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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Naked Heat (Nikki Heat book 2) by Richard Castle


Naked Heat is the second book supposedly written by the mythical Richard Castle. If you enjoy the TV show, and you like to read, then there is a decent chance you'll enjoy both Heat Wave and Naked Heat. I would not recommend reading the second book until you've read the first, though. It could be done, both were written as stand alone books, but I think the set up for book one will help you understand some things that are just jumped right into with book two.

Here's the blurb

When New York’ s most vicious gossip columnist, Cassidy Towne, is found dead, Heat uncovers a gallery of high profile suspects, all with compelling motives for killing the most feared muckraker in Manhattan.

Heat’ s murder investigation is complicated by her surprise reunion with superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook. In the wake of their recent breakup, Nikki would rather not deal with their raw emotional baggage. But the handsome, wise-cracking Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’ s personal involvement in the case forces her to team up with Rook anyway. The residue of their unresolved romantic conflict and crackling sexual tension fills the air as Heat and Rook embark on a search for a killer among celebrities and mobsters, singers and hookers, pro athletes and shamed politicians.

This new, explosive case brings on the heat in the glittery world of secrets, cover-ups, and scandals.

If you enjoy the humor in the TV show Castle, then you'll probably appreciate the humor in the book. It's not exactly the same, but they are trying to show Richard Castle's sense of humor in the writing. 

I'm not sure who is actually writing these books -- it feels at times as if it's a project, as if there are multiple people working on it, as the voice isn't exactly the same throughout. It's not jarring, it's similar enough, and the plot is so involved that I think having a team writing it probably helped make the plot into the huge tangle that it became. And I say tangle in a good way, it's not often that I read a book where there are so many possible people who could have done it, and when I have no clue until the actual unveiling.

As for the writing elements, the plot was superb, and pacing was well done. Prose had some issues here and there, if the show's writers are writing the books then these are writers used to writing dialogue and not prose, and that showed up a few times when we a room was being described, or when we were being told how someone felt about something. Not a huge deal, but certainly there.  Dialogue, on the other hand, was done quite well. Character development is... okay. But I think it is assumed we've all watched the show, and that some of that work has already been done. If you look at it in that light then character development is fine.

I gave the first book, Heat Wave, an 8 of 10. I think Naked Heat was better written, and I think more attention was given to the plot. Still not quite a 10 of 10 though, so I'll give it a 9 of 10. After two books I think that's probably the series rating, as well.

  • Book Rating:Naked Heat:  9 of 10
  • Series Rating:  9 of 10
I thought it was pretty cool that, during Monday night's show, Richard Castle said something about his book being released "tomorrow", and that this was actually the case, that Naked Heat was being released Tuesday in real life as well. I'm looking forward to Monday night's show, to see how they weave the book into the show now that it has been released.

1. Heat Wave
2. Naked Heat

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