Book Critique - Wild Storm (Derrick Storm #5)

For review of other books by Richard Castle: Go here

Stars: 3.5 / 5

Recommendation: Easy breezy mystery plots with heavy political and international crimes being solved by the most capable person of all in CIA; naturally there is lot of intrigue, suspense, a bit gory and edged with light romance.

Wild Storm is the fifth Derrick Storm novel published in May of 2014 by fictional author Richard Castle from the TV series Castle (portrayed by Nathan Fillion) (My review of the TV series here).

In this installment, Derrick Storm is put into investigation by Jedediah Jones, head of the National Clandestine Service (NCS), to find the reasons behind why planes are falling from the skies and who is behind all this. An investigation that takes Derrick from Hercules in CA to Monaco to Panama to Tangier to Egypt. He boards planes even when in danger of falling, travels in luxury cruise liner, fights bandits in a desert, meets beautiful women at archaeological digs, rescuing innocent people along the way, all the while uncovering the layers behind the falling planes.

Agents Javier Rodriguez and Kevin Bryan reprise their roles in this installment again. We had met them in the last book, Storm Front. I didn’t realize at that time, but while reading this book it hit me that Richard Castle based these two characters on the two detectives -  Javier "Javi" Esposito and Kevin Ryan - from the TV show, Castle.

Author Castle also keeps the continuity from the previous novels of Derrick Storm in every plot he writes - mention of Derrick going undercover as a reporter for a soy-related trade publication; his father, Carl Storm, reappears.

He also takes us on a lot of historical, political and archaeological tour along the way - Finding the bust of Khufu, one of the early pharaohs of Fourth Dynasty; History of Panama Canal; Political trysts in the expansion of Panama Canal; Fertile Crescent and its origin; reference to Operation Mockingbird, a 1950s CIA operation to manipulate media; history about Prince George of Denmark - Queen Anne's husband.

Not to discount the fictional references Castle includes in his plots, be it stories, hand-me-down tales or movies - Reference to Ray Bradbury and Rod Sterling; Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry; Luke Skywalker's back story; a story about the man with bag of sands; References to Henning Mankell and Jo Nesbu; Aesop's fable about the frog and scorpion;  Three Apples from One Thousand and One Nights; quotes from the 1978 American film Animal House.

And of course the fancy gadgets and arms that Derrick gets to use along the way. 

There was still unfinished business between Derrick Storm and Clara Strike when the book Storm Front ended. I wondered if he would explore it further and give a closure. We see Clara Strike reappear in this installment too and it seemed that Derrick and she has some kind of closure. But this love hate relationship they had is so caustic, at least that is what I feel from a reader.

I would love to have a person who was Derrick's equal in every way like Clara as Derrick's partner but someone who believed in what he believed rather than just work for the organization. I do hope Castle, if he writes any future books for Derrick Storm will get him such a partner. 

Although I liked the fact that Castle gave a sort of closure on Tangier for Derrick Storm in this plot. 

Whenever I come across the character Jedediah Jones, he reminds me of Adam Harrison of Adam Harrison Investigation Series (My review of those books here) and Krewe of Hunters Series (My review of those books here) by Heather Graham. Although I find Adam Harrison much more ethical than Jedediah Jones. 

All in all with a little added romance, full of challenging adventures; some involving healing hearts, forgetting pasts or mending bridges; while some involve saving the world; this had been one heck of a journey that Castle took the readers through in this Derrick Storm novel. Looking forward to his next installment.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. The pilot of the plane, Captain Estes, is shot to fame when he lands the plane safely despite the damage, all with help from Derrick Storm. Richard Castle mentions that the probably will be given a guest appearance on the highly rated ABC Television Crime Drama. I am sure the author is referring to the TV Show Castle here.

b. In the archaeological dig that Katie Comely works at in Egypt, she finds a bust of Khufu - one of the early pharaohs of Fourth Dynasty, a god-man who had ruled Egypt some 4,500 years ago. I thought he was made-up by the author, but he did exist all those centuries ago. More about him here.

c. Castle brings the character Jameson Rook in a conversation in this book. He mentions that Jameson had written an article on a near extinct bird, a finch, and his article boosted people to work together to get that bird out of the endangered species list. And hence named as Jameson's Finch. However, this may be fiction, but in reality there is a Jameson's Firefinch found in Saharan Africa. (More about that bird here). I am guessing the author simply made a play of words here to connect the real finch to the fictional story in the plot.

2. Interesting Tidbits:

a. In one of the chapters, Castle mentions that CIA bought a whole lot of $852 toilet seats and $6,318 hammers to fund for NCS. I remember a similar dialogue from the 1996 hit American film Independence Day. In the film, David Levinson's father, Julius Levinson, mocks at the President Thomas J. Whitmore, similarly when the President asks how the secret research project on the aliens was being funded. Here is the snippet of their conversation:

President Thomas Whitmore: I don't understand, where does all this come from? How do you get funding for something like this?

Julius Levinson: You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?

3. Sub Plots:

a. 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. And yes indeed the last book in the Nikki Heat series was titled Heat Storm, which I am yet to read it and I am guessing that the plot surrounds around the reappearance of Cynthia Heat, Nikki's mother who was thought to be dead. 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.

b. The plot in the final book in the trilogy, A Bloody Storm, ends with Jedediah Jones and Derrick Storm (without the knowledge of Jones) have the actual location of the Russian Gold. Or so he thought. Will Richard Castle set the next plot for Derrick Storm on hunting this gold? One has to wait and see.

4. Grammatical / Historical / Geographical / Character / Mythological / Plot Errors:

a. On Page 99, Castle mentions about another author Ferrell Lee who had written a book titled Operation Mockingbird. I couldn’t find either the book or the author. Was it mentioned in error? Or were the writer's imaginations added to the plot? I wonder.

b. On Pg. 190, Line 5, it should be "that there would be times…"

c. On Pg. 322, Line 1, the "?" is not required.

d. On Pg. 322, Line 5, it should be "…you have to be careful…"

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