Heat Wave (2009)
This media tie-in is a cute gimmick. Castle is an American television show, which sees Robert Castle, a bestselling author of low-brow crime thrillers, collaborate with the New York Police Department. Partnered with reluctant homicide detective Kate Beckett, Castle offers his unique insights and in term draws inspiration for his books from their cases. Early on the TV show, Castle's latest novel is Heat Wave, whose protagonist Nikki Heat is a thinly fictionalized version of (the fictional) Beckett. Just like her template, she has to put up with a cocky writer on her heels, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jameson Rook, who has somehow wrangled the permission from the mayor to sit in on the police proceedings. Meanwhile, back in our world, Heat Wave has been published as an actual book, written by an anonymous author under the nom de plume Richard Castle. Yes, it is a tad recursive.
The novel itself is airplane fodder. Entertaining, competently written, in parts self-consciously pulpy, ultimately unremarkable. A New York real estate mogul falls to his death from his balcony. Nikki Heat and her team investigate, Rook in tow. Lots of banter, a few twists and turns, and several dead bodies later, the killer is in custody. The book plays out much like a long episode of the TV show, your average crime procedural. Oh, and if you've seen the show and wondered, page 105? Steamy indeed.
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