cover image Level 26

Level 26

Duane Swierczynski, Anthony Zuiker, with Duane Swierczynski. . Dutton, $26.95 (416pp) ISBN 978-0-525-95125-4

You get a movie with the book.

Level 26 Anthony Zuiker with Duane Swierczynski. Dutton , $26.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-525-95125-4

CSI creator Zuiker teams with Swierczynski (Severance Package ) to create what's billed as the world's first “digi-novel,” involving a seriously weird serial killer and the tortured FBI investigator who's forced to hunt him down. There's nothing really new about the basic concept, but Swierczynski handles the writing with assurance and verve. The killer, known as Sqweegel, is “a psychopath who has shot, raped, maimed, poisoned, burned, strangled, and tortured upwards of fifty people in six countries over a span of more than twenty years.” The investigator, Steve Dark, lives a quiet life with his beloved, pregnant wife, in Malibu, Calif. The digital concept kicks in every 20 pages or so when the reader is referred to a Web site containing 20 two- to three-minute professionally made film clips that bridge the action from one section to another. It's a bit like watching the extras on a DVD—fun, but not really necessary to the main event. 200,000 first printing. (Sept.)