My rating: 3 stars. I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something
Amazon.com rating (and break down): 4 Stars (5 star:130/ 4 star:98/ 3 star:50/ 2 star:18/ 1 star:23)
Pages: 208 hardcover / 224 paperback
Buy or Borrow: at $13 for the hardcover and $8 for the paperback (on Amazon.com) if you have seen the show Castle before then buy the paperback but if you have not then borrow the book
Description: (From Amazon.com) A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light.
What I thought: This is hard one for me to call, so much of this book rides on the fact that you have not only seen the TV show Castle on ABC, but also that you love the show. The author of this book is “Richard Castle” and this book is a creative way to tie the TV show into real life. I love the TV show Castle, so when I heard ABC had released books that Castle has supposedly written I was excited, I thought it was brilliant to tie in the books on top of the show's success. I really expected it to be the type of book worthy of Richard Castle's name, (especially since it has long been rumored that the ghost writers was James Patterson or Stephen J. Cannell since they have both appeared in several episodes of the show and have glowing reviews of the book on its the cover) a celebrated author who'd had 26 best sellers. However, it ended up being almost a book form of an episode, just with different names (that are ridiculous BTW, Nikki Heat? I mentally replaced Heat with Beckett every time I read it).
If you stop to think about what this book is “really” supposed to be, the beginning of a new character and series for Richard Castle (a best-selling author) based on a real NYC Detective I don’t think you can help but feel a little disappointed. This book could not stand on its own without the show, and that was the only real disappointment, and in that regard I think the ghost writer (or ABC, depending on how you look at it) really dropped the ball. I think that they should have given us a little more credit in our ability as readers to draw parallels between Castles “real life” and “real people” and his characters and know the difference.
Overall I think it was a fun fast little book, the writing was smooth yet tight and the dialoged was the same smart, biting and fast fun it was in the show, the characters are solid (even if they were the same from the show). The book is not bad; actually, the mystery in it is quite compelling. I just can’t help but wish that it was written at a higher level reader ( I know the book was made for a TV audience so they wanted to make is available to everyone, but I think that goes back to giving us readers a little more credit)
Will I read the next two books? Yes, yes I will. Because while this book was not perfect it was like reading a good episode of the show, which leads me to believe that the writer is a writer from the show, but whoever the ghost writer is, it is a fiercely kept secret, and no one is talking. When asked who really wrote Heat Wave, Andrew Marlowe, the show's creator, said, "Richard Castle. The roguishly handsome best-selling author of the Derek Storm mystery series. He's charming. He's a good writer. And I don't know why you're trying to take credit away from him. The guy worked hard on it."
What writers can learn from this book: Do not underestimate your audience, your audience is smart. They can figure it out and you don’t need to talk down to them or spell things out. They will get it. They are, after all, are not reading in their free time because of you. They probably read a lot in their free time. So you should treat them with the kindness and respect you like to see when you are reading. ^.^