Jan 25

Frozen Heat by Richard Castle

Title: Frozen Heat
Author: Richard Castle
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 309
How I Read It: Hard cover purchased by me.

Synopsis: NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat gets more mystery than she imagined when she arrives at her latest crime scene.  The body of an unidentified woman has been found stabbed to death and stuffed inside a suitcase left sitting in a freezer truck.  A startling enough death, but an even bigger shock comes when this new homicide surprisingly connects to the unsolved murder of Detective Heat’s own mother.

Killed gruesomely, the Jane Doe on ice launces Heat on a dangerous and emotional investigation, rekindling the cold case that has haunted her since she was nineteen.  Paired once again with her romantic and investigative partner, top journalist Jameson Rook, Heat works to solve the mystery of the body in the suitcase while she also digs into unexplored areas of her mother’s background – areas Nikki has been afraid to confront before, but now must.

Facing relentless danger as someone targets her for the next kill, Heat’s search will unearth painful family truths, expose a startling hidden life, and cause Nikki to reexamine her own past.  Heat’s passionate quest takes her and Rook from the back alleys of Manhattan to the avenues of Paris, trying to catch a ruthless killer.  The question is, now that her mother’s cold case has unexpectedly thawed, will Nikki Heat finally be able to solve the dark mystery that has been her demon for more than ten years?

*Synopsis taken from the book jacket

My Review: I’m delighted every time I see a new Nikki Heat novel coming out, even if it does take me awhile to get to them sometimes.  I usually plan my readings during a time when Castle isn’t on, just to tide me over until the show is back, so now that I’m caught up I’m going to have to wait again!

I really hoped this novel would pick up where the last one left off, we’ve been wondering what was going to happen to Rook for awhile, but we sadly miss that recovery and he’s basically back to normal when we open this one.  The novel pretty much launches right into this investigation in the first chapter, and true to form, it’s basically non-stop action as we plunge deeper into both this case and the decade old one involving the murder of Nikki Heat’s mother.

Fans of the series and the show will notice parallels between this and the ongoing story of Kate’s ongoing attempts to resolve her mother’s murder as well, which makes sense given the fact that the entire series is meant to be the book inside the show.  As was the case with the three previous books, this one models itself after an episode of Castle and echoes events that have already occurred on the show.  The fun in the books is seeing the differences and remembering those episodes at the same time.

I always love seeing what remarkable situations the crew is going to get themselves out of, and how they’ll manage to do so.  The sheer unrealistic nature of the crimes and the ways out of danger are one of the things that keep me coming back.  There are so many awful stories on the news that I love to see my favorite characters get out of impossible situations.

While I didn’t enjoy this latest installment as much as I did the previous one, I still think it was a good continuation of the series and I enjoyed the way it looped in with what has happened semi-recently on the show.  Also, I recently heard two gentlemen talking about this series in the grocery store, and they thought the writer Richard Castle simply stole the name from the TV show.  I was too amused by this adorableness to correct them about the truth of the series, but I hope they went out and bought the book!

Read this book if: As always, fans of the show will enjoy this.  It’s an amusing mystery too so mystery lovers will probably enjoy it on some level.

My Rating: 3.5/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!