Sunday Book Club: Naked Heat (Nikki Heat, #2) by Richard Castle

Following last week’s review on Heat Wave, this week we have another book from the Nikki Heat series by Richard Castle, called Naked Heat. It’s the 2nd book from the series featuring NYPD homicide Nikki Heat, who is supposed to be inspired by detective Kate Beckett in the TV show, and Jameson Rook, who is a reporter following Nikki around, just like how Castle, a mystery writer, follows Beckett around in the TV show.

As mentioned last week, I’m a huge fan of the TV show Castle. I was kind of suffering from the end of the TV show as it has been cancelled, so I went and bought a couple of the Nikki Heat series, in the hopes that they can help tie me over my pain of losing one of my favourite TV shows. It’s actually rather expensive at US$7.99.

**This part of the review consist of Spoilers

For an introduction to the characters, please look up last week’s review. In this book, a famous gossip columnist Cassidy Towne is found murdered in her apartment. To her surprise, Nikki finds Jamesoon Rook at the crime scene. She’s angry with him and so is the rest of the team, following the article that he wrote about her and her team.

Rook is actually there because he was writing an article about Cassidy Towne; the reason he disappeared was because he has been following her around for a few weeks. Because of that, he has gained much intimate knowledge on her which appears to be helpful with the case, and Nikki reluctantly allows Rook to follow and help out.

There’s a long lists of suspects, as Cassidy Towne has made a lot of enemies by revealing secrets about them in her gossip column and ruining their lives on the way. We find out that prior to her death, Cassidy was writing a tell-all book – now with a missing final chapter. To make things even more complicated, more bodies started showing up with similarities in the way that they were tortured before being killed but they seem to have no apparent connection to Towne.

Final Thoughts

Compared to the last book, I thought this one was slightly better written, with the pace somewhat faster, and more added details and imagination rather than just a straight cut-and-paste from episodes of the TV show. That said, there were still a lot of scenes that are very similar to what had happened in the TV show. I also felt that there were too many minor characters in this book and it sort of jumps around a little, making it rather confusing.

While I thought the writing style has slightly improved, I don’t think I will be getting any more books in this series. I find that the book doesn’t have the kind of pace and humour as the TV show does; it doesn’t give me the same kind excitement. I know one is a TV show and another is a book, but I have been excited by books before and this is not one of those.

If you’re a fan of the TV show, I’m sure you’ll find this a rather fun book to relive the fun that was in the TV show, but at the same time it would also be a little bit of a letdown; it’s kind of like Castle on 50% power. If you’re not a fan, I wouldn’t recommend this book.

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