Book Review: Heat Rises by Richard Castle

This is the third installment in the Nikki Heat series, the tie-in novels for the TV show Castle. The premise of the show is that novelist Richard Castle shadows Kate Beckett an NYPD detective and turns their crime solving adventures into the fictional Nikki Heat. They then decided to actually release some of the books, which are chock full of nods and references to the show, meaning that fans get an extra level of enjoyment.

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For non fans there’s still quite a bit to enjoy, with this being an entertaining crime thriller. The plot revolves around Detective Nikki Heat who’s called in to investigate the murder of a priest in controversial circumstances. However, the investigation runs into problems especially as her boss, who’s been acting oddly, tells her to ignore viable leads.
With whispers of internal affairs and Nikki dealing with personal problems. The case touches on various questionable characters, building mystery around the deceased Father. What exactly was he involved with?
Signs point to a conspiracy, and things get more complicated following an attack on Nikki and the apparent suicide of a close ally. Can she work out why the priest was killed and who else is involved and can she do this before the bad guys come gunning for her again?
I really dug this book. As a fan of the show I guess I’m predisposed to, but I found that for much of the book I’d separated it from the show and just went with it.
It’s a well written thriller, and sits comfortably with airport thrillers, but what gives it an edge is the humour on display and the nice little character touches. Even the supporting cast are given individual quirks and handled deftly.
The plot unfolds nicely and there are plenty of red herrings and distractions to keep you guessing and the conclusion is satisfying. Once it hits it’s stride I found myself eagerly turning pages and losing myself in the story, always a good sign for a book.
It’s the kind of book you could devour on a holiday, or over a few commutes and enjoy immensely, even if very little stays with you, but that’s true for quite a few thrillers.
It’s probably the best of the series so far and the one that feels most like it can send by itself, that being said there are a few nods to the show and even a Firefly reference.
Verdict: A solid and engaging thriller, fans of the show might get an extra level, but even for newcomers I think this would work as a quick, lively and fun thriller. It won’t change your life, but it’s a damn fine way to pass the time. 7/10.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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