inspirethoughts

Book Critique - Heat Storm (Nikki Heat #9)

For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: If you like crime plots and follow closely how day-in and day-out law enforcement personnel solve a case along with tinge of romance and a boat load of twists that spin the plot like a top, then this is a perfect series to read through.

Heat Storm is the ninth book in the series of Castle Books written by fictional author Richard Castle from the TV series Castle (portrayed by Nathan Fillion) (My review of the TV series here) published in May of 2017. The plot is set immediately after the events of the previous book High Heat, with introduction of Derrick Storm in Nikki Heat series.

Typically as the TV series progressed, one book per season was released. However the series ended after eight seasons in May 2016. Yet, Hyperion Books went on to publish two more books in this series, which were going to be the end of the series in books. The first of which was High Heat, the eighth book in the series. And this book. But, I see that a tenth book Crashing Heat was released this past March. Looks like the popularity of the books hasn’t faded, just like the series whose reruns are still watched hugely. Anyways, back to my review of this current book Heat Storm.

In High Heat we noticed that Cynthia Heat had reappeared from her fake death and also Derrick Storm introduced at the end of the plot with regards to Cynthia Heat. This plot starts at that very moment when Nikki Heat and Derrick Storm face-off before they shake hands on a very unique and very personal mission. As they proceed in their investigation, new enemies pop up who will do anything to stop them, even killing them. 

Now that I have completed reading Derrick Storm books as well, it was a fun ride in this plot to see how two strong and powerful characters work with each other towards a common goal. Both being Alpha in nature, I liked the fact that Castle kept two separate tracks for them, although they were working on the same investigation. Along the way, readers get historical, political and scientific education.

Castle this time takes the readers into a battle between two powerful countries in the world to dominate politically, trade-wise and economically. We get brief history between how the two countries faced off in the early 19th to late 20th century before capitalism took over. 

Given the fact that Castle had merged Nikki's world and Derrick's world, we are bound to see characters from both appear along the plot - Nikki's team, Derrick's boss and associates and their families. Oh of course, the villains from the previous plots also surface. But who is friend and who turns foe is what keeps the reader on the edge as the plot evolves and characters reveal their true self.

What bothered me though was that Heat refuses to take help of her husband Jameson Rook for most part of the book, despite the history where he had helped solve her cases and also come to her rescue when needed. I understand that she wanted to keep him away from danger. But, given the fact that he was more helpful being closer than far, I felt that Castle made Nikki Heat rather selfish and stupid at the same time with that one fact.

And again she goes off on her own into the world of dangers when she could have called for a backup. Why does Castle have Nikki Heat fighting her own perils all the time. That always ticked me off with this series.

The character portrayal of both Heat and Storm sticks to what we had seen on both their individual series so far. By bringing in the elements from their books, Castle keeps the fluid motion of their lives rising and falling all along the plot. Thus we see Storm's obsession with Ford cars and Heat's passion to find the truth. Not to forget the amazing ability both of them have to rig a weapon with anything they have in dire situations or create a path to where they need to go despite the enemies closely following them. 

Derrick still comes of strong and independent character, neither over shadowing Nikki nor being over shadowed by her. Castle is at his best again in moving his characters like a chess piece, giving them their due and at the same time not making it boring or mundane. 

The plot ends clean and there doesn’t seem any doors open for Nikki Heat at least. However, now that she has joined hands with Derrick Storm, and forming a Heat-Storm kind of family, I wonder what would be in the next book that released this year. Perhaps Castle would take Nikki into Derrick's world to close some of his open doors? Or maybe Nikki will have a new door open that will lead to another deeper plot? One will have to read and see the next book to know.

Another easy read in a long-line of books by Richard Castle, that keeps you on the edge, takes you through conspiracies and trysts, indulges you with romance and love and at the end solves a problem that would save the world in general for being destroyed. 

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Plot Reveals:

a. Nikki Heat is offered the position of Director of Homeland Security by Lindsay Gardener, the potential Presidential Candidate.

b. Nikki Heat picks up a new author, Brad Parks, to read her next set of books. Never heard of the author before but his books look interesting. Another author to my list.

c. Castle writes about a group of high-tech peeping toms called as The Gotham Voyeurs, who within their legal rights watch private lives of everyone, make a game out of it and basically are a bunch of perverts with high-tech knowledge and a weird sense of law. Made me cringe and shiver. The perils of living in a technology world.

d. One of the character in the book is named Albert Gorithem, short form Al Goritehm. Loved the play on words where Castle used "algorithm" to name a character who was deep in trenches with code and science and math. 

e. A lot of what Chinese is subtly doing all over the world, in order to slowly capture it and rule is mentioned in the plot. A powerful country that doesn’t let others live in peace I suppose, being carried from centuries, just like another powerful country doing the same since past 100 years or so.

2) Sub Plots:

a. 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.

b. At the end of this plot, Heat Storm, Cynthia Heat - Nikki's mother - and Carl Storm - Derrick's father - get engaged. I had a feeling that would be the ending of it, when Castle had referred to Nikki and Derrick's in the opening meeting as two long-lost siblings seeing each other. 

c. Will Castle have Nikki Heat continue to have Detective Raley and Ochoa as co-squad leaders or will he get her a new leader or two departments for one lead each? Will be curious to see how he will turn that twist.

d. Places that Heat and Storm visit:

i. The Players Club in NYC - a prestigious club that I thought was fictional until I came across it here.

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