Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CBRIII #6: Naked Heat by Richard Castle

So I caved and bought the second book that ABC put out for Castle. I got the first book, Heat Wave, a year ago and liked it because the only criteria for enjoying it is that I enjoy Castle the TV show.

I also enjoy Captain Tight Pants.

Naked Heat is pretty much a parallel to the beginning of the third season of Castle. Jameson Rook is being ignored by Nikki Heat and her other detectives because he wrote an article that was overly laudatory of Nikki, and failed to recognize that detective work is a team effort that takes a lot of grunt work. As a result of the article, Nikki has been dealing with the unwanted aspects of celebrity, with people gawking at her when she's trying to investigate a crime.

Celebrity seems to be the theme as the latest murder victim is a Six-Page-style writer that dishes dirt on celebrities. Cassidy Towne is reviled by famous people for her scathing, yet truthful, take downs of them, so Nikki has plenty of suspects on her list when her body turns up in her apartment with signs of having withstood torture. Rook is allowed to ride along on this case again because before Towne was murdered, he was following her to ride an article about the life of a gossip columnist.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, a second dead body of a truck driver turns up. The team hits a dead end on this case but, as is usually the case with these stories, the two cases are actually connected.

"I aim to misbehave."

On the personal front, Jameson Rook is not winning any fans in the police precinct. Both the Ryan and Esposito characters (no, I'm not going to look up their names in the book because - what's the point? Same people!) are pissed at Rook for revealing personal, sensitive information about them in the article; and Nikki is pissed that Rook had featured her, and her personal life, so prominently. There's a lot of frosty, punn-y exchanges but of course, in the end, Nikki warms up – or should I say, heats up – to him.

"Oh, I'm going to that special hell..."

Though the plot of this book was better than the last one – and I didn't see the ending coming! – I really should stop reading these Castle books. No, seriously, I need to not buy these books anymore just because I like watching the TV show. Because reading a 200-plus-page book where these characters are mimicked is not the same as watching a silly murder/mystery procedural where Nathan Fillion acts like a complete charming doofus. Sure, Castle is fluffy popcorn, but at least I know it only lasts an hour. With these books, I just feel like I could have had a better experience having actors read lines onscreen versus seeing the back-and-forth being performed stiltedly on page. Some serious TV-watching time was wasted, in my opinion. (For instance, I could have rewatched Firefly.)

Verdict? The plot is good (the writing could use some serious editing though); and the reveal is pretty killer (I'll stop, I'll stop). But it would have still been better on TV. Because everything is better with Nathan's cute smile.

"I really am ruggedly handsome!"

1 comment:

Cyn said...

this is so funny, i just started rewatching firefly