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179 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tie-in to the show
I will start this by admitting that whoever is actually writing the "Richard Castle" books is not Doyle or Christie, no. These aren't mind boggling mysteries, but they ARE extremely entertaining.

I enjoyed Heat Wave a lot, but Naked Heat stepped up the writing a bit for me. Maybe it was just because the characters had already been created, but the author...
Published on September 29, 2010 by McReadsALot

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missed the mark a bit.
Plot/Storyline:
The premise of the book was interesting. There were plenty of red herrings, but the story just never really clicked for me. It just was not a perfect story for the "Castle" franchise. The plot and storyline never rang true for me. One of my favorite lines from the show is the description of Castle/Rook as, "A nine year old with a sugar rush." That...
Published on March 20, 2011 by B. Tackitt


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179 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tie-in to the show, September 29, 2010
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I will start this by admitting that whoever is actually writing the "Richard Castle" books is not Doyle or Christie, no. These aren't mind boggling mysteries, but they ARE extremely entertaining.

I enjoyed Heat Wave a lot, but Naked Heat stepped up the writing a bit for me. Maybe it was just because the characters had already been created, but the author found a better voice.

The scene starts about 3 months after HW, with the fallout from Rook's article about Nikki. There's a body, then a couple more, and some really interesting connections between them. The new characters are well formed; the dialog is funny and for the most part not too trite or clichéd, although it does have some close calls.

You will probably end up guessing who the killer is, although the connection will remain a mystery until the end. And as the saying goes, it's the journey, not the destination. Even if you've been on the ride before, it's still enjoyable. :)

Besides, if you're looking at this book you're probably a fan of the show, and how much fun is it to play "spot the tie in" to Castle?
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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tie-in to the show, even better than Heat Wave, October 6, 2010
After the success of Heat Wave, the first tie-in novel to ABC's hit mystery/police procedural/comedy Castle (yeah, it even made the New York Times' Bestsellers List), ABC is continuing the adventures of Detective Nicki Heat and reporter Jameson Rook in Naked Heat. Not only does it have an already built-in fan base, but the entire show serves as essentially "free" advertising. Even better, in the Castle episode that aired the day before the book came out (the typically Monday time slot), the writers threw in a casual conversation between characters where they just happened to mentioned that Castle's new book is "coming out tomorrow -the actual release date of Naked Heat.

In Naked Heat, reporter Jameson Rook's juicy piece on Nicki Heat has just hit stands. Though his summer ride-along is over, Jameson is eager to get back on Detective Heat's case. Though Heat would rather avoid her former lover, and the emotional baggage that comes with him, she crosses paths with Jameson while investigating the murder of famous New York gossip columnist Cassidy Towne. As the mystery unfolds, the relationship between Jameson and Nicki heats up.

Much better than Heat Wave, Naked Heat reads like an expanded episode of the show, except that Nicki is a romanticized version of Beckett that is probably drawn from Castle's fantasies about the detective. Even though one of the show's writers probably didn't ghost write this book, the characters' dialog is dead on. I could even hear Castle and Beckett talking in my head. The cast of suspects feels like something out of an episode of the show and while the mystery is somewhat predictable, its obviously drawn from the show.

Though its not great literature (more in the vein of James Patterson), Naked Heat is a fun mystery that's great for Castle fans.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Castle for Me, October 6, 2010
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I love it. I can hear Richard Castle's voice when Jameson Rook speaks, and I can see Detective Beckett's mannerisms every time Nikki Heat gets defensive or kicks butt. It's like I have two Castles. I have the one on TV, and I have the alternate-universe Castle and Beckett in the book - although they go by the names Rook and Heat. I say alternate-universe because In Naked Heat, the author takes Rook and Heat and sends them down a path that resembles parts of the show, but has enough difference in the storyline that it's very easy to keep the show and the book separated in one's mind. I'm already looking forward to the next book, with Rook and Heat continuing down the path of their storyline as Castle and Beckett move further down their similar but different path, giving us two versions of Castle to follow. It feels like Christmas has come early.

If I had picked this up off the shelf, knowing nothing about the tv show, I would have still loved it just as much, and would be looking for more from this author. It has great visual writing, and the dialogue is witty and interesting - much like the show, of course. There are a lot of characters who walk through the pages of Naked Heat, but they are really easy to keep track of, and it keeps you from figuring all of it out before the end.

