Aparna (inspirethoughts) wrote,

Book Critique 2016 – 06/06/2016: Heat Wave

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here.
For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: If you like easy read mystery with logic involving brain added with romance.

I have written about the TV Series Castle a while ago, I did mention that the books of Nikki Heat and Derrick Storm books shown on the show have been also released as actual books at the beginning of every season. In fact, Nathan Fillion appears as the face of Richard Castle on the books, on the website and also participates in book signings. Finally I got to read the very first book in the Nikki Heat series that Richard Castle writes - the book coincides with Season I of the TV Series as well. Heat Wave was published in September of 2009.

The plot revolves primarily around Jameson Alexander Rook - the fictional character that the fictional writer Richard Castle bases on himself, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning magazine journalist who shadows the detective - and Detective Nikki Heat - loosely based on the fictional NYPD detective Kate Beckett - and takes tips from the real cases that Castle and Beckett solve in the show. Not just them but the 12th Precinct staff that aided Kate Beckett were all fictionalized too. Oh I know it's getting confusing. Believe me, it does specially if you have watched Castle and know the characters in and out.

New York real estate tycoon Matthew Starr plunges to his death from the 6th floor of his building on to the side walk. He leaves behind his trophy wife, Kimberly Starr, and 7-yr old son Matty Starr. Kimberly doesn’t have a rosy past for Detective Heat to ignore her as a suspect - she was a call girl and an exotic dancer going by the name Laldomina Batastini from Queens, New York and later changed to Samantha, who had hooked up with a 60-yr old sugar daddy, got married, cleaned up and came out as Kimberly. But Matthew himself becomes a suspect when his near bankrupt financial situation comes to light. He wasn’t as good a person as he had been painting along. But who had killed him? Kimberly? His rival businessman Omar Lamb? Is it the bookie Miric? Or his muscle Vitya Pochenko aka Iron Man - who Nikki suspects of beating Matthew Starr? What other suspects will Detective Heat uncover as the case proceeds?

Detective Nikki Heat has her own demons that show up in the loneliness of the night - demons that have been haunting her since past 10 years. Her mother's murder was one case that she could never solve.  The festering attraction between Rook and Heat culminates into a sexual bout one night. However Heat is very reluctant to make it a full-on relationship as much as Rook wants. Will Rook wait it out, chip into her armor and eventually warm his way into her heart just as he had warmed into her bed?

The humor that the TV show had is not lost in the book. I wondered how the author would incorporate a visual one into a book and he did a superb job. I would love to know who actually wrote these books, for Nathan Fillion is no writer. Yet in some cases it lacked the reality that was shown on TV, it had more of an actor acting the part rather than living the part. The plot in the book also takes elements from the Season 1 of Castle TV Show - for instance the poker scene in Castle's home with famous writers and judges in the room, where Beckett cleans out one of them. One thing that bothered me was that while Castle was a tag-along to Beckett he still had his mind blowing insights that helped Beckett and her team solve cases. As for Rook, he seemed more of a tag-along nag without any valuable insight. Wonder why the author downplayed Rook in the first book. And hopefully he will bring up Rook to his full potential in the following books.

I was skeptical of Murder, She Wrote books in the beginning, however they have gotten better as years passed. I am wishing the same to happen for these books as well. Although not a bad plot, it still lacked a lot of character for Heat and Rook. All in all a good bedtime book for now.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Grammatical errors seen here and there - Pg 9("liking" is printed instead of "looking" - 4th para), Pg 81 (3rd para from bottom has a line "She of the intercepted love letter" makes no sense).
2) Overly large words used in the book that I had to look-up for meaning, at least a few of them - "self-aggrandizement" on Pg 9.
3) Several famous personalities names are thrown around in the book just like in the series, giving the reader an idea of how many contacts fame has given Rook or how far Jameson Rook reached if needed - Mick Jagger, Bono, James Taylor, Barry Bonds, Desmond Tutu, - Too many used up in one book if I may say. Will there be more in next book I wonder, or the author will stop pointing them out since the stage has already been setup now.
4) Who exactly wrote these books? Unlike Murder, She Wrote books (Check my reviews of this series here), the actual author of these books is really hidden deep.
Tags: books, castle books, critique by amateur, reviews

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