Richard Castle

Driving Heat – Richard Castle

51MSLlWQIjL._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_Title – Driving Heat

Author – Richard Castle

Published – 2015

Genre – Crime fiction

This is the seventh in the series of books written by ‘Richard Castle’ – of the eponymous Castle TV series. In fact I’ve reviewed a couple of the earlier titles.

The book is in a similar vein to its predecessors. In a twist on TV series based on books, the fictional Castle writes about Nikki Heat and the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Jameson Rook. The book opens as Heat is promoted to Captain of the precinct and on her first day in charge the first homicide cases the murder of her own psychologist. Her personal connection leads her to take a hands-on approach to the case which isn’t helped when she discovers that Rook has been hiding a connection to the deceased.

I couldn’t fault the plot – there’s an auto-safety whistle-blower who wants to make public the fatalities being caused by a piece of software which links back to a tycoon. There are sub-plots about protests after a Syrian diplomat’s son is arrested, a vindictive ex-cop and some personal issues for Heat as she gets to grips with her new role and struggles with the implications of her impending marriage to Rook. In the middle of all of this a cyber attack on the force’s systems send everyone ‘back to basics’.

I struggled on two counts. The first was how much exposition there was. I remember the previous books having a faster pace and I really felt I was wading through this one. For a 300-ish page book it took me ages to read. My second issue is how the book almost, but not quite, parallels events in the TV series. In that Castle and Beckett are already married and there are other differences in the backstory etc. For some reason I found it more difficult with this book to separate the two sets of characters and stories

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.


Naked Heat – Richard Castle

Title – Naked Heat

Author – Richard Castle

Published – 2011

Genre – Crime fiction

Having received “Heat Wave“, the first book in the series as a present last Christmas, my husband surprised me with a spontaneous gift of the second title during 2012! If you’re not familiar with the TV series, Richard Castle is a crime writer shadowing NYPD Detective Kate Beckett, who he uses as the inspiration for his fictional character Nikki Heat, and the books feature a superstar journalist, Jameson Rook, who bears an uncanny likeness to Castle.

It’s three months since Heat saw the article Rook was planning to publish about her and three months since she last saw Rook. Heat felt the whole article had become too personal and Rook wouldn’t or couldn’t back down, so that had been the end of their relationship. Since then Heat has been trying to come to terms with the impact its publication has had on her, her relationship with the rest of her squad, and the high profile it has given her with the public.

The crime story part of the plot is the murder of vicious gossip columnist Cassidy Towne, who as coincidence would have it had recently been working with Jameson Rook. Needless to say Rook manages to inveigle his way into the investigation! Towne has made a great many enemies so there is no shortage of suspects and the squad, along with Rook, track these down.

This isn’t the only murder Heat’s squad is trying to solve, but there’s more pressure on them to find the murderer of a notorious gossip columnist than an unidentified Hispanic man.

The relationship between Rook and Heat isn’t as intense as it was in the first book – there’s a reason that dramas like Castle and Moonlighting drag the “will they, won’t they” aspect out, because once this has gone there’s a certain spark that’s lost too. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing interesting in their relationship, but it’s not got the same tension as the first book.

Still a good solid murder mystery, especially if you enjoy the TV series.

Score – 4/5

Heat Wave – Richard Castle

51mb5E-dLQLTitle – Heat Wave

Author – Richard Castle

Published – 2010

Genre – Crime fiction

Another short(er) review – this time for a book that was a Christmas gift. I was a little late to discover the TV series “Castle” but have now managed to watch all three series & am eagerly looking forward to the fourth series starting this evening.

In the TV show Richard Castle is a crime writer shadowing NYPD Detective Kate Beckett, who he uses as the inspiration for his fictional character Nikki Heat. The TV show is one of the better examples of US TV crime – often well-plotted, intelligently written, and funny.

The book really “does what it says on the tin”. To all intents and purposes this is the book Castle wrote using Beckett as his “inspiration”. Told from Heat’s point of view it reads just as you might imagine Castle would write a female character, especially when there is a journalist called Rook shadowing her, who bears a strong resemblance to Castle’s own character.

There is a good mystery at the heart of the story, but the relationship between the two main characters provides as much interest, especially for fans of the TV show. In fact it reads like a longer episode of the show – no bad thing.

There is nothing about this book that gives any indication that Richard Castle isn’t a genuine author, and from the similarity to the style of the TV series I assume that it was written by someone involved in the scripts for the show.

It’s tempting to give this 5 stars – I enjoyed it so much, but I will settle on 4 & hope that leaves my crime fiction blogging credentials intact.

Score – 4/5