You won't go away disappointed, and you'll come away with a couple of interesting extras... like Victoria St Clair.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fun tie in to the Castle TV show, October 12, 2010
Richard Castle graces us fans with his second 'novel' based on Detective Kate Beckett, Nicki Heat. This time Jameson Rook (Castle's on page persona in the Nikki Heat series) is found right in the thick of the crime. Cassidy Towne, NYC gossip columnist and muckraker is found murdered in her home. Who's there to greet Heat and company as they take the call? None other than Jameson Rook.

If you're a fan of the Castle TV show, this sounds strangely close to the season three opener, and it is. But that's what I enjoy about the novels. They're written by 'Richard Castle' so his experiences with the 13th precinct as depicted by the show should make their way into his Nikki Heat detective series. The tie in is really very clever. Heat is based on Becket (obviously..it's the premise of the TV show), Rook is based on Castle himself...'Castle' writes into these alter egos what he'd like to see happen on the TV show (ie, Castle's real 'life'); Rook and Heat in on solving crimes like Becket and Castle, them taking their relationship with one another to the next level, as Castle would no doubt love to happen in his real 'life'.

I think the most impressive thing is that whoever is writing these novels under the name of Nathan Fillian's character from the TV show really makes the reader believe it's Castle who is writing the books. Aside from the fact that just enough of the shows plotlines, both story wise and character interplay wise, make it into the novels, the voice feels like that of 'Castle'.

In the end, a pretty solid murder mystery with plenty of red herrings and surprises and a similar charm that fans of the show should fine instantly familiar.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, enjoyable read - and an improvement over the prior novel, October 8, 2010
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Quick prelude -- for anyone who isn't aware, the 'author' Richard Castle is a fictional character from the tv series Castle on ABC. So don't spend any time looking for Derrick Storm books - they don't exist. In the tv series, Richard Castle, a book writer, teams up with a group of NYPD detectives and writes the Nikki Heat series. ABC and Hyperion publishing haven't revealed the real author of the books, that I'm aware of.

As for Naked Heat itself -- it's a good mystery. Most of the book you are following through the eyes of either Nikki Heat, the NYPD detective, or Jameson Rook, the writer; with a few brief pages following Heat's partners, Raley and Ochoa. Some people may not like the switching viewpoints, but it works here. The story isn't done in the style of Agatha Christie, in that you're expected to pick of subtle clues throughout the narrative on your own; but rather, you learn what the the major characters learn. Which frankly, is a much more satisfying read, for me, than Christie's style.

The story starts out with Nikki Heat responding to one murder, and then almost immediately being pulled off onto a higher profile murder of a well-known gossip columnist. We are then brought through the mystery of interlocking crimes, red herrings, witness interviews, and detective work. The majority of the story is well written and enjoyable. There is one part early in the book where you're astounded that the crime solvers don't follow up on what the reader will obviously pick up as a clue, but goes right over the head of everyone in the story. In avoiding spoilers, I won't get into any more detail - but I do wish the author had written that section a little better. The 'clue' is dismissed pretty cavalierly.

As for comparing this book to the prior novel - Heat Wave... it's a much more satisfying read. For one thing, it's nearly 100 pages longer than the first outing; so the story can be that much more intricate and satisfying. The first book was really a toe in the water to see if customers would bite; and since they did, we've now been given a full-length story to enjoy.

Why not 5 stars, since I obviously enjoyed the book? Well, it's a good mystery, but not a great mystery. The 'missed clue' I mentioned before is a little jarring, and the pacing of the book was a bit off. The first section of the book picks up the pace really well - so much so in fact, that I thought I was nearing point where the crime would be solved, only to look at the number of pages I had remaining to realize that I was only half way through the novel. And soon after this, the pace slows down and you do have a bit of a dead spot in the narrative where not much progress is made. While this certainly well portrays what could be a lack of progress in a true to life investigation, it is a bit annoying to see the narrative slow down so much before it picks up the pace again.

As for my last thoughts on the book... I think it was a pretty good decision on ABC's part to develop this series. And that's because this series solves a dilemma for ABC. In all tv series where there is that smoldering love interest between the two main characters, the producers have to decide when, or even if, the romance will ever come to fruition. With this series, I think ABC will sidestep that decision. I don't think we'll ever see Richard Castle and Kate Beckett ever become a real couple. By having Rook and Heat have a sexual relationship in the books, they're basically telling viewers of the series who want to see that happen to go here, to the books, for their fix. The producers of Castle can now keep that tension going indefinitely and not risk going the way of Moonlighting - which lost a lot of its magic after the characters became a 'real couple'.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A NON-STOP ACTION FOLLOW-UP TO "HEAT WAVE", October 31, 2010
If you set aside an hour on Monday evenings to watch ABC's popular show "Castle," you'll want to spend a few hours curled up with Richard Castle's second novel, NAKED HEAT, starring tough, beautiful, smart NYPD Detective Nikki Heat. The first Castle novel, Heat Wave, spent 16 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list - this non-stop action follow-up seems headed in the same direction.

