Written by: Richard Castle
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
In the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling Heat Wave and Naked Heat Richard Castle’s thrilling new mystery continues the story of NYPD homicide detective Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City’s top homicide squads.
Nikki Heat, a young tenacious female Detective in NYPD’s Homicide Department, uses her badge and her wits to bring to justice the killer on the streets of New York. She is accompanied (begrudgingly at first) by her reporter friend Jameson Rook, a fairly cocky, wise cracking guy who has connections in the city and who clearly has feelings for Nikki.
A murder at a bondage club leads Detective Nikki Heat on a trail where the clues keep mounting up and pointing towards “a religious pillar in the community”. During the course of her investigation, another murder takes place. A murder which affects Detective Heat on a personal level and starts a chain of events that result in the suspension of Nikki Heat! Can Nikki Heat clear her name? Can she catch the killer? And will she ever get rid of Jameson Rook?
This is the third book in the highly successful Nikki Heat series – a spin-off from characters and situations explored in the Castle television show. For those who may be unfamiliar with the show Richard Castle (Nathon Fillion) is a highly successful novelist who, having used his fame and connections with the Mayor, has been allowed to join the NYPD’s Homicide Unit and shadow Detective Kate Beckett. It is through these real life crimes, victims and perpetrators, and even members of the Homicide Unit, that Richard Castle creates the character of Nikki Heat for his fictional Nikki Heat series. Needless to say, the character of Jameson Rook in the novels is most definitely based on Richard Castle.
As spin-off books based on television series go, this is surprisingly good. Having not read the previous two instalments, I found it a little difficult at first to get into the characters. That said, being a fan of the show, I found myself thinking more of the characters on the show rather than the characters in the book. This is a credit to the writer “Richard Castle” as he has taken the core elements of the people he works with and placed them into situations with more twists than a plate of pasta from Little Italy. Interestlingly, no-one outside of the publisher knows who writes these books since Richard Castle is not real person, and all Hyperion will admit is that the real writer has appeared in the show – but the show regularly features writers including but not exclusively James Patterson, Stephen Michael Connelly and Stephen J. Cannell, who sadly passed away in 2010. Oh and Fillion himself attends book signings. The mystery deepens.
The plot, heavily inspired by a case that Richard Castle worked on, leaves the reader eagerly turning page after page to find out the not only the killer, but the motive behind the murders.
Added to this are the humorous exchanges between Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook, there is even a reference to Nathan Fillion and Firefly (a mainstay from the series itself). Indeed, the novel is very much in the same vein as the television show it is taken from; heart-warming moments packed with thrills and comedy.
If you are a fan of the show, you will most certainly enjoy this brilliant piece of fiction (note the dedications at the end which are especially brilliant). If you have never watched the show, this is still a brilliant book that has great characters and more importantly a plot that is not telegraphed several chapters in front.
4 out of 5 Nerds