Title: Storm Front (Derrick Storm)
Author: Richard Castle
How I Read It: Hard cover borrowed from the library.
Synopsis: From Tokyo, to London, to Johannesburg, high-level bankers are being gruesomely tortured and murdered. The killer, caught in a fleeting glimpse on a surveillance camera, has been described as a psychopath with an eye patch. And that means Gregor Volkov, Derrick Storm’s old nemesis, has returned. Desperate to figure out who Volkov is working for and why, the CIA calls on the one man who can match Volkov’s strength and cunning – Derrick Storm.
With the help of a beautiful and mysterious foreign agent – with whom Storm is becoming romantically and professionally entangled – he discovers that Volkov’s treachery has embroiled a wealthy hedge-fund manager and a U.S. senator. In a heated race against time, Storm chases Volkov’s shadow from Paris, to the lair of a computer genius in Iowa, to the streets of Manhattan, then through a bullet-riddled car chase on the New Jersey Turnpike. In the process, Storm uncovers a plot that could destroy the global economy – unleashing untold chaos – which only he can stop.
*Synopsis taken from the book jacket
My Review: Those familiar with the show Castle may remember that at the beginning of the show, Richard Castle has just released his final Derrick Storm novel. Final because he kills off his beloved hero. For the record, this isn’t a spoiler because it’s been on TV for five years, and the book covers it in the first few chapters. As you can guess, Storm did not, in fact, die, but his death was faked by the CIA for some reason. Not knowing much about that sort of thing, like if it actually exists outside of the witness protection program, I found it a little odd that he came back as Derrick Storm – aren’t you supposed to get a new name and all that if you fake die?
That’s your first clue to take this novel with a grain of salt. If you’re looking for any semblance of reality, this isn’t the place to go. Anyone familiar with the Nikki Heat series will recognize the same almost super human abilities of the hero. These can also be seen in any action movie, so as long as you just sit back and enjoy the ride, you’ll be fine.
Volkov, just like Storm, is a super human villainy type. I don’t want to say super villain because while he seems smart, his whole part in this novel is the thug who hijacks a plan. Sure, he’s smart enough, but he’s no Lex Luthor. That being said, he’s pretty creepy, and is a no holds barred kind of guy that you definitely wouldn’t want to meet in real life.
This novel reads more like a typical mystery and less like a super long version of an episode of Castle. There are references to the show, which you’ll only pick up on if you watch it regularly, but the disconnect from the Nikki Heat series was refreshing. The thing is, I think that for what they are, the Heat books are pretty decent on the whole. I don’t read them as serious mysteries or clever tales, but a fun extension of a show I really like. Storm Front is definitely written in the same vein, but you can also tell why Richard Castle became a best seller with this hero. For the sake of my sanity, I’m just going to pretend that’s all real.
The tie-ins to the show were more fun than what I’ve seen in the other Castle books. There are characters named after characters in the series, but this isn’t meant to be a fictionalized version of their lives like the Nikki Heat series is. In fact, Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook themselves make a cameo during one of the chapters set in New York! If you can set aside reality for a second, and pretend that the world of Castle is real, that’s got to be exciting for Kate Beckett – seeing her fictionalized self in print with one of her favorite heroes!
I did find the plot to be a tiny bit predictable, but I was also terrified by the whole global economic catastrophe we get to read about, so that really balanced out the predictable thing for me. As I was reading it, I kept thinking, “holy shit, what if this really did happen!” I’m not financey in the slightest, I don’t know how realistic that whole plot point was, but I admire that the author did enough research to make it sound believeable to a layman. Undoubtedly, there will be more of these in the future, and I’ll be happy to pick them up!
Read this book if: On the whole, a fun read. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to my Castle loving peeps out there.
My Rating: 3.5/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!