Once again Nikki is pursued by handsome Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jameson Rook. Glib, ardent, and persistent Rook is a perfect foil for Nikki and her detectives. While she is being pursued, she is more in pursuer mode as New York is rocked by the murder of the city's top gossip columnist Cassidy Towne. The rocking almost becomes an earthquake at headquarters when Towne's body is stolen from the coroner's van carrying it to OMCE.

As it happens Rook had been working on an article about Towne and may have some helpful information, so once again Nikki lets him ride along with her as she follows numerous leads that seem to lead nowhere. Of course, along the way we're treated to teasing repartee between this pair, such as Rook: "You know, Detective Heat, you mock me, and it hurts." Heat: "Skills." With just enough levity along the way NAKED HEAT introduces readers to an intriguing cast of characters from a famous rock star to a major league baseball player to a perverted giant called the Texan who enjoys torturing his victims with dental picks before killing them. While there is a large cast, Castle fits the pieces together nicely and builds to a surprising conclusion.

As described Towne was a mean "mud-slinging gossip columnist" who had "lots of enemies. It was in the job description." But which one of those who hated her would actually kill her, and why?

For this reader the dialogue could easily turn from clever to cliche, such as "the usual suspects" or "Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson?" With a large cast of characters, new ones introduced throughout, it's a bit of a bumpy reading ride. But, if you're a fan of ABC's "Castle," you'll enjoy the trip.

- Gail Cooke
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missed the mark a bit., March 20, 2011
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B. Tackitt (Granbury, Tx USA) - See all my reviews
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Plot/Storyline:
The premise of the book was interesting. There were plenty of red herrings, but the story just never really clicked for me. It just was not a perfect story for the "Castle" franchise. The plot and storyline never rang true for me. One of my favorite lines from the show is the description of Castle/Rook as, "A nine year old with a sugar rush." That feeling is missing for me from this novel.
Characters:
The characters never changed or grew in any way during Naked Heat. There was no character development really. They seemed to be cookie cutter characters who did the basics of what Rook and Heat are known for, rather than doing anything to stretch those boundaries at all.
Writing Style:
I found the dialogue to be lacking the spark and wit of both the TV show and the first book Heat Wave. Whichever writer undertook this novel just did not have the same oomph to their writing as I had come to expect from the show and first book. The timing was off, and there was a missed opportunity for better writing.

Note: Castle is a TV series, and no one knows who writes the books, but it was obvious to me that the writing style of Naked Heat was vastly different from that of the previous novel: Heat Wave.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could be a new "Famous" Mystery Writer, November 30, 2010
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This is the second book this has been written by Castle. Last year we read the 1st one as we saw the advertisement on TV. we thought if the show was so good, so would the book. We were not disappointed in either the first or second book. As long as he keep's churning them out I will read them !!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this, December 4, 2010
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My daughter bought the first book and I read it. I loved it and had to get this one too. My family loves the Castle series. We really enjoyed reading these books. I hope the series stays on for many years and they continue to produce books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Mystery, November 1, 2010
Jameson Rook, the famous magazine journalist, is found on the scene of Nikki Heat's murder victim - gossip columnist, Cassidy Towne. Rook has been shadowing Towne for his next article.

Nikki isn't thrilled with their reunion. She's still getting grief from the magazine article he published about her. Plus her team isn't happy with him either. Still, she must work with him to uncover the murderer.

In a case this big, there's too many celebrities with a grudge against Cassidy Town. She broke many stories, dug up dirt, and slung mud. It's almost impossible to find someone who didn't want her quiet - permanently.

Heat and Rook wade through the suspects ranging from a member of the mob, a pro baseball player, a sketchy politician, and a singer. Rook has the inside track on Town: she was writing a tell all memoir about someone famous. She refused to divulge that information, but she dug up something juicy.

I love the combo of the books and the TV show. I like how the books differ from the show, yet I can still picture the characters from the show while reading. It's sort of like a tell-all fictional book - very fun.
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Naked Heat
Naked Heat by Richard Castle
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