Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Hungry's November HEAT WAVE

November found our little book club looking to Kelly for a selection choice, and being the rabid CASTLE fan that she is, not to mention drooling fan girl of Nathan Fillion, but I digress.  On with the Book Hungry November Selection.

The Book: HEAT WAVE
The Author: Richard Castle
The Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
The Television Show: CASTLE
The Television Channel: ABC
The Actor Who Plays the Author who "Wrote" the Book: Nathan Fillion

Summary (as borrowed from Amazon):
A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light.


Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly best-selling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City's top homicide squads. She's hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York's Finest. Pulitzer Prize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren't her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them. The one called heat.

My Thoughts:
Okay, so I admit it. He's a hottie.
First, I must admit to something.  I have never watched the television show CASTLE.  In fact, while I'd heard of Nathan Fillion, I never knew what he looked like or who he portrayed on the TV.  Yes, I know.  I know.  Bad Karla. 

When Kelly offered up this novel as our next book selection, I was a little excited, because hey, if I liked the book, then I'd have to watch the show, right?  And, I love a good mystery.  It's probably my favorite genre to read, which can be a good thing but also at times a bad.  Being my favorite category means I judge books much harsher than the average bear.  Not that I'm trying to be a big meanie (Oh, who am I kidding?  Karla's a big meanie. Pass it on.) but I've read so many great mysteries in my time that it takes a truly stupendous crime caper to get catapulted to the top of that particular list.

HEAT WAVE is not a bad book, but it's not a great book either. 

The storyline is the tried and true dead body in chapter one, let's catch the killer cop book that we all know and love so well.  The characters are same kind of comfortable creatures we love.  The kick-ass female detective that doesn't take crap from anyone.  The hot guy, slightly shallow, overly cocky love interest who rockets in to save the day, showing the kick ass female that while she may not need a man, they are nice to have around from time to time. The snarky side characters, like Roach (that's two detectives who often work together at giving the book some much needed comic relief), and let's not forget Rook's mother.  She's a hoot and a half, and I kind of wish she'd had more than one scene, to be completely honest.

So, why didn't I love this book?  Well, the mystery was not all that.  I had it all figured out rather quickly, and without any real interesting (to me) side plot to keep the momentum up, I got a little bored.  The writing felt a awful dry, and lacked a certain kind of luster.  Not that I need purple prose, but I would've like a little more umph there.  I may sound like a bit of a book snob when I say this, but I always cringe when a book's very first sentence begins with the words, "It was..."  Not a very auspicious beginning, if you ask me.

Also, while reading this, I had the distinct feeling that I was missing something big.  Like hearing the tail end of an uproariously funny joke that I wasn't in on.  This is most likely due to the fact I haven't watched the show.  *shrugs*

However, I do have to give major props to ABC for thinking up such a great cross-marketing ploy as publishing a book written by a character from a TV show.  Pure brilliance there, but without that concept propelling the sales along, I'm not too sure the book would be able to stand on its own.

Did that sound overly harsh?  Like all art, writing is a subjective business.  What I like or not may or may not appeal to others.  So, if you love the show, you may also love this book.  If you--like me--haven't perused CASTLE, you might want to think about tuning in before you read.  I'm thinking it might help.

That's it for this month's Book Hungry meeting, folks.  Tune in next month when we dissect Abby's pick, LIFE AS WE KNEW IT by Susan Beth Pfeffer.