Heat Wave by Richard Castle

May 14, 2010

heat wave castle Plot summary (with spoilers): Castle is a relatively new television show about a mystery novelist named Richard Castle who rides along with NYPD detectives as research for his books. The main character in his next novel is a female detective named Nikki Heat, whom he is basing on Det. Kate Beckett. As a promotional tie-in to the show, ABC actually commissioned Castle’s book to be written. The result is Heat Wave by Richard Castle.

Nikki Heat is called to a fancy apartment building in Manhattan where real estate tycoon Matthew Starr has plummeted from his sixth floor balcony to his death. Whether the death was a suicide due to deteriorating financial health or the result of foul play is something that Heat and partners Raley and Ochoa have to figure out. Along for the ride is magazine writer Jameson Rook, whose main job is not to get in the way of the real detective work.

It doesn’t take long for Heat to determine that Starr was murdered. There is no shortage of suspects, as the man was rather ruthless in his business dealings and no doubt pissed some people off along the way. Trophy wife Kimberley is a prime suspect, as is the man with whom she was having an extramarital affair. Things get even more complicated when the detectives learn that Starr’s finances were precarious at best and that his prized, valuable art collection had slowly been replaced with fakes.

The book reads like an extended episode, and true to episodic format, the detectives fight through the misdirections and red herrings to figure out who the real killer is just in the nick of time.

Liked:

  • This was a fast-paced book that provided the perfect kind of weekend read I was looking for while relaxing on the outdoor cushions on my deck under the warm spring sun. As I said, it felt like an extended episode of the show, so it flowed along very well.
  • I loved seeing Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook through Castle’s filter. There were obviously some parallels between Heat/Beckett and Rook/Castle, but Castle took lots of creative liberties as well — particularly with the hot sex scene. I’m surprised they didn’t mention it more on the TV show. Beckett should have had a big reaction to that. Maybe she did and I missed it!
  • Based on the way Richard Castle is portrayed on the show, I can totally buy this as the kind of book he would write. It’s perfect for him!

Disliked:

  • There’s not a whole lot of literary merit to this book. It’s clearly something that staff writers churned out for promotional purposes. I wasn’t expecting all that much to begin with, though, so it wasn’t a major disappointment or anything like that.

Rating:

Heat Wave by Richard Castle is a fun little novel that was published as a treat for fans of the television series. In that regard, I thought it was ok, but if it were a standalone novel by a legitimate novelist, I wouldn’t think much of it. I give it 3 stars out of 5 and recommend that you check out the TV show. It’s good!

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