The Castle Has Heat Again
Raging Heat is the latest installment of the Nikki Heat series by author Richard Castle. As soon as I saw it in the library three days ago, I checked it out and read it like it was the first edition of the Ten Commandments.
For those who don’t know, Castle is a long running series in the genre of programs that I like to call “Consultant to the Cops”. Not a law enforcement officer, or a private detective, but someone who for whatever narrative purpose assists (or hinders) a police investigation through some narrative contrivance. The most recent example of this would be Grantchester. A World War Two veteran and hot young priest Sydney Chambers routinely assists Detective Inspector Geordy on murder investigations in the shire of Cambridge, mainly because more people will open up to a priest than a detective. In the case of Castle, a murderer stages homicides based on the scenes in the titular crime novelist’s earliest works and after helping NYPD solve the case, Richard Castle makes an arrangement through the mayor to tag along with Detective Beckett and her homicide unit to find inspiration for the main character of his newest series, Nikki Heat.
Just like you can find the novels written by Angela Lansbury’s character in Murder, She Wrote on the shelves of your local library, ABC has also released the series of Richard Castle novels in both print and electronic format. As I once said before of an earlier title Heat Rises, this is a TV tie-in novel done right. Something that draws the reader into the world of their beloved television series without challenging the purist who takes umbrage when an author takes liberties with the story or characters.
Among the common features in the Nikki Heat series are the Firefly Easter eggs. This, of course, is because of Nathan Fillion who plays Castle. At first the references were subtle and cute and then in Frozen Heat, they amped up the references to a near obscene amount, even going so far as to having Nikki Heat pull two detectives from burglary to assist in one of her hardest cases. Their names? Detectives Malcolm and Reynolds. Raging Heat dialed it down to one reference and then never mentions it again, which, as much of a Brown Coat as I consider myself, I am quite happy with.
The one thing I am not happy with is the amount of editing mistakes found in the book. It would be one thing if there were one or two hiccups here and there, like a line of dialogue missing a quotation mark, or a double typed word. I’m not out to grind any axes, because over all it was a great story and I do hope there will be more to come. I haven’t seen much of Castle past Season Two, so maybe in the season when the character was writing this novel, there was a good in-story reason why the book had these glaring editing mistakes. Please tell me if this is the case, but otherwise, I think for the asking price of 26.99 American and Canadian, we can expect a little more from the ghostwriter than what we were presented with in terms of a final product.
Now before you hit the comments section, understand that yes, I borrowed this from the library. But there is also demographic of people out there who like to own books. Between now and the next traditional gift giving holiday, there are a ton of birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, promotions, and creepy stalkers leaving gifts on doorsteps. Some of those recipients may be die-hard Castle fans and similarly love the books. So is it fair to them to release a book that looked like it was edited by a high school freshman working a summer job?
It’s especially grating when you read the final pages and the male protagonist Rook Jameson refers to himself as the “Comma King”.