel from media tie-in author Greg Cox (Star Trek: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Soong, Vols. 1 & 2; CSI: Headhunter) and features a horror-movie-inspired candid camera TV show called Shock Treatment. The A plot focuses on the seemingly innocent murder of an actor on the set of Shock Treatment when the scare goes horribly wrong, but throw in a sex scandal, blackmail and a zombie movie, and it turns out to be a set-up. I’m not a fan of zombies (or vampires, which also make an appearance in the book in the format of a paranormal romance series written by one of the suspects) but this was really well done and the zombies were just part of the scenery.
The B plot centers around a spa that offers snake massages and a venomous snakes ends up in the mix, becoming an innocent victim of the “It’s all my idea, why does she get all the credit?” story line. This one was more cliched but still enjoyable and although it dragged on for a little while and introduced a few more characters than was strictly necessary (including a guy who seemed to want to be a snake, forked tongue and everything) I believe that the plot is stronger for it.
Overall a solid 8/10. I would have liked a complicated B plot but the A plot was superbly rendered. Another great work from Greg Cox and here’s a free plug for him, his new Star Trek novel, Rings of Time, comes out in January 2012.