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on October 5, 2013
I know that there are books out there that are emotional and have very serious messages to send but I enjoyed this and other Richard Castle books because they're fun. For me, sometimes a book just has to be fun.
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on October 9, 2013
Loved the book. Loved the story line and couldn't wait to read every night. Not as predictable as the previous tales. However, I didn't appreciate how often the f-word was used this time. I understand there are those people who use it in every sentence spoken, but I am not one of them.
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on February 24, 2014
Just finished reading Deadly Heat (finally). Enjoyed the story line. It was appropriately complex. The guest characters were properly developed and had good dimension. This one was almost as interesting as the previous Heat novels, but fell a little short of the riveting plots that came before.

Aside from that, there is something that ruined this one for me. Suddenly there is some serious swearing in this universe. Not constantly, but adding swearing to a formula that worked is akin to fixing something that ain't broke. Plus I personally prefer to avoid contact with swearing, so it left me flat. If this continues in the next novel I may seriously reconsider my rabid loyalty to this series of books. I was planning to share them with my grandsons when they reach an appropriate age. Not any more.

Sorry Mr. Castle, whoever you are, but this one didn't thrill me like the others.
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on September 18, 2013
Just a look at the dedication shows the close (and deliberate) relationship between the show and the books. Outstanding!! This book continues the plot from Book 4 and carries it further. It is clever with most of the regular group of characters being even more rounded out. The author (perhaps Tom Straw) does another terrific job on the plot (including stealing the pizza oven bit from the TV show)

(Minor spoiler coming) In the end, I expected Rook to propose to Nikki, but, of course, this book was written before Castle proposes to Beckett.

Once again, Well Done everyone!!.
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on September 18, 2013
The latest "Richard Castle" book Deadly Heat didn't disappoint. It's a strong 4.5 stars. When I sat down and started reading it, I didn't do anything else that wasn't necessary until I finished. I may be a little biased because the TV show Castle, starring Nathan Fillion which kind of follows the book is my favorite TV show. So I will state that up front. The character ensemble is very cohesive, like a family. I have read all 4 previous books so I know the main characters and I didn't need to be "introduced" to them. That is a strong point for me.

Deadly Heat has 2 major crime investigations going on at one time, a serial killer and someone trying to kill Nikki. The procedural investigation is almost constant. Rook gave some comic lines that eased the tension. I actually like his humor. It isn't laugh out loud funny but it works. Every lead Nikki and her crew receive is meticulously investigated until finally it all comes together with all the ends tied. The ending is excellent with no cliffhangers involved. I do dislike cliffhangers!

I really liked the reference to the short run "Firefly" TV show that Nathan Fillion starred in 2002; and again, Rook was on the phone with Nikki when he was at a meeting with Hollywood producers that were going to make a movie from his books and someone could be heard in the background saying he wanted Nathan to star in it. GREAT! My only complaint was that Rook and Nikki didn't spend a lot of time together in this book and that made me feel something was missing. Also, several times Nikki seemed to be unsure of Rook. I'll let you read the book to see why.

If you like mysteries/thrillers with a little romance and great surrounding characters, you'll like this book.

Good reading all.
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on September 22, 2013
It takes so very little for this series to make me happy, Dear Reader, that I should probably be embarrassed (I'm not, FYI, perhaps due to the ridiculously high quality of these crime novel tie-ins to the ABC TV series Castle). However, even *I* must say that this latest installment of the Nikki Heat series is sloppy and disappointing. The books have grown larger in scale and page number after Heat Wave (the first-and-best), a development that worked well in Naked Heat (Nikki Heat #2), but not so much in the three installments since. The trade-off for more complex plots appears to be less screen time for the sexy central relationship between Det. Nikki Heat and journalist Jameson Rook, to the point of practically no heat at all (I'm sorry) in this latest offering. The focus on forensics over foreplay might have been forgivable (***discreet spoiler, avert your eyes!!!***) if not for an out-of-the-blue POV shift that sets into motion a clumsy, overly-long homestretch of loosely-knotted ends in this novel that is, in itself, an unofficial sequel to the cliffhangered Frozen Heat (Nikki Heat #4).

If there is indeed a Nikki Heat #6 in the works, Mr. Richard Castle might consider a retreat in scope--the world (and/or NYC, depending on your coast) has now been saved a couple times over, and good on ya! What say next time we just solve a few muggings and dive into that fruit basket from George Clooney??
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on June 28, 2014
Nikki Heat is distracted as she walks up to the pizza restaurant. She is so distracted that she actually forgets her decade-long ritual of giving a minute of silence to the soul of the person whose body she is about to view for the first time.

The cause of her distraction is two-fold, though both reasons are closely related. It has been three weeks since Nikki narrowly missed being assassinated by the rogue CIA agent who murdered her mother ten years prior. Although that murderer is now dead, poisoned in his jail cell, his handler faked his own death and escaped. So now, Nikki is still a potential target because the person who ordered both her mother’s death and her own is still out there.

