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A little bit Micky Spillane, a little bit Abbott and Costello, this fourth installment of the Nikki Heat series by fictitious author “Richard Castle” finds the NYPD Detective coming within an inch of catching the person who killed her mother a decade earlier. With her de facto partner (and lover) journalist Jameson Rooke by her side, Nikki has to overcome more obstacles than usual since she gets stonewalled from foes and friends alike, including a new captain who is fonder of seeking the spotlight more than justice, a co-worker more interested in mani-pedis than the beat, a dad who is more haunted by the past than she is, and a few folks who seem friendlier than they really are. Author Richard Castle (whoever he or she is) keeps the pace moving quickly, and of course there are more than a few bones thrown to fans of the Castle TV show (as well as fans of its lead, Nathan Fillion), not that being a fan is a necessary pre-requisite for enjoying the novels. Gimmicky? Sure. But given that the Nikki Heat novels do not even pretend to be great literature, enjoy them for what they are - sweet little adventures set in not-always-glamorous New York (although Frozen Heat has a side-trip to romantic Paris), with lots of tough-talkin’ cops, great dialogue, pathos and humour. There is not much gore, only tantalizing hints at sex, and a smooth unraveling of a well-plotted mystery. Who could ask for anything more on a commute or a cozy autumn evening with the wind howling? Find Frozen Heat and other novels by “Richard Castle” at spl.bibliocommons.com under the tag Shelf Life Reviewed.
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