Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book #3: Nikki Heat by Richard Castle

A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light.

Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly best-selling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, 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. She's hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York's Finest. PulitzerPrize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren't her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them. The one called heat.


First, I feel I must disclose that I am a huge fan of the TV show Castle. In fact, that is how I found this book. I also admit to a "SQWEEEE " moment when I picked up a book written by one of my favorite television characters, complete with a dedication and acknowledgments to the other characters on the show, and even to some of the actors and crew who work on the show. The author, Richard Castle, is actually being used as a pseudonym for these novels but still managed to have his own website, twitter account and biography on The marketing stream coming from the show is amazing! Stalkers delight! Naturally, the faces and mannerisms of the actors were clear and present in the novel as I read.

Now as I excise the fan-girl in me and look at Nikki Heat as a novel, some of my enthusiasm wanes. I was surprised that it actually took me a long while to get into this book. Perhaps I was spending too much time trying to marry the characters to TV or maybe it was taking longer than I thought it should to switch my brain from TV to book mode.

I would have expected this mystery novel to be somewhat more, well, mysterious. Had I not been a huge fan of the show I am not sure I would have stuck with it. The plot is thinnish, the writing just okay. The characters needed...more. Truthfully, I picked it up because of the show. I would have left it untouched on the book rack otherwise. I enjoyed the familiar characters and the verbal banter between Rook and Heat. The references to the TV show cannon was fun and let's face it...I was there for the Richard Castle character not the Jameson Rook book version. There was a nice bonus of seeing the attraction between our heroes actually go somewhere, a feat that seems to be instant death to TV versions. An easy read, it is a book for a night when there is nothing else to do and you want an easy and simple quick read. I did end up enjoying the book and while it is by no means a favorite, I will be reading the sequel Naked Heat.

A girl needs her Castle fix!

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