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on 29 October 2012
Frozen Heat is by far the best novel in the Nikki Heat series. In here we have lots of action, mystery, secrets and lies, and a love affair that comes to full blossom in the streets of Manhattan, Boston and Paris.

While reading this book I have somehow felt that Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook have stepped into Derrick Storm's shoes; however that's because the novel at hand reads not only as a classic whodunit but also as a spy story.

The body of a woman, stubbed to death, is discovered in a suitcase and Nikki Heat is called to the scene to investigate. And before too long she's shocked to discover that the suitcase used to belong to her. It was stolen by the man who murdered her mother.

But why? Why did he use that specific suitcase to dispose of the body? What does he seek to achieve by leaving such an obvious clue behind? Was the dead woman in some way connected with her mother? If yes, how did she know her? And when?

She feels at a loss at first, and as the story unfolds, she doesn't get to feel any better. In fact, if it wasn't for Jameson, she'd probably go nuts. Her partner in bed and in crime solving, is always there, for whatever she needs. And since he took a bullet for her, while trying to save her life, he's become a hero of sorts for the cops. And it's exactly this newfound popularity that they are going to use in order to solve the crime; but also, oh yes, some of his money.

As we follow Nikki and Jameson from place to place, while they retrace her mother's footsteps and she's trying to make peace with her dad, we see this strong and determined woman at her most vulnerable moments. The past seems to haunt her all the way, and until she finds the answers she's looking for, she's not going to rest. But will the answers give her the peace of mind that she needs? By the looks of it, no, they won't.

So, what do you do when you find out that your mother was not at all the person that you remembered her to be? How do you react when her dark secrets come to light? How do you live today and plan for tomorrow when you come to realize that most of yesterday was nothing but a lie?

The reader watches Nikki closely as she takes a deep breath and dives into her mother's secret past, and in the end he can feel nothing but sympathy for her plight. However, at the same time, one can say that that poor soul is blessed since right there, standing next to her, is Jameson, somebody who would do everything in his power to help and protect her, and, most important of all in times of darkness, make her smile.

Well-written, action-packed, rich in character development and with light touches of humor, Frozen Heat is the complete package. Read and enjoy.
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At first, it looks like just another bazaar murder to NYPD Detective Nikki Heat. A woman has been found in a suitcase in a delivery truck's freezer compartment. But then Nikki takes a closer look at the suitcase and discovers her initials in the top. She carved them there when she was a little girl. And the suitcase was stolen when her own mother was murdered a decade ago.

Pulling in every available person, including writer and boyfriend Jameson Rook, Nikki begins investigating the fresh murder and reopening the cold case of her own mother's murder. Will this new corpse help her solve the one case she most wants to solve?

I was surprised when I realize where the plot of this book was going since on the TV show Castle, Beckett wasn't quite to this point when the book came out. But since the plot goes in a very different direction than the TV series, it makes sense. And the end will definitely leave you wanting more.

As always, catching the references to the show and watching the characters based on those characters adds to the fun. But if you aren't a fan of the show, you'll still get a great mystery out of it. There are plenty of twists and things don't resolve until the last few pages.

Unfortunately, the writing is still a factor. It's lazy, telling instead of showing and head hopping like crazy between Nikki and Rook. It seemed better in the last one, but it's worse again here.

Fans of the series certainly won't mind, and if you enjoy a good book you'll still enjoy this one. Just know it isn't as fast a read as it could be as a result of the poor writing.
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I'm a latecomer to the world of 'Castle' - which is a hit television series built around author Richard Castle's time with the NYPD as a ride along observer with Detective Kate Beckett. Castle has turned those ride alongs into a series of successful books featuring Detective Nikki Heat and writer Jameson Rook. But.....Richard Castle isn't real either. He's portrayed by actor Nathan Fillion who does a fantastic job pitching 'his' writing. With me so far? It's a great fun premise! I enjoyed Heat Rises last year. I don't watch a lot of television, but you don't have to be a fan of the show to enjoy the books.

The fourth book is Frozen Heat. Detective Heat's latest case involves a woman found stabbed and stuffed into a suitcase in Manhattan. Nikki is in shock - her own mother was found killed in this manner. It can't be coincidence. And when she looks closely at the suitcase, she finds her own initials - the suitcase belonged to her. Nikki's mother's murder is unsolved after ten long years. Who has duplicated her murder? Why? Did the two women know each other? As she digs further, whoever is out there seems determined to make Nikki number three.....

I chose to listen to Frozen Heat as I knew the reader - Johnny Heller - was excellent. Although you might think that a male reader for a female protagonist might be an unusual choice, in this case, it just really works. Heller has a unique gravelly voice that is perfect. He modulates it to differentiate between the male and female voices. Much of the charm of Castle's books lies in the short, snappy dialogue and one liners. Heller's animated delivery of these lines is really entertaining.

But, along with all that snappy dialogue, Frozen Heat is a good mystery as well. The plot was well-paced and action filled. The ending left me a bit unsatisfied, but the door has been left open for the next book in the series. And I'll be listening!
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on 12 January 2015
For the uninitiated, Richard Castle is a fictitious crime writer, portrayed on TV by Nathan Fillion in the show Castle. The Nikki Heat books are essentially glorified props from the show, or possibly more cynically well-thought out marketing endeavours to tie in with the show. Whichever way you look at them, they make for excellent reading, especially if like me you're a fan of the show itself.

