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Review: High Heat by Richard Castle

Review: High Heat by Richard CastleHigh Heat by Richard Castle
Series: Nikki Heat #8
Published by Titan Books on October 25th 2016
Genres: Crime
Pages: 304
Format: Hardback
Source: Waterstones
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An ISIS-style beheading of a journalist, carried out by a New York City group pledging fealty to that rogue state, becomes more than just another case for NYPD Captain Nikki Heat when the killers announce their next target: her husband, magazine writer Jameson Rook.

Meanwhile, Heat is haunted by a fleeting glimpse of someone she swears is her mother... a woman who has been dead for nearly twenty years.

 
High Heat was a lot like season 8: a letdown. I spent months and months getting myself pumped up for this book hoping it would fill the hole in my heart left behind from a below-par season 8, the firings of Stana and Tamala and an awful cancellation. I spent weeks frantically stalking Amazon hoping the hardback would finally become ‘available’ but instead, I found myself happily settling for Waterstones releasing the book 5 days early in-store.
 
This book wasn’t all bad, it just wasn’t overly great. The start of the novel held a lot of promise and suspense: an ISIS style beheading with Rook named and shamed as the next victim and then an illusive ghost from Nikki’s past in the corner of her eye. Is her mother actually alive? It reminded me of the locksat debacle, in other words, a bit of a dumb storyline once it got full steam and ploughed ahead.
 
At some points, I did feel like I was reading a badly characterised fanfiction. The whole dynamic and relationship between Rook and Nikki felt off. Nikki spent the majority of her time worrying about Rook (understandable considering the circumstances), and throwing herself at him at every given opportunity. Rook on the other hand felt distant, unconcerned and gave off the feeling that he was taking Nikki for granted. The relationship all of a sudden felt very one sided rather than a partnership. He became the classes biggest kid again but to the extent where I couldn’t stand to see him anywhere in the book or anywhere near Nikki. If I had to hear him talk about his time with the daughter of Presidential Candidate Legs Klaine one more time, I would have had to throw the book out the window.
 
I can foresee a lot of people being extremely dissatisfied by the ending (which in large part, I was too, despite not being overly fussed when it happened during the show).
 
One thing I was extremely happy about was the absence of a Hayley-like character. Her introduction to the show was, in my opinion, the beginning of the end of Castle. I would not have been able to stop myself from rolling my eyes or voicing my distaste if they planted her in this book. Having her in the next seems like a possibility I am not looking forward to. It was nice, however, to see a very friendly and familiar face at the end…

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