Tag Archives: CSI

Dark Prophecy

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Dark Prophecy (Level 26, #2)Dark Prophecy by Anthony E. Zuiker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Steve Dark was once a lost soul, torn between his family and his one-of-a-kind talent for hunting and catching serial killers-especially those so-called “level 26” killers whose depravity exceeds law enforcement’s official scale of evil. In his reluctant pursuit of justice Dark once crossed the ultimate line, a line that might cause a lesser man to lose himself completely.

Not Dark. When the world took everything from him, when it destroyed the very thing Dark once lived for, it brought a moment of clarity that few before him have witnessed, and sparked a transformation that, several years later, is only just complete.

Dark is now a man on a mission. A mission that no longer requires law enforcement support. A mission unbound by authorities, moral or otherwise, and supported by a mysterious benefactor with unknown goals of her own. A mission that, at long last, allows him to embrace his destiny. Dark is finally ready — ready to take justice to the next level.

I gave this murder mystery-thriller 4 Stars because — I Really Liked It!

Usually, leaving a tarot card was the kind of thing teenagers did at vandalism sites to panic authorities—to be all spooky. You draw a pentagram, you stab a cat, you leave a tarot card. Kid stuff.
The killer was not just some creep using the tarot card for shock value, Dark thought. The killer had a deep connection with the symbolism and ritual of the cards.

I have a special connection to this book, which is why I picked it up to read it in the first place. My nephew’s wife, Angie Bare, is the photographer who took the cover photo for the book, and the man pictured on the cover is actually my nephew. His first name is also Steve, same as the protagonist of this trilogy, Steve Dark. I feel like I’m related to somebody famous.

The author, Anthony E. Zuiker, is the creator and executive producer of the most-watched television show in the world, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as well as CSI: Miami and CSI: New York. Zuiker is a visionary business leader who speaks professionally about the future of entertainment and storytelling on multiple platforms. A mystery aficionado since childhood, Zuiker’s lifelong dream has been to write a crime novel. Dark Prophecy is the second book in his bestselling Level 26 trilogy. I was fortunate enough to read a galley proof of his third book in the trilogy, Dark Revelations.

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Plumber’s Half-Moon

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Everybody always loves to hear a good Mr. Fix-It plumbing story, or perhaps has one to tell of their own. I have one to tell. As the title of my blog post indicates, this is a story of a plumber’s half-moon, although not exactly the same kind of a half-moon that is stereotypically associated with a plumber.

Lying in bed last night, almost asleep, I overheard my daughters talking in the kitchen. I thought one of them said something about the kitchen sink not draining. I get up, get dressed, and go to investigate. Yup, sink’s backed up, better get the plunger.

I plunge and I plunge and I plunge some more. It’s still plugged. I decide it’s time to pour in the hazardous chemicals, but I look in the garage and can’t find any. My wife gets out of bed and brings me a flashlight. I get that CSI crime scene investigation thing going with the flashlight, but I still don’t find any chemicals. I decide I must be out. Time for a Wally World run.

I stock up on plumbing supplies at Wally World because it is already past midnight and I don’t feel like making another trip later tonight. I’m getting stressed. Plus, you never know when you’ll need a fresh supply of dangerous plumbing chemicals on hand; tonight being a prime example of just that. I buy 5 jugs of various chemicals and a 25 foot plumber’s snake. I am ready for battle.

I pick my poison. The destructions [sic] say this stuff works on standing water, pour in ¼ of contents, wait at least 15 minutes, flush with hot water, repeat as necessary. I pour in the entire bottle and wait 20 minutes just to make sure, and then proceed to “flush” the sink full of hot water. Looks like I need to repeat, but the sink is now full of scalding hot water laced with commercial grade flesh-eating acid, with no signs of draining anytime soon. Not good. More stress.

I break open the big guns, the snake, but my kitchen sink has tiny little holes where the drainer sits, too small for the snake to fit through. I’m seriously stressed out now. Really not good, but I will NOT be defeated.

I drag out the ladder from behind the shed, the neighborhood dogs are barking like crazy. I try to be as quiet as I can be, climbing around on my roof at 1:00 a.m. in the morning. Carefully I run the snake down the kitchen vent pipe about 18 to 20 feet, and then it stops. I start turning the handle on the back of the snake-holder to rotate the steel snake, faster and faster and faster and finally I break through and I am able to put all 25 feet of the snake down the vent pipe. That had to do it. Something was stuck there. I reel the snake back up and just sit there, thinking.

There is a gentle, cool breeze blowing. It feels nice and is drying off the perspiration I’d worked up spinning the snake. It’s quiet now too, 1:30 a.m. The dogs have stopped barking. Surely my sink is unclogged now, it must be, it has to be. I notice there’s a big Oklahoma half-moon breaking through the branches that are just a few feet above my head, and I realize that what I’ve just accomplished totally embodies the true meaning of moonlighting as a plumber. An indescribable feeling of peace and tranquility falls over my entire tired body. I am one with the night, one with the unclogged drain. I am so relaxed now, my thoughts are clear and complete, and it is then that I realize…

I’m just one pair of low-rise Levi’s and a monkey wrench short of being a full-fledged plumber.