Monday, September 23, 2013

September's Book: Heat Wave

Heat Wave by Richard Castle
Mystery (2009 - 274 pp.)

Heat Wave is the first tie-in book to the hit ABC series Castle, which premiered a few months before this book's release. I was a latecomer to the show, only starting to watch it at the behest of a friend a few months ago, so this whole mystery-writer-joins-the-cops thing is still relatively new to me. I'm hooked, though.

The book is basically a textual Castle episode. Journalist Jameson Rook rides along with Detective Nikki Heat, bearing absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to writer Richard Castle riding along with Detective Kate Beckett. The characters, setting and plot are almost carbon copies of the show - set in New York City, a high-profile homicide with lots of twists and turns, and lots of bullets flying. Rook is cheeky, Heat is tough, the other main characters Raley and Ochoa ("Roach") have the same great characters their TV equivalents have, and the bad guys don't have many redeemable qualities. The character of Casper is an interesting one of a type not often seen in Castle episodes, which is a highlight. However much you like Castle, that is exactly how much you will like this book. The writing is very stock mystery but it works perfectly as a portrayal of how the pulp author Castle writes rather than attempting to tie some kind of literary masterpiece to a show that simply isn't about them. I got over the imperfections as soon as the plot started advancing.

As a bonus, there's a fake interview with Richard Castle at the end. It's hilarious. I was in stitches the whole time. Whoever wrote this book, a mystery ABC is keeping from us all until an undisclosed future date, has Richard Castle's personality down pat.

Completely unrelated to the book, I just had to listen to the Martha Reeves & the Vandellas classic "Heat Wave" while writing this entry. Having known the song since childhood, it played in my head a little every time I saw the book's cover.

Ease of Reading: 10
Educational Content: 1

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