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Heat Rises - Bondage, Murder, and a Potential Conspiracy

Sep 25, 2011
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Entertaining book with interesting characters.


The Bottom Line: Heat Rises is another very entertaining book by Richard Castle.

I picked up Heat Wave in September of 2009 when it was first released.  I really enjoyed the book and got the next one, Naked Heat in 2010.  I just finished reading Heat Rises.

Heat Rises is the third Richard Castle book that I've read.  These books are part of a series featuring New York City homicide detective Nikki Heat and journalist Jameson Rook, who follows Nikki on a case as research for an article.  These books are different from any other I've read before because Richard Castle is a fictional character on the television series Castle.  Rick is a popular mystery author who ends up following homicide detective Kate Beckett while she works as research.  He quickly decides to create a new character based on Kate, Nikki Heat.  The books have been mentioned on the show at different times.  In the season premiere of season four, the dedication and ending are referred to without any specifics being shared.

I don't think anything like this has been done before and I love that these books have been released.  Things are done to make it seem like Richard Castle is a real person.  The picture of the author on the back of the book is of Nathan Fillion, the actor who plays Rick on Castle.  The information shared about Rick on the back flap is stuff that is known from the television show.  The acknowledgments are written like Rick wrote them.  Other characters from the show, like Kate, are mentioned.  The dedication is also tied to the show.

A priest is discovered dead in a bondage club and Nikki Heat gets the case.  She starts working on the investigation, discovering a few odd things tied to Captain Montrose, her superior officer.  Nikki is a bit distracted by the fact that Jameson Rook has been out of town working on a story and because she may be up for a promotion.  Nikki discovers clues that Montrose forbids her to follow, which raises more questions for her.  Jameson returns as the case get a bit more complicated and Nikki ends up suspended.

Nikki is already on her way to the crime scene when Heat Rises begins.  The majority of the plot is tied to the case, though time is also taken to deal with some things between Nikki and Jameson as well.  Captain Montrose is acting a bit different, and that is dealt with as well.  The plot is entertaining and enough is going on to keep things from getting boring without getting so complicated that it is hard to keep track of what is going on.  I don't feel like the book is predictable and I was kept guessing by a few things.  

The mystery in Naked Heat is tied to the death of the priest that Nikki is investigating.  She has barely started the investigation when Montrose starts telling her to focus in one thing and ignore some other potential clues.  Several questions come up during the investigation and there are some complications and surprises.  I think the mystery is handled well and helps to make the book entertaining.  There is a bit of suspense in some scenes as well, mostly when Nikki ends up in some dangerous situations.  Some of those situations are a bit extreme and not as believable, but they still work overall for the book.  Violence does turn up in some scenes, but it isn't overly graphic.  The mood is lightened every so often by some humor.  Most of the humor is provided by things that Jameson says.  Different movies and tv shows are referenced in the show and Jameson even mentions Malcolm Reynolds, something that made me extremely happy.  Much of what happens is serious, but the humor works too.  

Nikki and Jameson got involved during Heat Wave and they had some issues to deal with at the beginning of Naked Heat.  There is another issue early in Heat Rises, but they deal with things and are clearly in a relationship.  I like them together and think the relationship adds to the book without distracting from the main plot.  There are a few short sex scenes that aren't that descriptive and definitely not explicit.  Really not a lot of sex stuff between them is in the book, though it is made clear that Nikki and Jameson have an active sex life.  

The characters in Heat Rises are versions of the characters from Castle.  I expected that before I read the first of these books since Rick is supposed to have written them after spending time with the characters.  Nikki is a homicide detective who is very good at her job.  She is a lot like Kate.  Jameson is a reporter who travels around the world for his cases.  He tends to joke about things, but he can also take things seriously.  He is definitely a version of Rick, complete with his outrageous theories.

Raley and Ochoa, two detectives who work with Nikki, are back as well.  They are more supporting characters and not much more is shared about them.  They are likable and it would have been nice if they were more developed.  Montrose acts differently than he did in previous books in the few scenes he is in.  Laura the medical examiner is in a few scenes.  She doesn't get much to do either.  Jameson's mother is in a short, but entertaining scene.  New characters tied to the investigation turn up.  

Heat Rises is an entertaining, enjoyable book with a decent mystery and likable characters.  Fans of the first two books should also like this one.  Fans of Castle may enjoy the book because of the connection to the show.  People who haven't seen the show may also like the book.  

This review is part of talyseon's It's Elementary My Dear! Mystery Write-off.

Heat Wave ~ Naked Heat ~ Heat Rising ~

Castle - The Complete First Season ~ Castle - The Complete Second Season ~ Castle - The Complete Third Season ~

Recommend this product? Yes

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