Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Mystery Review: 'Heat Wave' by Richard Castle

Anyone who’s watched the TV detective series ‘Castle’, featuring Nathan Fillion as a writer tailing a NYPD cop solving murders, will know that this is the book that featured in the show, the book that Castle the character supposedly wrote as a result of his experience with the cops. The joke, of course, is that the characters in the book are thinly disguised copies of their TV show counterparts: Castle is Rook (a Pullitzer-prize winning journalist this time, not a fiction writer), Kate Beckett is Nikki Heat, sidekicks Esposito and Ryan are Ochoa and Raley, pathologist Lanie is Lauren and so on. Except that this time, the sexual tension between the two main characters is resolved in the steamy sex scene on page 105 (as fans will surely remember from the show).

As a murder mystery, this is a fairly run of the mill affair, but it rattles along pretty well and the plot really isn’t the point, after all. I found the overuse of slang and jargon a bit trying, but it does fit with the character. A (fictional) writer researching a book like this might very well accumulate a whole bunch of such phrases and sprinkle them absolutely everywhere. And it’s very funny imagining Castle writing this stuff. It seems like a hack piece of work, but then that’s the intention, so it’s actually quite cleverly done. Not recommended for anyone unfamiliar with the show, but for fans who would likely get all the jokes and sly references, this is an entertaining piece of fluff. Three stars.

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