Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Heat WaveWell I must have been one of the very last people to buy the book in hardback, I’m annoyed with myself, if I had waited a couple of months I could have saved £4 and got the paperback, which is due out in October.

I’m going to jump straight in with my opinion on this one as this is not a standard cosy and the synopsis on the cover won’t make sense to anyone who hasn’t seen the ABC show ‘Castle’.

Overall I have to say I was disappointed with this book. I was excited to get it but it just isn’t up to snuff. If you don’t watch the show it is a complete waste of time. The plotting isn’t great and there is little description. I feel the lack of description is either deliberate – the show’s producers want the reader to imagine the characters Richard Castle and Kate Beckett off the TV instead of two new characters Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook – or just incompetent. At several points I found myself wondering if a scriptwriter had been given the task of padding out a rejected script into book form. There is a corny sex scene, and nudity that is only readable if you know how much it annoyed the TV character Beckett (hence making it funny).

As well as failing to stand alone from the TV show the prose has some problems. With overlong sentences, clumsy attempts at free indirect discourse and clichéd Dashiel Hammett metaphors to set the mood, there is little flow and no bubble created for the reader. There is no consistent viewpoint in the narrative and, bizarrely, there are huge chunks of unattributed dialogue. A good writer should know better than that.

If you are a fan of the show and want to feel ‘in on the joke’ as it were then by all means read it, otherwise I wouldn’t bother. The cover is fun, it is a cute idea and the quips come thick and fast but unfortunately the ghostwriter just hasn’t managed to pull it off. I don’t think I’ll be buying the second installment.

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