“When New York’s most vicious gossip columnist, Cassidy Towne, is found dead, Heat uncovers a gallery of high-profile suspects, all with compelling motives for killing the most feared muckraker in Manhattan.Heat’s murder investigation is complicated by her surprise reunion with superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook. In the wake of their recent breakup, Nikki would rather not deal with their raw emotional baggage. But the handsome, wise-cracking Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s personal involvement in the case forces her to team up with Rook anyway. The residue of their unresolved romantic conflict and crackling sexual tension fills the air as Heat and Rook embark on a search for a killer among celebrities and mobsters, singers and hookers, pro athletes and shamed politicians.
This new, explosive case brings on the heat in the glittery world of secrets, cover-ups, and scandals.”
I have to say Naked Heat is way better than Heat Wave. While the latter felt a bit like fan-fiction for me, the second book in the Heat series stands up better as a novel separate from Castle the TV series.
And forgive me if I’m comparing again between the television series and the novel, I can’t help it. I would have never picked up Richard Castle’s books if I wasn’t a fan of the program. Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, on with the show:
Naked Heat continues the story of Nikki Heat, a police detective who empathizes with victims because that’s who she was. And in this second book, we see the detective develop further into the three-dimensional character she is purported to be in the television series. (Link.)
Something I also liked was the additional characterization given the supporting characters. One of the things I love about Castle the series is its amazing support cast, so I was not-a-little disappointed when we barely saw the same support team in Heat Wave. And what’s more, Richard Castle has a great relationship with the fictional team of detectives in the program, so it was a little weird that they didn’t get as much a spotlight in the books.
That actually gets brought up by their fictional(-fictional?) characters in the books—how they felt short-changed in the article-within-the-novel-within-the-show. And in Naked Heat, we see more of the character working together as a team—which, I think, is one of the reasons I liked this book better than I did the first one. The supporting characters didn’t feel tacked on—they really were part of the action.
Moving on to Naked Heat‘s story, I thought it was a great mixture of some of Castle’s memorable tag-along cases in the show—without feeling like a novelization of one particular episode. But after reading the book, I have to wonder about the title. Why Naked Heat? I mean, it has nothing to do with the mystery, or the suspects, or the eventual conclusion of the mystery.
So why Naked Heat? I really don’t know. What I do know is that I’ll be looking forward to reading Heat Rises, the third Nikki Heat novel, when it hits bookstores this year.