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on November 7, 2009
For those who are fans of the Castle TV show, this book is a must. Anything that the TV series mentions about the contents of the book is accurate ( yes the sex scene is on page 105 and the dedication is word for word). The details are dead on including Nathan's Richard Castle's photo on the dust cover.
However, this is a quick read with the usual twists and turns of a whodunnit with most of the Castle characters present, under thinly disguised aliases of course. I finished it in two days and had real fun because I'm a fan of the show and felt familar with the characters ahead of time.
So... I found this to be a great "popcorn movie" type of book which reads like a Castle episode with nothing much to add except for the added in-jokes for fans of the show. Great literature it isn't but who is looking for that in a TV spinoff anyway?
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Book 1 in the Nikki Heat series

When I learned there was a novel on the market by Richard Castle, one of my favourite TV characters/ program, curiosity got the best of me. It appears this is creative engineering, a marketing ploy, an ingenious coup to make us believe the TV character Richard Castle is also a published writer. Who the author really is, is another mystery, judging by the writing style, my guess is that Castle's poker buddies (well-known writers) who make guest appearances in some TV episodes have a strong influence behind the hit series.

The novel is entertaining and fun to read. The plotting is basic, creating a run of the mill crime story with some twists here and there. The narration is simple, short and sweet and the dialogue is similar to the characters on the TV show. The book's main characters have different names, Jameson Rook (Richard Castle), is the fictional award winning writer/reporter suffering from a dry period. With the help of his political connections, he is given the opportunity to shadow Nikki Heat (Kate Beckett) and her team of NYPD detectives, hoping to gain ideas for a new book. Nikki is far more aggressive in her relationships and deals with the continual presence of Rook in a different manner than her TV counterpart Kate but the other characters play similar roles, the exception is Alexis, Castle's daughter, who has yet to make an appearance.

As you can see, while reading this novel, I found it hard not to make comparisons with the TV program, it was easier to visualize the characters, and they really came alive in my mind.

The story "Heat Wave" is based around the investigation into the murder of real estate magnate, Matthew Starr, whose body was found at the base of his penthouse apartment. Detective Heat and her shadow (Rook) are assigned the case and as in the TV show, he constantly second guesses her observations adding humour by teasing her along the way..

Readers should get a kick out of this novel, I did. It may not measure up to best but after watching and enjoying the TV show it is hard not to like.
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on January 22, 2010
How can you not love anything Castle and Beckett related? This is a great book, and yes, I think you're expected to understand the series so that you don't miss the character development. What a brilliant concept! Take a fictional TV writer and have him publish REAL fictional books that step right out of the series. GREAT thought. Looking forward to all the Castle books (and wouldn't mind the pre-Beckett ones either).
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on July 22, 2011
Now, I know that many people don't notice these things, but my appreciation of a novel is affected by the number of typos and missing or repeated words in a book. I had high hopes for this novel, being a huge fan of the show. However, I found myself stumbling repeatedly as I read because of such errors.
The novel has the feel of a script for the show, making me think that one of the writers on the show is the actual author. It's a fun story that had me reading it to the end, but the overall quality pales in comparison to the television series.
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on June 10, 2011
As a fan of the show, I really enjoyed this afternoon read.

One of the main reasons is because the banter between the characters is sharp and witty.

However, it gets 4/5 from me because I still like the tv characters better. Since I am such a fan of the show, I couldn't make the leap to this group. Every time I read 'Nikki', my mind translated it to Kate. For every 'Rook', I read Castle. When I stopped trying to fight that, it became more enjoyable. The other main difference for me was that the book is far more salacious than the tv show, and for me, that is a detriment. I love the interplay on the show, and as sanitized as it might be, I prefer it. We see enough of the characters on the show; so much so that I believe the stuff that we DON'T see is the stuff that we don't NEED to see. The 'don't need' stuff is retained in the book, sadly.

I've heard others say that this first novel is pretty short and might not stand up on its own, without the support of the show. It's borderline, true, but I think the book works. I think it works better if you do like the show. The story is pretty straight forward and engaging. [Naked Heat (the second book), is a more complete novel, but I found the story a bit convoluted. Two thirds of the way in, I started not really caring who was who.]

