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Heat Wave by "Richard Castle" is one thing and one thing only, a fun novelty in joke for fans of the show. Luckily I am a fan of the show.
The book itself is all part of the gag. The back cover includes a picture of Nathan Fillion as author Richard Castle and a short blurb about him. Within the book we also get an acknowledgements section as written from Castle. Each of these contains little Easter egg gags and references for those that have watched the show to enjoy and enjoy them I did.
Now for the story. Well this is the first Nikki Heat story and all of the Heat universe characters are stand ins for the characters in the Castle show. Therefore this is nothing more than a prose version of an episode of Castle. Unfortunately the story is a bit of a mid-season filler. It's fine and the humour is there but at no point do I ever feel there is a sense of urgency about having to solve the murder. They do try and make it affect the central characters but they never really feel at threat and there is no ticking clock devise to push the action along.
In addition to this there is the "racy scene" that is mentioned several times in the series and so has to appear in the book. This feels a bit shoe horned in and slightly ruins the sexual tension that should/could have lasted a bit longer.
The Character of Castle is supposed to have written some award winning mystery stories but this is very middle of the road. I don't think he would be to pleased. It hasn't been revealed who has actually written this book (or the rest of the series) but it is clear that they are doing it between writing their own work.
This book almost requires two scores. As a fan of Castle I give it three, I enjoyed the novelty of the book and the elements of the story that would work in an episode of the show. As a mystery novel it falls a little short and I think that there are better detective characters out there. Really this books success depends on the readers exposure and enjoyment of the TV show, which as a side note I highly recommend.