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Review: Heatwave

I was introduced to the TV series Castle by a friend, and I was hooked from the first episode. If you haven’t come across it, it’s a comedy-crime series starring Nathan Fillion as crime novelist Richard Castle who becomes the side-kick of NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic). He is, you see, inspired by Beckett to write a character based on her. And he needs to do research. Beckett is less-than-impressed.

Heatwave is the first novel, which Castle writes during the first season of the TV show, with Nikki Heat as Beckett’s literary counterpart. Naturally, Castle includes a character based on himself, Jameson Rook, an investigative journalist – who annoys Heat in much the same way as Castle annoys Beckett.

Heat, and her ride-along journalist (who is writing an article about the NYPD), must solve the murder of a property tycoon, a man thrown six floors from his balcony to the pavement below. Was it the much-younger trophy wife, the nervous accountant, or the mob-linked man the victim placed bets with?

While this will never win any prestigious literary prizes, Heatwave was enormously good fun. It reads very much as if perhaps Castle has indeed written it (my guess would be one or more of the scriptwriters for the show). And it’s very easy, having watched the show, to see each person in the characters inspired by them. Probably, this helps.

If you’ve seen and liked the show, you’ll love Heatwave. If you haven’t, it’s still a good read, but some references might pass you by. Not that this should detract from the reading.

On my scale of rating such thrillers, it beats the one James Patterson I’ve read (I donated the rest of the Pattersons I had to a charity shop soon after without reading them), but isn’t as good as John Grisham. I just hope that the rest of the series are as good.

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