That said, it's still enjoyable enough to recommend... and the second book.
I'll be buying the 3rd when it comes available in the fall.
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on July 12, 2013
Most of what I want to say about this book has been mentioned: the lack of descriptions of characters and the places that have counterparts in the show, the way that they can do some things more easily in a book than on a TV show that is under FCC regulation, and so on. The one big thing that just about all of the commenters have mentioned is that it's just like an episode of the show in a book. I have to disagree just a bit.

While the show has two lead characters in Castle and Beckett, most of the time that when the show is away from the week's case is spent with Castle and his mother and daughter in Castle's loft. Relatively little time is spent Beckett off-duty except when she's with Castle in some way. We rarely see Beckett's apartment for example, particularly in the first season.

The book is different. We don't follow Rook in his off-hours. We follow Nikki. We see Nikki's apartment a number of times, and it's the site of several major events, including the "sex scene on page 150". We see Rook's apartment only once (it's also the only time that we see his mother, Margaret btw). Rook is not a secondary character but he's nowhere near being as close to equal to Heat, in terms of dramatic presence, as Beckett is to Castle. Finally Rook is more often a hindrance in this book than Castle was in the first season of the show. In fact, if this really were a novel by someone named Richard Castle it would be easy to call Rook a "Mary Sue" character, making the the writer a significant - even decisive - participant in the action.

"Heat Wave" is at its heart a fun read. It's not great literature, or even a great mystery. There are even better TV tie-ins. But it works great as a tie-in for this show, which is what counts. For a fan of the show it's a nice way to spend a rainy day, or to curl up with when you're sick. Definitely recommended.
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on November 3, 2010
If you like the TV show "Castle" you should love the tie-in book. Full of in gags, it is written by the fictional writer Richard Castle following his new character from his novel series, Nikki Heat, based on Detective Becket, who also is fictional, did you get that? The jokes that cross from the TV show scripts to the book, right down to the author's bio are very clever. It almost makes you think the show must be real.
This isn't a brilliant piece of literature, it is a fun read sitting on the dock in summer or in front of the fire in the winter. It is also a unique book to have out, as most people who know the show don't seem to know that the books publicised on "Castle" have been printed for real!
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on February 24, 2010
I picked the book because I'm obviously a fan of "Castle". I think it was a brilliant and fun idea to have the fictional Richard Castle issue the book "Heat Wave" in reality. The book is a light, fun read but it's a 196 pages hardcover book. In one of the "Castle" episode, we see the launching of Richard Castle's Heat Wave and the book looked a lot bigger. Let just say that were Richard Castle a real author, he would lose fans and credibility with such a short book. So this more like a collector item, for fans of the show who will enjoy the picture of Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle on the book cover.
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on February 6, 2011
I really enjoyed reading this novel. Im sure I was far from the only fan of the TV serie who wondered what reading a "Richard Castle" book
would be like, and after this one, I can safely say that Im hooked ;-) .
Reading about the exploit of Nikki Heat was a blast. Yes its a little short but the fun of reading scenes "inspired" from the real
Kate B. work more than make up for the speed wich wich you will go thrue the book.
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on May 8, 2015
Yes, Richard Castle can most definitely be annoying as this first book in the Nikki Heat series proves. And somehow, on the page, he seems even more tiresome than on the screen - particularly when he does not only endanger himself and the case but also everybody else.
Nikki Heat also comes across different than Kate Beckett of the Castle tv series - probably because she has been written by Richard Castle and thus appears to fall into his arms quickly ... which is exactly what the writer wanted to happen in the first place. And being this overbearing millionaire, so full of himself, he thinks that everybody else should give him what he wants and do exactly as he says, this does not exactly come very much as a surprise. Needless to say, he thinks the world of himself and has absolutely no clue about cop work or real women, and exactly that does come across in the book.
As for the case itself - that is actually surprisingly good and full of red herrings - there are various leads available and Nikki Heat does pursue them all, while trying to keep the reporter on the sidelines and essentially keep him safe and herself sane. In that sense, the storyline does follow the tv series - where the writer is following a proper and very competent police detective about, solving crime by using her skills and brains which he essentially admires.
The title 'Heat Wave' exactly means what it states - New York in a heat wave where crime does not stop, although it appears to escalate when a blackout occurs due to too many air conditioners running non-stop. The red herrings also assure, that the reader is kept guessing just exactly what is going on right to the end - and there is every a twist that nobody saw coming. Well, at least, I didn't. Happy Reading!
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