The second distraction is the highly publicized debut of a magazine website that is using an article by Jameson Rook, Nikki’s significant other, as its lead story. That article is the story of Nikki’s mother’s life as a spy, her death and the capture of her murderer. The intimacy of the story itself is bad enough, but the real worry for Nikki is that the publicity will be used to taint her cases and that jealous colleagues will stonewall her investigations.

So, forgetting her ritual, Heat views the dead body, stuffed in a pizza oven and well baked. Also in the oven are the man’s unbaked ID as a Health Department restaurant inspector, an unbaked but dead rat, and an unbaked coil of red string. The man had been chloroformed and shot to death before being baked, but those are only more clues, not consolation.

Before Heat and her team can get a good start on this murder, a second body turns up. The consumer advocate for one of the major NYC TV stations has been found chloroformed and then strangled with a TV coaxial cable. Close by is a yellow string – attached to a red string. Clearly, the murderer wants Heat to know that the murder victims are connected.

Then the notoriety brought on by Rook’s web page article sets in motion a cause-and-effect scenario. The article causes the escaped CIA handler to order Nikki’s death – again. The effect occurs when a reader of the article recognizes Nikki in a coffee shop and asks her to autograph his cup. This simple but embarrassing request causes Nikki to delay picking up her own latte from the counter. But it doesn’t stop the gruesome and immediate death of a homeless man who schlepped her cup and found it laced with the same poison as in the jailhouse murder.

Not only have these rogue espionage agents declared open season on Nikki Heat, so has the serial killer with the string signature. He calls Heat at the precinct and lays down the gauntlet. He declares her his best challenge to date but tells her that she will lose both the case and her life.

With Rook at her side, as well as Roach, Feller and Rhymer from her team, Heat juggles both cases. More bodies surface, more connected strings for not only the serial killer case but for the rogue agent/terrorist case. And at every turn, she has to fight interference from the lead agents of the DHS and the CIA assigned to the rogue agent/terrorist situation. And she must constantly maneuver around her inept, clueless media hound of a precinct captain and the equally inept female detective, with whom he is having an affair, that he has assigned to Nikki’s team.

Now, all this set-up takes place in the first few chapters. The remainder of the story becomes increasingly intense and convoluted as the two cases tumble over each other and actually merge into each other. But it is a story that is well told and is quite the page-turner.

And this is definitely a novel where the reader has to keep close watch on the clues and an even closer watch on who says what to whom and when. Then, just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, the author twists the arc and you have to start over.

In the end, the plot of this fifth entry in the series clearly hinges on the old adage that advises, “Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.” And before it is over, both Nikki and the reader will be wondering just who is friend and who is enemy. And we will definitely worry about the author’s definition of “closer.”
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on October 2, 2013
An enjoyable read. A.M. out did himself this time. As a huge Castle fan, I enjoyed the references to
Firefly. You can definitely see the comparison of the Nikki Heat & Kate Beckett, however Nikki has some traits that are more distinctive that make her almost the opposite of Beckett. I am sure that Castle fans will really enjoy reading this installment of "Nikki Heat.
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on June 23, 2014
I thoroughly enjoy the Nikki Heat books as they are a wonderful companion to the TV Series that both my wife and I refuse to miss. (Thank God for DVRs). The characters between the TV show and these books are similar, and some of the stories are similar, but have different twists and outcomes. The stories are different and worth reading as they do create suspense and after a while you realize the villains are for the most part different characters for different reasons. I believe this is the last published to date and I've read them all.
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on January 3, 2015
This will be an all-purpose review for the various Nikki Heat novels that have come my way from Amazon since Nikki appeared several years ago, a clever device of publishers and entrepreneurs and "idea guys" from TV and film surrounding the development of "Castle," now a premier serial and space filler for a TV station near you.
Stana Katic, who has the role of Lt. Kate Beckett NYPD, the gutsy, sexy, clever homicide detective and heroine of the "Castle" series, pairs with the actor Nathan Fillion, who plays as the brilliant, infuriating rich boy hero. It took several years of episodes to get their romance moving in the right direction as the cast and writers developed their own skiils and objectives. Enter the idea guys to tangle up everything!
Somebody realized that the their now successful TV series has a hero who is an author. Ergo, why not "write" some of his novels and see who would buy them. And make their heroine Nikki Heat, a NYPD detective modeled on the fictitious Kate Beckett of the TV show. Suddenly these fake novels (crime and sex cliffhangers, easy-reading but with gripping plots and plenty of plot-shocks) became real-life best sellers, NYTimes-level best selllers! Now Nikki Heat, a fictional character, is "real" enough to sell novels based on the fictional Kate Beckett of the TV show, played by the real actress Stana Katic!
I suspect there are "Nikki Heat fans" who are unaware of the layers of cleverness in the process of writing the novels. and take as Gospel that the Nikki Heat novels are "real" novels--the NYTimes says so, and Stana Katic and Kate Beckett smile their enigmatic smiles as Nikki Heat joins them in this delightful fictional charade. Here's to the trio of the ladies of "Castle"--long may they seduce us as Stana or Kate or Nikki!
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