Customer Reviews: Heat Wave (Nikki Heat)
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on September 29, 2009
As a work of literature, "Heat Wave" is a sensational success. The story is written with an appropriate tone and just the right balance of wit and accuracy. The information pertaining to the case is appropriately crisp and matter-of-fact while the relationships and interactions between people are genuine and human. The characters are well-developed without being too overbearing or distracting from the woven crime cases. Even a character like Jameson Rook, who is exasperating and arrogant on the best of days, is given just the right amount of human qualities to endear him to the audience. The reader will care about the characters and read eagerly for the solution to the crime.

As an adjunct to the ABC comedy crime drama "Castle," "Heat Wave" hits the mark as the creative work of Richard Castle. Fans of the show will recognize his wit and humor in the prose as well as the inclusion of his experiences with the NYPD and Detective Kate Beckett into the story. The characters and their relationships are perfect mirrors to those that Richard Castle experiences with his ride-along at twelfth precinct which makes it an easy transition for fans of the show. ABC has gone to greater lengths than any network I've ever seen to provide their fans with something interactive that directly ties into the show. Far beyond "breaking the fourth wall," this book pushes the limit of the artistic world meeting the "real world." Fans will feel like they are sharing the experience with their favorite characters from "Castle" by laying their hands on Richard Castle's first Nikki Heat novel.
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on October 8, 2009
First the good... It was a great fast paced little book. The writing was tight, the dialog fast paced, and the characters really jumped off the pages. Very visual. Reading this, was like watching a great movie in my head. There are a ton of characters, and somehow none of them get lost in the shuffle. The writer really did a good job of keeping everything moving along.

Now the bad... As soon as I heard that ABC was bringing out the Nikki Heat books that Richard Castle was writing, I thought it was Brilliant to piggy back the books on top of the show's success. I read the first 3 chapters on line, and I was out of my skin excited. I was picturing a novel about the size of the other Richard Castle books Detective Beckett handed out to her fellow detectives in the pilot episode, to help them track down the murderer who'd been copy-catting murders from the books. I really expected it to be the type of book worthy of Richard Castle's name, a celebrated author who'd had 26 best sellers. Instead, it ended up being almost a book form of an episode.

If you really stop and think about what this book is supposed to represent, the beginning of a new character and series for Richard Castle based on a dynamic New York City Detective, you'll see what I'm trying to say. This book would have a hard time standing on it's own without the show, and that's where I think ABC dropped the ball. I think ABC could have given us a lot more credit for being able to read a full sized novel with strong characters based on Beckett and Castle and not confuse them with the characters on screen. They could have made the characters varied enough that we would have seen the parallels and still been able to differentiate between Castle and Beckett and Rook and Heat. And, given us the depth that can only be found in a novel.

After falling in love with Richard Castle on screen, I really wanted to read one of his books. I wanted to see what kept him on the best selling list for 26 books. I wanted to see the writing that Detective Beckett fell in love with and helped her heal after her mother's death.

