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Heat Rises (Novel)


The third book in Richard Castle's Nikki Heat series of books.


The bizarre murder of a parish priest at a New York bondage club opens Nikki Heat's most thrilling and dangerous case so far, pitting her against New York's most vicious drug lord, an arrogant CIA contractor, and a shadowy death squad out to gun her down. And that is just the tip of an iceberg that leads to a dark conspiracy reaching all the way to the highest level of the NYPD.

But when she gets too close to the truth, Nikki finds herself disgraced, stripped of her badge, and out on her own as a target for killers with nobody she can trust, except maybe the one man in her life who's not a cop, reporter Jameson Rook.

In the midst of New York's coldest winter in a hundred years, there's one thing Nikki is determined to prove: Heat Rises.

Basic Details[edit]

  • Author: Richard Castle
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Release Date: September 10, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401324436
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401324438


'To Captain Roy Montgomery, NYPD. He took a stand and taught me all I need to know about bravery and character'

Major Characters[edit]

  • Nikki Heat - 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 - a world-renowned journalist with First Press magazine assigned to shadow the 20th precinct for an assignment on NYPD Detectives. He is modeled after Richard Castle.
  • Detective Ochoa - a member of the 20th precinct's Homicide Division working with Nikki. He is modeled after Javier Esposito.
  • Detective Raley - a member of the 20th precinct's Homicide Division and Detective Ochoa's partner. He is modeled after Kevin Ryan.
  • 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.
  • Charles Montrose - the Captain of the 20th precinct and Nikki's superior. He is modeled after Roy Montgomery.
  • Margaret Rook - an actress past her prime known as the "Grand Damn of Broadway" who lives with Rook in his Tribeca loft. She is modeled after Martha Rodgers.

Secondary Characters[edit]

  • Detective Sharon Hinesburg: One of Nikki's colleagues in homicide, she borders on incompetent.
  • Zach Hamner: Nicknamed "The Hammer," a hot shot special assistant to one of the Department's Deputy Commissioner
  • Phyllis Yarborough: The Deputy Commissioner of Technological Development for the department, a former businesswoman in whom Nikki finds an ally due to the fact that her only daughter had been murdered.
  • Detective Randall Feller: An undercover cop assigned to the NYPD Taxi Squad, a special anti-crime task force, and who has a crush on Nikki
  • Detective "Dutch" Van Meter: Detective Feller's partner
  • Detective Dan Rhymer: A Burglary cop nicknamed "Opie" who was loaned Nikki for her murder investigation
  • Detective Gallagher: Detective Rhymer's partner who is also loaned to Nikki
  • Wallace "Wally" Irons - Bombastic former internal affairs officer who replaces Captain Montrose at the 12th. He is modeled after Victoria Gates.
  • Tam Svejda - Persistent, troublesome reporter for the New York Ledger who takes a close interest in the murder.

References to Castle Episodes, Cast, and Crew[edit]

