The blurb heats up:
Picking up where Frozen Heat left off, top NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat pursues the elusive former CIA station chief who ordered the execution of her mother over a decade ago.
For the hunt, Nikki teams once again with her romantic partner, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Jameson Rook, and their quest for the old spy and the motive behind the past murder unearths an alarming terror plot-which is anything but ancient history. It is lethal. It is now. And it has already entered its countdown phase.
Complicating Heat’s mission to bring the rogue spy to justice and thwart the looming terror event, a serial killer begins menacing the Twentieth Precinct and her homicide squad is under pressure to stop him, and soon. The frightening murderer, known for his chilling stealth, not only has singled out Nikki as the exclusive recipient of his taunting messages, he then boldly names his next victim: Detective Heat.
Although you could probably read this book without having read the previous one (the author is very responsible in explaining references), the two books are definitely more connected than the rest of the series has been. I mentioned in my review of the previous book that it felt like it was setting up the next book, and it turns out that I was right. Some problems created in the previous book are solved in this one, some clues pan out etc.
I thought some of the events in the book strained credibility, but I guess the author was painted into a corner somewhat by the facts as laid out by the TV show.
Speaking of the TV show there were more references to it in this book, for example Castle’s “WRITER” bullet proof vest makes an appearance as Rook’s “JOURNALIST” vest. I was surprised at that particular reference since it was in season 1 of the TV show but not until the fifth book. In general the references got a little smile out of me, but as this has been going on for five books now it’s lost some novelty.
As the TV show has gradually beefed Castle up, in this book Rook takes a more physical role, fighting bad guys. I think it’s actually more realistic for a hard-bitten journalist who hangs out with warlords to get his hands dirty than a fiction writer, but in both cases I worry that they’re changing the formula of stereotypical gender role reversal too much.
I could live without the romantic jealousy plotline, but I guess there are only so many directions to go once you get the main characters together.
There were a couple of pretty good twists in this book, although they weren’t as surprising as the ones in the previous book.