Will I read the next one that comes out? Yep. I will. Mainly because I'm a weak weak woman who's fallen in love with this irrepressible novelist, and will take whatever scraps are pushed my way. I won't like myself because of it and will know that I'm settling, but alas, what's a girl to do?
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on September 30, 2009
I am an avid fan of ABC's Castle (Monday nights 10/9c) and was excited to read Richard Castle's latest book, Heat Wave. For those who are not in the know, Nathan Fillion stars as Richard Castle, a famous mystery novelist who is initially called in to help the NYPD solve a copy-cat murder based on his novels. Stana Katic stars opposite as the young detective Kate Beckett. Following his encounter with Beckett, Castle decides to use her as the model for his next book series. He uses his contacts and receives permission to accompany Beckett while investigating cases. [thanks Wikipedia] Heat Wave is the first of Castle's new book series: Nikki Heat. My favorite thing is every character is believable & I can picture all of them. I love Rook and Heat and their scenes are amazing. I can totally picture Castle dreaming & writing each scene they are in together. And if you are asking yourself, does it really have a story line? Yes, in fact, it takes so many twists and turns that the minute you think you have a suspect, new information comes in and you have to re-evaluate all the evidence. Some points drag on a bit but it helps you get into the story; you are right there in NYC traffic with Heat & Rook trying to fly but the siren means absolutely nothing in the standstill of traffic. When scenes get too tense, Characters are there to crack a joke or banter between each other, including how many ways to describe a bookie's muscle. Overall, ABC did a great job on this TV tie in and the writers should be applauded and given pay raises. I hope to get more Nikki Heat and I am hoping Det. Beckett reads Heat Wave and comments about the book; especially the blackout sequences.
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on October 19, 2009
The book is not bad. In fact, it's reasonably compelling read and there aren't any major faults in the book. The characters are decent, but they're also nearly identical to those on the show. Not sort of close, but nearly identical. (Down to the point of rehashing scenes from the show, which is, the point of his sitting in with the HYPD to write a book.)

So why 3 stars? First off, it's written at a 5th grade level, which is to be expected since it's for a TV audience and they're going for broad appeal. That's great and all, but this is a little light even for the genre. Secondly, it's HIGHLY sanitized for a the ABC audience. (It feels about as gritty as a Jello(tm) pudding.) Thirdly, there are scattered, shameless product placements. (Why do I suddenly want a Chipotle carnitas burrito...) Lastly, it's a bit short and if this is the book that he's holding up on the show, then the hard cover must be in very large print.

If you REALLY love the show and want to read what is essentially a good episode, this is for you. if you're expecting this to be a novel that could hold it's own without the show, you'll probably be little disappointed. (And some of the 5 star reviews are clearly shills for the book. "Immaculate prose"?!? Please! It's cliched, gimmicky, recycled-from-the-show but still entertaining. But unfortunately, that's all it is.
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on October 15, 2009

What was originally a smart advertising for the TV show, actually manage to stand very well by itself. The story is solid, the characters lovable (even more because we know the 'people' they are based on), the storytelling is effective.

It even have the same 'flavor' than the tv show, you subconciously imagine the action as you would see it on tv while you read the book.

I really hope they will continue and that Richard Castle will soon write another book. Whoever the author really is, hats down. The only regret is that the book is only 200 pages.

At a time where less and less people actually read, I hope this will bring more people to the pleasure of reading a good book.
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on November 2, 2009
I'm a hard person to please when it comes to mystery books. Janet Evanovich disappoints, James Patterson makes me happy most of the time but even there I can find some faults.

I found ABC's Castle to be a breath of fresh air, we are being chocked to death but the forensics procedures. CSI and it's spin offs, Bones, Criminals Mind, Numbers need I go on? So an old fashioned detective drama with a large does of humor is exactly what viewers needed. It is witty, charming, entertaining and has Nathan Fillion, what more do you need?

Heat Wave apparently, as I said I'm hard to please when it comes to my detective novels so when I say that this is an excellent novel I mean it! It is as funny as the show with very similar characters but with enough differences that it seems just like something Richard Castle would write without actually naming the main characters Richard and Kate.

The case itself is FABULOUS! I can usually predict the killer in most procedurals and novels but I have to admit about halfway through the novel I just gave up trying to figure it out and just let myself be surprised. A great deal of fun is in these pages, amazing one liners, fun characters, with a serious side that stands out much more against all of the humor. Fans of the show will see parts of their favorite episodes within the book as well, again as if the real Richard Castle was drawing from his own experiences. People who have never seen the show will not be lost as everthing is explained within the book, however you might just find out a fun way to spend your Monday Nights (Castle comes on at 10pm eastern on ABC for those who wanted to know)

All in all an excellent read and may I say a great idea to tie into the show.
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on October 23, 2009
Simply put it is a fun book but not excellent.

