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VINE VOICEon 17 February 2010
HEAT WAVE is the novel that Richard Castle wrote in the series Castle: The Complete First Season [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC], starring Nikki Heat, based on detective Kate Beckett. The book is very nicely presently, being entirely in character from the author photo on the back cover (of Nathan Fillion) to the dedication to the acknowledgments, although the latter references the cast and the show's creators by name. It is just like having a prop from the show.

The story is about a rich New York business man who falls to his death from his apartment. The suspicious circumstances lead homicide detective Nikki Heat and journalist and ride-along, Jameson Rook into the world of high profile art theft and murder. The plot structure, style and humour, as well as the characters (although they have different names) are all exactly the same as the TV show, so fans will straight away be familiar with how it's supposed to feel and will love how you're actually reading what is being talked about in the show for nearly two seasons now. It is fairly fast-flowing once it gets going and although there are only a handful of characters who the culprit could be, the twist at the end was a good surprise for me.

Being a fan of CASTLE, I thought this book was great but it probably will only have a limited amount of appeal to people who have not seen the show. A good mystery with fun characters and decent writing, I hope there's a follow up or even better - we get the chance to read some of his Derek Storm novels!
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on 24 January 2012
I am a great fan of the Castle series on TV which features an author, named Richard Castle, who is teamed up with a female cop, named Beckett. In the series Castle publishes three books with Nikki Heat (based on Beckett) as the main character. So when I saw that there actually were three Nikki Heat books on Amazon I had to try them. What a disappointment. The plot was reasonable, likewise the action, but the characters - oh dear, they were dire. They never came to life and seemed like puppets carrying out the motions. As Richard Castle is a fictional character I checked out the copyright which was ABC Studios and I reckon the books must have been written by a ghost writer or a script writer, but certainly not by any novelist worth his or her salt. I certainly won't be buying the other two books, although I will continue to watch the tV series.
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For a novel that is essentially nothing more than a piece glorified tie-in merchandising for the TV show Castle - Season 1, Heat Wave is surprisingly and pleasingly enjoyable. It would have been quitet easy for ABC, the home of Castle on US TV, and the publishers to simply produce a lazyily written knock-off to cash in on the 12 million viewers the show gets every week. Rather like the programme that spawned it however, Heat Wave has overcome the disadvantages of its lowly origins to actually be a pretty decent detective mystery.

Not that its going to win any literary awards or prizes for originality. This is very much a straight, no frills murder-mystery detective story. Its convoluted enough to keep you gripped, even if the identity of the ultimate culprit does become obvious some time before its revealed. The character interplay is engaging and the New York locales are given just enough colour. Whoever they hired to ghost write the book has done a solid if unspectacular job. Under normal circumstances it would easily grab a three star rating.

What elevates it to a four star novel for me, and probably for any other fans of the TV show, is the way it riffs on the (fictional) world of Richard Castle, Kate Beckett and their friends, colleagues and families. A large part of the fun when reading Heat Wave is comparing Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook with their 'real life' counterparts and seeing how they differ. In many respects they are the same characters and Heat Wave is essentially an extended episode of Castle in book form, but there are some significant differences that separate the novel from its source material. Its also fun to try and pick out the sections of the book that have been refered to directly by characters during CASTLE: COMPLETE SECOND SEASON, which is set after Heat Wave's fictional publication.

So if you're a fan of Castle (as of March 2011 its shown on the 'Alibi' TV channel in the UK) then like me Heat Wave will really appeal. If you've never caught the show however, it offers enough entertainment value as a standalone piece of detective fiction to be worth trying. It might also sell you on trying the show that spawned it.
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on 29 January 2013
Let me begin by saying that I am a fan of the CASTLE television series. It is a cheeky, and sometimes cheesy bit of fluff that is pure entertainment. The viewer is not supposed to examine the "facts" of each weekly offering too closely nor try to utilize logic. This is just a show where you sit back and enjoy the silly banter of the cast and the sexual tension exuding from the two protagonists as they attempt to solve their latest case.

