Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review of Raging Heat

Book #18: Raging Heat, by “Richard Castle.” Unabridged audio.   

I have read all five prior Nicky Heat novels, and have reviewed the most recent ones here and here. I have enjoyed them all to varying degrees, and think that the integration of the books into the TV show is an impressive feat.

In this novel, a man falls from a great height, and journalist Jamieson Rook takes the opportunity to spin some of his wilder conspiracy theories. Evidence seems to point to the involvement of a rising-star politician, but Nicki and her team of detectives debate about how strong that evidence is. The team has a deadline to meet, as Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on New York. The story ends up involving political contributions, unofficial paramilitary squads, an identity theft ring, and human trafficking.

There is more character development in these novels that is present in many detective series. Events here parallel (although not exactly) events on the show, including the death of a long-term character, a crossroads in the Heat/Rook relationship, and doubts about whether Heat should accept a promotion. There is also a large amount of tension between the characters I this novel, between Heat and Rook, as well as between Heat and her team of detectives. That is a nice touch, and that tension was well-earned.

The only part of the novel that put me off was setting the action during Hurricane Sandy. I love the integration of events on the television show into the novels, but integrating events from the real world seemed like a weird choice. I can’t put my finger on why I didn’t like that, but … I just didn’t like that.

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