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Richard Castle is the author of numerous bestsellers, including the critically acclaimed Derrick Storm series. His first novel, In a Hail of Bullets, published while he was still in college, received the Nom DePlume Society's prestigious Tom Straw Award for Mystery Literature. Castle currently lives in Manhattan with his daughter and mother, both of whom infuse his life with humor and inspiration.
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.