Book Review - Heat Rises by Richard Castle
Yeah, it's still a guilty pleasure of mine. I love the series Castle on TV, and the Nikki Heat novels by "Richard Castle" are just as fun to read as the series is fun to watch. Heat Rises is the third in the series of spin-off novels based on the background of the series. In the series, Richard Castle is a writer who hangs around the NYPD with Detective Kate Beckett as "research" for his next novel. He writes a series of novels centered around a detective named Nikki Heat who seems to bear a strong resemblance to Beckett, much to her dismay. The last thing she needs or wants is everyone asking her if she's as hot as her literary character. Furthermore, the novel has a writer, Jamison Rook, who helps her solve crimes and is a part-time love interest. Again, the implications for Beckett hit a bit too close for home.
In this installment, Heat is tagged on the murder of a priest that was found dead in a club known for its "tortuous" adventures. She starts to dig into the murder like she would do for any victim, but her precinct captain tells her to stick to a particular theory and angle. It's not the one she thinks is the reason for the murder, and she tells the captain so in no uncertain words. It gets even more dicey when she uncovers a tie between the captain and the priest's murder. Whether that tie-in has anything to do with the Internal Affairs investigation he's undergoing is something that Heat can't figure out. When she continues to push her own investigation leads, she quickly finds that there are people who don't want her going there or digging anything up. They're willing to strip her of her badge and gun, thereby making sure she doesn't have the authority to continue her investigation. They may even be willing to go further to silence her, but they underestimate Heat's determination and Rook's creativity when it comes to getting answers, regardless of whether either have a badge.
As I've mentioned before on reviews for the Nikki Heat series, these are well done for what they are. The plot and story read like a two hour episode of Castle, and it's pretty easy to imagine what the video would look like as it all plays out. In fact, this particular novel brings to mind the end of season 3 in some portions of the story. Even though all the characters in the book have different names than the characters in the show, that's about the only thing they differ on. The only problem I had with Heat Rises was really my own fault. I ended up reading the book over about 10 days, which spanned two different episodes of Castle on TV. I had to work on trying to keep the book story line separate from what I was watching. Since the story didn't tie together until the very end, I was trying to keep all the threads straight every time I came back to the book. I would have done much better if I had read it like I normally devour books like these... give me two or three days, and I'm done.
Heat Rises is one of those books you'd want to have on a plane trip or on vacation at the beach. Don't expect deep and complex insights into the human condition or anything... just approach it like you'd approach a weekly episode of Castle. Enjoy the characters and plot as entertainment, and it should be fine.
Obtained From: Library