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Heat Wave

Review by: 
Suicide Blonde
Author: 
Richard Castle
Genre: 
Mystery
Publication Date: 
2009
Publisher: 
Hyperion
Bottom Line: 
3

New York City is slogging its way through record high temperatures and this isn’t helping the populace’s temperament or the crime rate. But that doesn’t bother Detective Kate Beckett Nikki Heat. Despite the swelter she’s her usual cool, competent, and capable self. What is bothering her is this fellow who’s been tagging along on her recent cases. Journalist Richard Castle Jameson Rook is doing a story about the precinct and while he shadows Heat, gathering information, he also annoys her with his smart-assery and chatter… and yet there’s an attraction between the two of them that even no-nonsense Detective Heat cannot deny…

 

Such is Heat Wave, the novel published to tie in with the Castle TV show. As spin-off projects go it’s not shabby, though it was clearly dashed off quickly and could have benefited from another revision or two. And frankly, it tickles my technophobic, Kindle-hating heart to see an actual hardcover book (made of paper and everything!) released to go along with a TV show.

 

Heat Wave is basically an episode of the show in print form: We have the aforementioned protagonists in their usual affectionate antagonism; we have the two subordinate detectives, the sassy medical examiner, and the righteous police captain. We have a fairly unmemorable mystery at the heart of the plot (I think it involved some guy being pushed out of a window to his death and a big scary Russian guy). And we have lots of snarky dialogue that includes a discussion of who wrote the song “It’s Raining Men.”  Basically the only thing you’ll find in the book that you won’t in a typical episode of the show is mild swearing (nothing more severe than “asshole”), a nude fight scene for Heat, and the oft-talked-about, tastefully hot sex scene between Beckett and Castle Heat and Rook.

 

What makes Heat Wave especially amusing for fans of the show is the meta aspects. The book is clearly “written” by Castle the character, and as such brings a lot of the character’s personality to the table. It also, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a bit of wish fulfillment – at times it seems to be Mary Sue: The Novel as Castle gives his stand-in a bit more class (he’s a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist instead of a novelist) and has at least one other character point out how nice Nathan Fillion’s Rook’s ass is.

 

It’s a bit of fluff, but an entertaining one. Fans of the show will enjoy it though I’d advise holding off until the summer hiatus, when we need something to tide us over until the new season (crossing fingers); it’s also a short, breezy read and can be whipped through in a day at the beach or a long afternoon in the backyard hammock.

 

Nice author photo, too.

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