Driving Heat is Richard Castle's seventh Nikki Heat book.
Richard Castle, New York Times mega-bestselling mystery writer and star of ABC's hit primetime show Castle, is back. In the seventh novel of his popular Nikki Heat series, the NYPD's top homicide detective has been promoted to captain just in time to face a thrilling case with a very personal twist. Captain Heat's fiancé, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jameson Rook, is deep in an investigation. Professionally for Heat, Rook's meddling in the case compromises her new job. Privately, it becomes an early test of their engagement when Rook becomes a distraction at best, and an obstacle at worst, as their parallel lives not only cross, but collide.
- Author: Richard Castle
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Kingswell (ABC)
- Release Date: September 15, 2015
- Language: English
- ISBN: 978-1-4013-2482-7
'Because of you. Because of us. Always'
- Nikki Heat - New captain of the 20th Precinct, a tough and intelligent Homicide Detective who drove her career towards the NYPD in order to find her mother's killer. She is modeled after Kate Beckett.
- Jameson Rook - Heat's fiancé and a world-renowned journalist with First Press magazine who met Nikki when he was assigned to shadow the 20th precinct for an assignment on NYPD Detectives. He is modeled after Richard Castle.
- Detective Miguel Ochoa - a member of the 20th precinct's Homicide Division working with Nikki. He is modeled after Javier Esposito.
- Detective Sean Raley - a member of the 20th precinct's Homicide Division and Detective Ochoa's partner. He is modeled after Kevin Ryan. He is known as the King of All Media Surveillance for his talent at noticing case-breaking details in hours of boring surveillance video.
- Lauren Parry - a Medical Examiner and Nikki's best friend who maintains a warm outlook despite her chosen profession. She is modeled after Lanie Parish.
- Detective Randall Feller: Reliable member of Nikki's squad, who transferred from the Taxi Unit.
- Detective Dan Rhymer: A former burglary cop whose nickname is "Opie" because of his Southern accent.
- Detective Inez Aguinaldo: A smart officer newly transferred to the 20th Precinct, formerly with the Southampton Village Police Department in the Hamptons.
- Zack "The Hammer" Hamner: An arrogant special assistant to the NYPD deputy commissioner for legal affairs.
- Dr Lon King: The murder victim, he is a psychologist who had worked extensively with NYPD officers, and was Nikki's counselor. He is modeled after Dr Carter Burke.
- Timothy Maloney: Aggressive and psychologically unstable former detective who Dr King recommended be dismissed from the force.
- 'Fat Tommy' Nicolosi: Rook's mafioso friend, now terminally ill, whose gambling den is implicated in the murder investigation. He is partially based on Vinnie 'The Scar' Cardano from Murder, He Wrote and Driven, and Dino Scarpella from Bad Santa.
- Stu Linkletter: Abrasive Staten Island medical examiner with a grating sense of humour. He is loosely based on Sidney Perlmutter.
- Tangier Swift: Spectacularly wealthy IT entrepreneur whose company may be involved with dangerously faulty automotive software
- Wilton Backhouse: Young automotive forensics consultant who was one of the whistleblowing team who discovered the faulty software and whose life is in danger
- Yardley Bell: High-flying DHS agent who is an an ex-lover of Rook's.
- Fariq Kuzbari: Enigmatic security attache with the Syrian embassy in New York. Loosely based on Fariq Yusef, who appeared in Setup and Countdown.
- Special Agent Jordan Delaney, an FBI investigator with a talent for profiling. He is a male version of Special Agent Jordan Shaw from Tick, Tick, Tick and Boom, who was played by Dana Delaney
- Carolyn Jay, the librarian at the New York Public Library, whom Nikki has known since she was a teenager, and who helps the NYPD with research while its systems are offline
References to Castle Episodes, Cast, and Crew
- The dedication of the book echoes the last words of Castle's thank-you speech, directed at Beckett, when he receives his Poe's Pen mystery award in Hollander's Woods.
- Like Beckett in season 8, Nikki has become captain of her own precinct, and has a hectic first day as captain, albeit not as hectic as Beckett's in XY and XX.
- Like Castle and Beckett in season 6, Rook and Nikki are newly engaged and having trouble setting a date and venue for their wedding. Their discussion about venues is reminiscent of Castle and Beckett's in Disciple.
- Nikki's uncertainty at leaving her apartment to move in with Rook is reminiscent of Beckett's nostalgia for her loft when she moves out in Last Action Hero.
- The rift between Raley and Ochoa after they are made squad co-leaders is similar to Ryan and Esposito's problems in Season 8 when Espo does better in the sergeant's exam than Ryan, coming to a head in The Last Seduction.
- Rook's investigation of the safety cover-up in the automotive industry is similar to the scandal Castle and Beckett uncover in Habeas Corpse.
- Rook having information about the first murder, discovering the second crime scene on his own and being taken in for questioning by Nikki are reminiscent of the opening acts of A Deadly Affair.
- The CSU photographer at the second crime scene is called Roe. Castle's director of photography is Bill Roe.
- The use of a drone as the murder weapon is somewhat reminiscent of The Human Factor, although in the book the weapon is a much smaller, private drone than the military one used in the episode.
- The temporary return to typewriters, paper documents and landlines in the precinct following the cyberattack on the NYPD IT system bears similarities to the way the 12th Precinct was transformed in That 70s Show.
- When Rook is abducted and driven down to the East River, the boat on which he is taken away by the kidnappers is sky blue. The boat in which Castle is discovered adrift in Driven is a sky-blue dinghy.
- After Rook is kidnapped, Nikki goes to the New York Public Library to see her friend the librarian and get some research done. New York Public Library is where Beckett first handcuffed Castle in Flowers For Your Grave, and where Castle escapes to in Probable Cause.
- Nikki's encounter in an underground garage with "Mr Jones", who has information on Rook's whereabouts and discourages her to look for him, is very similar to Castle's encounters with Mr Smith when he urges Castle to influence Beckett away from her mother's case, particularly in Dial M for Mayor.
- The scene in which crime boss 'Fat Tommy' Nicolosi denies having anything to do with Rook's disappearance has echoes of the interrogation scene with Vinnie 'The Scar' Cardano in Driven.
- Like Castle and Beckett, Nikki and Rook get married in the Hamptons, overlooking the ocean, in a big ceremony reminiscent of the one planned in For Better or Worse . In her wedding vows, Nikki echoes Castle and Beckett in The Time of Our Lives by saying: 'I will be your friend, and, yes, your partner in crime forever. As every moment from this day forth becomes the time of our lives.'
References in episodes
- In Witness for the Prosecution (8x10), Castle is giving a book-reading of Driving Heat at a fan's house for charity, when he goes upstairs and witnesses one of the guests being killed. Later on, defence attorney Caleb Brown gets Castle to read a passage from the book when on the stand in court.
New York Times Bestseller
Raging Heat debuted in the New York Times Bestseller list at #13.