Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Heat Rises by Richard Castle

There's something odd about reading a book "written" by a television character.  Of course, when I use the phrase "television character", I don't mean someone who's quite the character on television like Craig Ferguson (although, he is quite fun and he did write two books). No, no. I mean an actual fictional character on television.

(Uh, can you have an actual fictional anything?  This post was NOT supposed to be a philosophy test.)

Heat Rises  is the third book attributed to Richard Castle, the eponymous main character of the television crime show, "Castle", on ABC.  Richard Castle is portrayed, with great humor and charm, by Nathan Fillion.  The  person who ghost writes the books for Richard Castle is unknown.

Let me first say that I love "Castle".  It's fun and silly and witty all while solving a crime.  Oh, and did I mention Nathan Fillion?  (Yum.) That means there are many, many lovely things about the television show.  If you're not watching it, and you like mysteries or cop shows, you should be watching it.  If you're not watching it, but you enjoyed Nathan Fillion in "Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog" or "Firefly", you should be watching it.

(I would like to take this moment to thank my sister for introducing me to "Castle."

Thanks, Sarah!  You were totally right.)

Now, let's get back to this thing where there are three books purported to be written by a fictional television character.  I really can't think of another instance of this happening other than the series of murder mysteries written by Jessica Fletcher, Angela Lansbury's character on "Murder, She Wrote."  I think we can just agree it's odd and then move on.  (Which is ironic because I've taken six paragraphs to get past my first point. Can we all also agree to do as I say and not as I do for the duration of this post?  Thanks.)

I want to move on because I think the books are worth reading even if you don't watch "Castle."  It's not a requirement. I do think, however, that "Castle" fans will like the Richard Castle books better because of their familiarity with the characters.  In the books, Nikki Heat (the fictionalized book version of fiction television character Kate Beckett) gets stuck with Jameson Rook (Rook, Castle, Rook, Castle.  Get it?), an investigative journalist, for a series of ride-alongs.  The ride alongs only take place in the first book.  After that, it's Rook's and Heat's personal relationship that keeps them solving crimes together.

Heat Rises, like the other two Richard Castle books, are fun, easy reads.  I would call them beach reads.  They're light on the crime scene science and heavier on basic cop work and personal relationships.  "Castle" fans will find some corollaries between the last season of the show and this book.  Although, they are not one in the same.  The books are not mere re-hashing of episodes of "Castle". There are hints of corruption, unseen influence and connections between crimes past and crimes present.  In Heat Rises, Nikki Heat tries to solve the murder of a priest found in domination and submission dungeon.  The stakes are high as Heat is up for promotion and a target for those who don't want internal corruption exposed.  She puts her life and her career on the line.  The crime is solved, but not without great cost to those who love Nikki Heat.

Heat Rises ends with a bit of cliff-hanger, so I won't post anything about the final pages.  I will end by saying that this book is a great way to spend time enjoying characters I normally only see on Monday nights on ABC.

Other books by Richard Castle include Heat Wave and Naked Heat. Pin It


  1. When I was scrolling through my blog roll and saw "by Richard Castle" I wondered which sister had the right combination of smarts and funnybones to review a "fake" book. I guessed Carrie! Amy and Sarah are also Outstanding Reviewers, but I thought you might be most willing to "take one for the team." So imagine my surprise that "Heat Rises" is a worthy read.

    Now I feel badly that the author, obvious possessor of smarts and funnybones, must toil in oblivion. I don't know if I'd take that deal. What does that say about my ego?

  2. You're welcome. You give me books, I give you tv. Well, tv with Nathan Fillon. Again, you're welcome.

  3. Megan, I assume "take one for the team" is code for "read junk." ;)

    I think, if wasn't already in love with the television show, I would find the characters a bit two-dimensional, but completely innocuous. A lot of times, that's what I'm looking for in a beach read. Real life strains my brain, so literature (and I use the term widely here) is an escape for me.

    I was REALLY resistant to the ideas of these books, but someone I know read them and called them fun. I was willing to give them a chance. I don't regret it!

  4. I'm with you, Megan. I can't believe that the author is sitting quiet about the most brilliant tv-show gimmick e.v.e.r.

    Plus, I want to read *more* by this author! Great review. :) sally