HEAT WAVE capitalizes on the popularity of the television show and follows the same formula that made the show a success. Unfortunately, what plays well on the small screen does not necessarily translate to the page with the same panache.

While the book does have a couple of amusing exchanges between our two protagonists, I believe if one has never seen the show and has no point of reference, this story of the murdered real-estate tycoon and his trophy wife would have found its way to the "remainders" bin within a month of publication.

My recommendation: If you want to be entertained for an hour, sit back and watch the show, pass on this book and devote your time to more informative and interesting reading material. If you feel compelled to read this offering, save your money and get it at the library.
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VINE VOICEon 1 June 2011
I have been a fan of the TV show 'Castle' since it started in the UK last year. I often wondered what the novels written by the fictional Richard Catle were like, only to discover that they actually exist. OK, I can't pretend that they are the best written crime novels but they are fun with plenty of laugh out loud moments. If you have not watched the show be prepared for 'a tongue in cheek' style novel then having read it you will want to watch the show to see where Castle gets his inspiration from, but if you want gritty realism then this is not for you. It is a very American, but anyone who has watched American cop shows will easily be able to understand the terminology and slang used. The interview with the author and the bio including the information that he won the Nom dePlum Society's prestigious Tom Straw Award for Mystery Literature only adds to the fun. James Patterson is quoted on the front, he makes occasional cameo appearances in the show as part of Castle's poker school (Michael Connelly is quoted on 'Naked Heat').

The books star Nikki Heat who has to put up with Jameson Rook, a celebrity journalist who pretty much knows everyone, following her around in order to get material for a magazine profile. This of course echoes Detective Kate Beckett being followed around by the crime writer Richard Castle looking for inspiration for a new central character

It is a clever idea and I find myself wondering who the real life inspiration for Detective Beckett is, there must be one somewhere, a female detective who was followed around by the writer of the TV show. But surely the biggest mystery is who actually writes the books. There has been a lot of speculation but as far as I am aware it is being kept a closely guarded secret, when the writer of the show was asked the question he just said Richard Castle. To be honest I don't want to know although I am sure there are clues in the books somewhere.

It is a great show and this is a fun novel, even my son, who doesn't read much is reading this one. I am now halfway through 'Naked Heat' and looking forward to the next work of fiction by this fictional author.
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on 15 October 2011
I greatly enjoy the Castle TV series, and so couldn't resist trying out the book - especially as I'd watched it being produced and discussed during the TV episodes. I wasn't disappointed - this reads like an extended version of Castle, and all the characters are instantly and authentically recognisable, as is the dialogue.

I had to remind myself on several occasions that this was the fiction, and the TV show was the reality... oops, actually the TV show is fiction too.. drat, it's all so plausable!

Whoever wrote the Castle books is very brave to forego the publicity in favour of the promotion/tie-in gag of having 'real' Castle books on the market. I am assuming it's really written by one of the screenwriters, so seamlessly does it echo the on-screen action and characterisation.

Although, would it have been quite the same 'smash-hit' book had it been just a stand-alone story? I;'d certainly have read it and enjoyed it, but the tie-in gives it a delicious piquancy that exerted full Rick Castle/Jamieson Rook charm over this reader!
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on 26 November 2012
If you like Castle the TV series, you will probably like the book. Many of the episodes are scavenged to produce the book as they would have been if Castle had used his experiences to write the best seller. Very cleverly done and thoroughly enjoyable.
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New York City is suffering from record breaking heat when Matthew Starr jumps to his death from his luxury condo. NYPD detective Nikki Heat quickly determines that it was murder. And since Matthew was one of the richest developers in the city, the case will be a top priority.

Only Nikki quickly discovers that Matthew wasn't as well off as everyone thought he was. As the secrets come out, Nikki begins to find multiple motives. Then her own life is threatened. Can she solve the crime before another attempt is made?