Reading these books is very much like reading an episode of the show. The characters from the show are easily identifiable with the characters from the books (Rook = Castle, Heat = Beckett, etc), and no matter how hard I try I simply can't read these things without imagining the book-based characters as their show-based counterparts. Even some of the situations the titular New York detective finds herself in are taken straight out of the show.

Frozen Heat is the fourth book in the series, and by this point the characters and their quirks are well established. This one is a rollicking read, starting off as a straightforward murder mystery and quickly expanding into a good old spy thriller, with some scenes that hark back to the likes of John Le Carre and Graham Greene. The writing style has settled down into something that is highly readable, and contains just enough humour to stop it descending into dark and dreary. All in all I reaally enjoyed this one, perhaps more so than the previous three.

If you're a fan of the TV show then I would definitely say give this one a try. Or better yet, start way back at the beginning with Heat Wave.
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on 4 November 2012
Richard Castle in the TV show is presented as a super successful novelist and whilst we are under no illusion that they are great literary works of art I was under the impression he was like the crime version of Stephen King or Wilbur Smith. Kindy of trashy but fun, well written novels with some genuine literary talent in them.

I was incredibly excited to find the first Nikki Heat novel being released for real. Unfortunately, whilst it was fun, it was also a bit of a disappointment. A short rehashing of key moments from the TV series made it an interesting tie-in but a sadly missed opportunity. It was also a bit jarring to read about characters that were so obviously based on the TV counterparts yet you were supposed to believe they were different - Surely, I thought, Castle would just write better novels than this! It's not that they are bad - definitely worth a read - just they could have been so much more. And so, I have read the first three books, long giving up on the hope that these would become anything more than tie-ins.

Until Frozen Heat.

This book finally delivers on that early premise. Here we have characters that are clearly based on their 'real' counter parts but now written with stories and lives of their own. It's now 'inspired' by the the real cases instead of just rehashing them. In the investigation of Nikki Heat's mother's murder we go on a significantly different tangent to the TV show and it is all the more better for it. A genuinely enjoyable read that is an exciting crime thriller as well as a tie-in to the movie. It's also nearly twice as long as the earlier novels allowing for the plot and characters to development nicely - some lovely twists as well that I really didn't see coming! I would have been quite happy to read this, not knowing anything about the TV show.

Let's hope they keep up the commitment into writing any future novels and, hopefully, the Derrick Storm novels. Give us books and stories that we can genuinely get our teeth into that can stand on their own as great books! Loved this, looking forward to more.
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on 22 February 2013
Having read the, so far, four books in this series, this is one of the better ones, as it flows well and keeps you turning the pages to find out who the guilty is. You get more of the relationship between Nikki and Jameson and these scenes sit well in the story and are not shoe horned in. Some characters that appeared in "Heat Rises" are back in this story and I wanted to slap a couple for their ineptness and egos, but i get the feeling that they will get what is coming in the next book that is due out later this year.

This book ends with a situation that appears to set up for the next book, and is similar to what happened in series 4. While these books may follow similar events to those in the series, the details are very different, so you cant read the books and know what is coming in the show.

Overall this is a great read, this from someone who normally reads romantica. so these thrillers are fresh ground for me, but very much draw you in and keep you there.

ENJOY!!
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on 28 January 2013
A excellent read

Ignore the television programme, the Nikki Heat series are must read. Starting with Heat Wave, the story builds through each of the books, finally finishing with Frozen Heat.

Only one question to ask. Is there going to be a fifth book because the writers cannot leave the readers in limbo
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on 21 July 2013
There is plenty to keep the reader hooked here- murder, chases, espionage,police corruption- sometimes a bit too much to keep pace with. My first Castle read, and once I worked out the TV/Author link I was on my way. The relationship between Heat and Rook is a bit contrived but he is the perfect foil for the deeply thoughtful detective. The links between her murdered mother, the mother's friend and espionage are well worked and believable. A new incident each chapter keeps the novel racing along, and as in all good crime writing what we are not told is just as important. The New York background is realistic and convincing. A fast-paced plot, well -written, with an ending to keep you interested;a twist in every chapter. I will be reading the previous ones without doubt.
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on 8 September 2013
I had high hopes for book 4 in the series, yet unfortunately it fails to ignight the passions and character depth that made the previous instalment such a good read. To me whilst the plot has a good idea to begin with its poorly executed and as feel of a series of events thrown together than a crafted script.

For castle fans you can see some of the corilation between heat and Beckett and the drive that makes the character unstoppable but it's more of glimps into someone's diary or wording for a crime report than actual depth, to me the heat rook character development kind of needs the Beckett castle in between the lines and finishing sentences moments.

Let's hope the closing arch of the story in book 5 fixes these problems.
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on 20 December 2012
I admit I am a fan of Castle the Tv series and bought the first couple of Nikki Heat books more for a laugh than anything else. However I've really enjoyed the last two books in particular and perhaps because the series is off our screens at the moment I've stopped seeing Nathan Fillion et al in the roles too. I've started to read the characters distinct in their own right without seeing the fictional counterparts. In fact the thing that is most annoying is the shoehorning in of a couple of in jokes (e.g. two detectives in Heat's team being Malcolm and Reynolds). The book is good enough on its own merits to not need this. Accept wont be everyone's cup of tea but I have enjoyed the Heat series and hope we get another.
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