I do not recommend the hard back edition due to cost, but gladly would recommend the paperback when it comes out. It would be good paperback for $6 to $8, but not $20+. I'm sure I'll buy the next books (per the Castle 16-Oct episode at least 3 more are 'promised') after they go to paperback, but not before.

The major disappointment is the fact the Castle TV show makes you feel this should be a super blockbuster, and it just isn't. The writing is good. The characters are solid, and feel like people you could meet. The humor and banter in the book are surprisingly good and biting. It got unexpected chuckles from me as I read it. The book just doesn't have those little extras that defines a master's best work.

For those who already love the TV show it is an fun tie-in. I loved that scenes mentioned in the TV show are in the book. Like the mention of "the hot love scene on page 105" (it really is on page 105!) It is not what I would call 'hot', but it is written like most mystery genre love scenes. Men (like myself) aren't left wonder if we fell into a romance novel.

Overall, the writing is good and consistent. It does leave items unexplained or briefly explained. If you watch the show these points will automatically be fill in. If you don't watch (and love) the show you will miss a lot of the fun.
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on October 22, 2009
For those who don't keep up with that terrible time waster known as television, Richard Castle is one of the two protagonists of a series called, cleverly enough, "Castle." I'm not going to say anything more.

This is Castle's first novel based on his ride-a-longs with members of one of Manhattan's crack homicide squads. We have to believe that there's a lovely officer working this beat, since there is simmering sexual tension flowing through the pages of this book.

Written in the style of such masters of murder as Ellery Queen, Dashell Hammet, and Alfred Hitchcock, Castle's alter ego, Jameson Rook, trails the sexy detective as she hunts down the murderer of a New York multi-millionaire. Nikki must work her way through clues that point her toward the Russian Mafia and the art world. Twists and turns take Nikki and Rook to find the murderer, return millions of dollars in art, and win the day.

I'm blown away at how good this book is. It's a quick read, something that you might want to curl up by a fire to read (and did I just write that? I've been reading too many cheesy mystery novels recently) with your favorite wine and honey. And, truthfully, I wouldn't mind if that honey was the author himself.

Look for the Easter Egg.
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New York City is suffering from record breaking heat when Matthew Starr jumps to his death from his luxury condo. NYPD detective Nikki Heat quickly determines that it was murder. And since Matthew was one of the richest developers in the city, the case will be a top priority.

Only Nikki quickly discovers that Matthew wasn't as well off as everyone thought he was. As the secrets come out, Nikki begins to find multiple motives. Then her own life is threatened. Can she solve the crime before another attempt is made?

It's always a danger killing off a popular character, but if that's what it took to give us this new book, than I am glad Richard Castle took that risk....

Okay, okay, so the whole Richard Castle thing is not true. This book is really a very cleverly done tie in to the ABC show Castle. Heck, the author photo on the back of the book is actor who plays him on the show. And the blurbs are from authors who have appeared on the show. Frankly, this fan couldn't stop laughing at the similarities.

Those similarities continue on to the characters. Nikki Heat is being shadowed by a news reporter for an in depth feature on the police force. The other detectives are quite obviously based on the characters in the show.

However, I must wonder just how much non-fans of the show would appreciate things. I got lots of humor from characters and comparing the two. If I didn't know the show, I wouldn't have found it amusing at all.

The plot holds together reasonably well. The beginning of the book was overwritten, however. Some of those sentences got in the way of actually understanding the description. Things did get better as the book progressed, fortunately.

Fans of the TV show will get a kick out of this book, especially with how they've been advertising it on the show. Others might enjoy it, but they won't get the same kick out of it I did.
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on September 29, 2009
Purchased this book this morning and couldn't put it down. I started to thumb through it and just kept reading. Two coffees later I left the bookstore promising myself to stock up on limes, salt and something fun in a bottle.
Wow! Castle has done it again. Heat and Rook are lightning together!!
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