Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Review Friday: Heat Wave

Heat Wave
By Richard Castle

It took a while for me to finally get around to reading one of Richard Castle's books.  I knew about the phenomenon, but my TBR pile is just so high ... but finally this summer I really needed something different ... boy did I find it.

For those few who don't already know, there is no Richard Castle.  The books are ghost written as a tie-in to the Castle TV series that airs on ABC.  The premise is simple.  A successful writer uses his leverage with the mayor of New York to allow him to shadow a New York City homicide detective in order to research a new book.  In the process sparks fly between author Richard Castle and Detective Kate Beckett and the Nikki Heat novel series is born.   The TV series is fun and engaging.  And so are the novels.

Heat Wave introduces the character of detective Nikki Heat and her temporary sidekick, journalist Jameson Rook.  Together with Detective Heat's team of investigators they work a homicide case as Rook prepares to write an article about one of NYPD's best detectives.  The book has a slightly Chandleresque noir feel to it, dark and witty with undercurrents of sexual tension and violence.  There are lots of subtle and, some not so subtle, wisecracks.  Fast paced with a definite tension between the two main characters culminating in steamy, but not graphic love scenes.  It's a well written story with interesting characters and lots of plot twists making for a satisfying mystery.

A few random thoughts on the books:  I've done a binge read of the the Nikki Heat series this summer, which starts with Heat Wave.   Because of how quickly I've read them I've noticed some subtle changes in technique and style from book to book and I think I'm safe in saying that there is no one person ghost writing this series. Also, for maximum effect, watch the series while reading the novels, the better to catch the inside jokes and see the clever way plot elements from the TV show are woven into the novels.  It wouldn't hurt to catch up on the reruns of Firefly, too, as references to Castle star Nathan Fillion's previous role show up on screen and in print.

Books in the Nikki Heat series:
Heat Wave
Naked Heat
Heat Rises
Frozen Heat
Deadly Heat
Raging Heat
Driving Heat

Other books by Richard Castle:
A Brewing Storm
A Raging Storm
A Bloody Storm
Storm Front
Wild Storm

If you like Richard Castle's books, you may like these authors:

Lawrence Block
James Patterson
Michael Connolly
Stephen J. Cannell
Dennis Lehane
Sue Grafton
Tess Gerritsen

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