What I'm Reading Now 3/13/13 UPDATE

Although I haven't written about it, I assure you I've read several books since my last (and first) installment of this.  I've been negligent about posting on the blog the past few months, but I've renewed my vigor and plan on posting here more often.  And in that vein, here's what I'm reading now...


Heat Wave
by Richard Castle

"Heat Wave" is the first novel by Richard Castle from the TV show 'Castle'.  Basically the premise of the show is that a mystery author follows a homicide detective as a muse to his new character Nikki Heat.  I really enjoy the show, and I always felt it'd be beneficial to have a relationship with an officer to answer questions that arise while writing.  

So "Heat Wave" is proposed to be the character Richard Castle's, played by Nathan Fillion, first book about the detective he follows, Kate Beckett.  ABC published the book through a sister company as a joint effort.  It's a great marketing strategy that promotes each other, and convinced me to pick up this book.  

Real word murder mysteries aren't my typical foray, and with that said I don't think I'd have kept reading it, however I most enjoy trying to piece together what parts of the books are inspired by the show.  

While the writing is better than I was expecting, I feel it's relying too much on the gimmick of the premise rather than the writing.  Initially I wasn't very happy with it at all thinking the characters didn't seem too analogical to the characters in the show.  Primarily the main character seemed out of place being over-sexualized.  It wasn't until a friend explained that the characters were written as Richard Castle would have liked to see them in the first season of the show, and that in the subsequent books better portrayed the characters.  

It may seem trivial reading it here if you haven't watched the show, so let's focus on the actual story within the book.  Jameson Rook is a celebrity journalist following homicide detective Nikki Heat during a murder investigation.  I won't give away details of the plot but it seems run-of-the-mill to me, and as I said earlier the actual talent of the writing is fair.  As you'd expect there's the inevitable false leads, twists and incorrect accusations. I will say the best element of the writing is the humor the characters find in the random situations they find themselves in (much like in the show).  There's enough to the book and the writing to keep me reading it, however I'm not too sure I'll be picking up the next book in the series.  We'll see once I've finished this one.


I've since finished the book, and while it was good for what it is, it is not my type of story.  Obviously, I knew this was a real world mystery from watching the show it's based on, I kept waiting for a supernatural element.  This is of course no fault of the book or the author, who did a good job of translating the characters from the show into inspirations for a book series.

For me there's some disconnect between current mysteries and the hardboiled noir from the 40's and 50's that originates in the difference in eras.  Being a part of this internet age, reading a detective hit the bars and clubs with a cigarette in mouth wherever he goes, beating up goons without abandon in a manner a modern detective could never do is like reading a time travel story.  Modern mysteries are more like watching the news tied too much in the legality of their actions.  That probably says more about my own damaged psyche than the current state of literature, but to get back on point, that's a major factor in my feelings for this book.

At this point, I'm going to pass on picking up the next novel, however if you're a fan of the show Castle, or of crime mysteries, I recommend picking this up.  

Rating System

Intro 4: "Remember Me"