Book Critique - A Bloody Storm (Derrick Storm #3)
For review of other books by Richard Castle: Go here
Stars: 3.5 / 5
Recommendation: A quick and easy read for anyone who wants to pick up murder mysteries but want to avoid the gorier and grittier parts.
A Bloody Storm is the third book published in August of 2012 by fictional author Richard Castle from the TV series Castle (portrayed by Nathan Fillion) (My review of the TV series here). This forms the third and the last book in a trilogy within the series.
As we see in the previous books A Brewing Storm (My review of the book here) and A Raging Storm (My review of the book here), Derrick Storm had been resurrected and brought out of his retirement to work on a high profile kidnapping. However nothing seems as simple for Storm and FBI Special Agent April Showers with whom he is working.
While striving to bring justice to the deaths of Matthew Dull - the step-son of Senator Thurston Windslow - and the Senator, Storm and April find themselves pulled into the maze of Russian spies and the treasure hunters behind the huge mass of gold belonging to Russian Communist Party that was hidden somewhere in Russia. Their lives also come in jeopardy however they come out though injured.
With Ivan Petrov's location details of the gold, Jedidiah Jones sends Derrick Storm along with a team of ghost CIA operatives - all presumed dead but resurrecting them for the purpose of this mission - to the Molguzar Mountains in Uzbekistan.
Well, again nothing comes as a simple task from Jedidiah Jones. So Storm is now tasked to rescue FBI Special Agent April Showers from a crazy torturer and also to find out who was the mole in Jedidiah's team who had screwed up his last mission - Tangiers, the mission after which he went into retirement faking his death.
Although the second novella A Raging Storm, felt like a mere extension, with this final book in the trilogy, Richard Castle has definitely picked up the pace and added a lot of meat for the readers. Between the Russian spies, Gold, Identifying the Mole and rescuing of April Showers, the author keeps Derrick Storm certainly busy and always on his heels.
He also increases the element of romance between them a notch slightly higher leaving the readers the feeling that they would definitely become a pair once the mission is completed.
Finally Richard Castle gives color to Storm's eyes - brown eyes. Phew! Now my imagination of Derrick Storm's character is complete.
Thick with conspiracies, filled with surprising turns and unexpected twists, A Bloody Storm, is truly bloody without the gorier part though. Keeps the reader gripped to the edge but not on thorns at the same time. Thoroughly entertaining till the end.
1) Plot Reveals:
a. In the plot, the Russian torturer, Hasan Sadikov, mentions that he likes to read. And one of the book he felt important was titled One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The story is about one day of Ivan who is in a Soviet prison in 1950s. How appropriate for the torturer to pick such a book as his favorite.
b. Hasan also mentions about Kinbaku and Sokubaku - Japanese sexual bondage using ropes. More about that bondage can be read here. However what it reminded me of was a novel by Christine Feehan, Shadow Reaper - second book in the Shadow Series - in which Shibari - art of Japanese sexual bondage - plays a key role for the lead characters Ricco Ferraro and Marika Majo. (My review of that book here).
c. The plot ends with Jedidiah Jones solely having the actual location of the Russian Gold. Or so he thought. It is revealed that Derrick Storm had forwarded those coordinates to one of his burner phone. Now he has the coordinates too. Will Richard Castle set the next plot for Derrick Storm on hunting this gold? One has to wait and see.
d. Will April Showers and the romantic angle also retain in the next book for Derrick Storm?
2) Sub Plots:
a. In the eighth Nikki Heat book, High Heat, Richard Castle shows the reader as having Nikki Heat met Derrick Storm as a suspect in a case she had caught a few years earlier, a brutal murder of a currency trader. I was wondering what case was that since I hadn't come across any such case in all of her eight books. However, on Wikipedia it is mentioned in the character bios of Detective Nikki Heat and her husband and Pulitzer prize winning journalist Jameson Rook that they had made cameo appearances in the Derrick Storm novel Storm Front which was published in May of 2013. I am yet to read that book and come across that scenario.
b. Richard Castle introduces Derrick Storm at the end of the book, High Heat, giving a segue that his next book would be a Heat and Storm combo. Naturally there would be a next book considering the reappearance of Cynthia Heat has to be solved. However bringing in Derrick Storm – even though I distinctly remember that he was killed off by Castle when he was introduced in Season I of the TV Series – adds another layer of strength and power. It would be interesting to see how the two strong alpha characters fare in the next book.
c. National Clandestine Services is a division of CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) that recruits spies who are sent to clandestine operations across the world working for United States. Richard Castle mentions Derrick Storm belongs to this organization and I wasn’t sure if it even existed. Looks like it does. Check here.
d. We see frequent mention of another agent, Clara Strike, who also worked for Jedidiah Jones at NCS. There definitely seems to be some kind of romantic link between Derrick Storm and Clara Strike; that Clara also faked her death and had retired similar to Storm. Will she be resurrected in a future book by Richard Castle is something one will have to wait and see.
3) It’s still a mystery as to who wrote truly wrote these books, be it Nikki Heat series or Derrick Storm series. Obviously not the fictional character Richard Castle or Nathan Fillion the actor who portrayed the role. Unlike Murder, She Wrote books (Check my reviews of this series here), the actual author of these books is really hidden deep.
4) Grammatical / Historical / Geographical / Character / Mythological / Plot Errors:
a. On Pg. 238, April Showers is introduced to two agents at the hospital from the American Embassy in London. One of them is introduced as Thomas Goodman from State Department. But immediately afterwards in the following pages and the remaining plot he is addressed as Gordon. A definite lapse in representing the characters by the author.
b. On Pg. 274, line 8, I should be "..Your girlfriend…"
c. On Pg. 301, line 17, it should be "…to spend the night in his hotel room…"