Crushable Book Review: ‘Naked Heat’ by Rick Castle from ‘Castle’

I have to admit: I’m still shocked that ABC would go to such lengths for their promotional material that they would have someone ghostwrite two entire books — Naked Heat and Heat Wave –so they could be “authored” by the fictional character, Rick Castle. Who has time to read a fake mystery book by an author who doesn’t exist, and by the show’s own account is mediocre in his talents? More importantly, who has time to write these novels, whose only purpose, again, is to serve as shwag for the show? With the exception of JT LeRoy, it’s not like bookstores are in the practice of selling fake, terrible books written by TV characters.

First, a disclaimer: I don’t watch Castle. I love Nathan Fillion, but I don’t have much patience for “funny” crime series. I’m pretty sure Bones is what happens when Law and Order eats pickles before bed time. So for all I know, these books are just synopsis’ of plot episodes, written in a crappy Danielle Steele-style by an underpaid ghostwriter. What’s the alternative: That the same underpaid ghostwriter was tasked with writing two books from scratch, never getting any royalties or seeing their work published for anything other than promotional tie-ins? No, I do not want to live in that reality, thank you.

As for the books themselves, they are thinly-veiled “sexy” crime novels with thinly-veiled references to the characters on the show. I guess Rick Castle — an author that follows a detective around, solving mysteries and writing about his experiences — is really getting his fantasies out in his books (I hate talking about him like he’s a real person), because they are both about a journalist named Rook (ugh) who follows a sexy detective named Nikki Heat (h’okay) around, solving mysteries and writing about them. An ouroboros of fake nonfiction, if you will. Here is an excerpt, before my head explodes:

Rook chuckled, “Pure Heat. That’s going in the article, for sure. That and the blast matrix.”

“What the hell do I have to do to get through to you?” She poked her finger in the air, punctuating her words with a stab. “I do not, do not, want to be in your article. I do not want to be named, quoted, pictured, or so much as alluded to in your next or any other article. And further, since we seem to have hit a dead end in terms of your so-called secret journalistic sources and insights, I’m thinking this is our last ride.”

By the way, even Amazon is pretending this guy is real. On the cover of Naked Heat, there’s a little logo that just says “Watch Castle, ABC.” Seems weird that you’d go through all the trouble of pretending like Rick Castle is a person and then break the illusion right there on the cover, but then again, maybe Castle is real, and Castle is a reenactment of his actual life. I don’t even know anymore.

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    • Rick

      No, Castle isn’t real, Nikki Heat isn’t real, the stories are not real. Uh… isn’t why this is called “fiction?” The show and the books are fun and I’m a fan of both. You gotta problem with that?