It's always a danger killing off a popular character, but if that's what it took to give us this new book, than I am glad Richard Castle took that risk....

Okay, okay, so the whole Richard Castle thing is not true. This book is really a very cleverly done tie in to the ABC show Castle. Heck, the author photo on the back of the book is actor who plays him on the show. And the blurbs are from authors who have appeared on the show. Frankly, this fan couldn't stop laughing at the similarities.

Those similarities continue on to the characters. Nikki Heat is being shadowed by a news reporter for an in depth feature on the police force. The other detectives are quite obviously based on the characters in the show.

However, I must wonder just how much non-fans of the show would appreciate things. I got lots of humor from characters and comparing the two. If I didn't know the show, I wouldn't have found it amusing at all.

The plot holds together reasonably well. The beginning of the book was overwritten, however. Some of those sentences got in the way of actually understanding the description. Things did get better as the book progressed, fortunately.

Fans of the TV show will get a kick out of this book, especially with how they've been advertising it on the show. Others might enjoy it, but they won't get the same kick out of it I did.
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To be honest, I'd never realised there truly was a Richard Castle book called Heat Wave and if I had, I probably wouldn't have taken the trouble to pick it up. So when Wiebe found it and its sequel Naked Heat at Forbidden Planet and wanted to get them, I was a bit confused, but intrigued nonetheless and into the shopping basket they went. Castle, starring the fabulous Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, is one of the few TV shows Wiebe and I make sure to watch together every week or at least record to watch later. So I could see why he wanted to read the books. And after he flew through them in a weekend, I decided I'd have to read them for myself as well.

Heat Wave is a gimmick novel, the one Castle writes about Beckett in the TV show. As such it's hard to disassociate the characters in the book from those in the TV show. In fact reading Heat Wave is much like watching an alternate reality episode of Castle in your head, one in which the fans do get the romance they've been denied in the TV show--at least so far as I've seen the show and we're a little behind here in The Netherlands. I'd imagine though, that while they might miss the little in-jokes, that people who haven't watched the show would be able to understand and appreciate the characters for who and what they are as written in the book.

The book itself isn't high-flying: the prose is workman-like and the plot is competent, but not brilliant. What this book is though, is fun! There is lots of snark and the same witty banter viewers of Castle might recognise as the show's stock in trade. Heat Wave is written from Nikki Heat's viewpoint and it's fun to have "Beckett's" point-of-view, although we're ever conscious that we're not hitching a ride in Beckett's head, but in Castle's version of Beckett. This consciousness comes mainly from the fact that in Jameson Rook we have Castle's alter ego, who clearly is is Castle-inspired, but also clearly isn't Castle; he doesn't have a wise-beyond-her-years teen daughter for one and his mum doesn't live in either. Heat's two detectives, Ochoa and Raley, affectionately nicknamed Roach, are adorable. That's probably a too cutesy word to suit their tastes, but it's what comes to mind. They're like an old married couple and best friends at the same time and I loved them.

The relatively short book is an easy read, that just keeps you turning pages. No, it isn't the next big crime bestseller, but Heat Wave does exactly what it was meant to do, in my opinion, it truly entertains and it forms an admirable companion piece to the TV show. It's a book for the true Castle fan or as a fun and light beach read for a crime fiction lover.
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on 27 June 2011
Now I want to say straight away: if you are not a fan of the show Castle, then you will consider this to be a slightly shallow and easy crime novel.

But if you love the show as I do, this novel is a piece of genius! Everything about it matches up to the book that the fictional Richard Castle writes and it is funny to see the comparisons between the characters of Heat and Rook to the characters of Beckett and Castle (anybody else just wish they'd get it together?) Even the endorsements from real authors (who have all been on the show) is just brilliant.

As to the content of the book, it is a rather easy crime novel based on the murder/suicide of a millionaire who falls from his balcony. The novel revolves around the chemistry of Heat and Rook who work together to try and solve the crime.

All in all, I would say only buy this book if you are a fan of the show. You will get so much more out of it that way.
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