Heat Wave by Richard Castle is the first novel in the mystery series of Nikki Heat. The book is an accomplice to the television series Castle, an NYPD detective and a mystery novelist, who follows her around for research.
The plot of the story revolves around the murder of Michael Starr, a real estate mogul. I loved watching the Castle series, so it was easy for me to imagine the actors as the characters while I was reading. The book is fast-paced, and it is just 208 pages approximately. There is no let-up in the story because it is brief. It is like watching an episode of a crime drama. Nikki Heat is an NYPD detective who reluctantly has to agree to let Jameson Rook, a celebrity journalist, follow her around for a series of articles.
The story showcases a real picture of police work and the grunt work, the waiting that is part of the procedure. The characters are likable from the beginning, though their personalities get a little more definition as the story progresses. Heat and Rook are prone to silly banter that is pretty fun to read, although it doesn’t quite have the same effect it does with the onscreen couple. The significance of the title is in reference to the Heat Wave gripping New York City during the ongoing case, the detective’s last name, and the attraction between Rook and Heat.
It is a book you can read easily. There is enough mystery to keep you interested, and it doesn’t get overcomplicated. The way the novel is written is pretty straightforward. The third-person narration is mainly from Heat’s perspective. For a story like this, I think it was a good thing that the book is limited in its length otherwise; it would have felt dragged.
It is difficult to keep the book and the show as different entities, so I was constantly in comparison mode. I loved the chemistry between the characters of Beckett and Castle on the show, but it doesn’t translate as smoothly onto the page. At times, it does seem a little forced. The mystery element of the novel works. It does have a few surprises along the way. I am not sure if someone who hasn’t watched the show will like this novel or not. It was interesting, and fun to read, but I didn’t love it.
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