  • The murder that begins the story features the body of a priest found in a fetish club. In The Mistress Always Spanks Twice (episode 2.16), Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of a young woman doing sociological research into fetish clubs.
  • Also at the beginning of the story, Jameson Rook has been out of town and out of touch with Nikki for a month, leading her to wonder where their relationship stands. This mirrors how Castle left the precinct with his ex-wife, Gina Cowell, in A Deadly Game (episode 2.24) and was not in touch with Beckett the entire summer before his return in A Deadly Affair (episode 3.1).
  • The characters Lauren Parry and Detective Ochoa are in a relationship, just as their alter-egos Lanie Parish and Detective Javier Esposito are, starting in Poof, You're Dead (episode 3.12).
  • Possibly involved in the murder, is a German stripper named Horst Meuller. In Almost Famous, a key person Beckett's and Castle's murder investigation is a German stripper.
  • The priest victim was a fan of murder mysteries, particularly those written by Stephen J. Cannell, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, and James Patterson, all of whom are part of Castle's writers-only poker games.
  • The priest was also a fan of the movie Air Force One, which was written by Castle creator Andrew Marlowe.
  • At one point Nikki confronts Captain Montrose about why he has restricted the scope of her investigation. When she refuses, he says "Are you saying I can't stop you?" to which Nikki replies emphatically "You can't." In Knockout, Captain Montgomery tells Castle that he first met Beckett when he found her in the NYPD archives going through old case files in connection to her mom's murder case and could have disciplined her for being somewhere that uniformed cops aren't allowed, but he realized "It wouldn't stop her."
  • During the investigation, Nikki interviews a former drug runner, Alejandro Martinez, who did time in Sing Sing, but has a clean record since. Martinez is based on Cezar Calderon from Anatomy of a Murder, a former drug runner who reformed himself and is now retired and living in New York City. Calderon wears a bracelet made for his father. Further, Cezar Calderon is played by A. Martinez. Under questioning, Martinez gives an alibi for the night of the priest's murder as being at home watching the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, then tells Nikki she could easily pass for a Bond Girl. Stana Katic, who plays Beckett, the inspiration for Nikki Heat, played a Bond Girl in Quantum of Solace.
  • Captain Montrose dies around the same time as Nikki suspects he was involved in something shady, just as Captain Roy Montgomery died after Beckett discovered he was also involved in shady activities early in his career. She eventually learns that as Internal Affairs was cracking down on him, he tried to prove his worth, and cure his guilt, by reopening an old murder case he never solved. In Knockdown, the corrupt detective originally assigned to investigate Beckett's mother's murder contacts her because he is dying of cancer and because he feels guilty about his complicity in her mom's case.
  • As Nikki is being hunted by professional assassins, she takes cover in Belvedere Castle in Central Park: "Heat leaned back against the wall, looking upward at the castle that had been her salvation."
  • Captain Montrose is revealed to have a dog named Penny. Actress Penny Johnson Jerald plays Captain Victoria Gates, who takes over command of the 12th precinct after Captain Montgomery dies.
  • Rook looks at himself in a hall mirror in Nikki's apartment, strikes a pose and says, "I really am ruggedly handsome, aren't I?" just as Castle did in Always Buy Retail and with which Ryan agreed in A Deadly Affair.
  • Nikki and Rook interview Meuller's agent, a man with a Yosemite Sam mustache, like a suspect in Punked, who tells Rook he would make him into a stripper by the name of Indiana Bones, complete with fedora and bullwhip (Castle shows himself to be a fan of Indiana Jones in Wrapped Up In Death and Setup). Then he thinks he'd make him into a space explorer and Rook guesses he means Malcolm Reynolds, which was Nathan Fillion's character in Firefly.
  • To get Meuller to talk after he refuses earlier in the book, Rook surprises him by threatening him with a hyperdermic needle to demonstrate how easy it would be for someone to "dress like nurses and inject poison into the IV drip of their victims." In A Death in the Family, a contract killer hired by a mob family poses as a nurse and almost kills a witness to one of the family's crimes by injecting poison into the man's IV while he recovers from gunshot wounds in the hospital.
  • Rook's mother reveals that Rook's middle name is Alexander, same as Castle's.
  • Ochoa reports to Nikki that the nephew of the woman who took care of the dead priest's house works at a pizza parlor called Legendary Luigi's, which Detective Rhymer gets confused with Luigi's Original. A similar scenario happened in Slice of Death.
  • As Nikki struggles with a fellow cop who tries to kill her, she uses a fire axe to chop of his arm. In One Life to Lose, the murder was committed with a fire axe.
  • Rook is shot in the chest as he dives to knock Nikki out of the bullet's path. In Knockout, Castle does the same, but is too late to keep Beckett from being shot.
  • The most recent book Rook published under his pseudoym of Victoria St. Clare is called " Castle of Her Endless Longing" and features a character named Lady Kate Sackett. In the opening scene, she is approached on horseback by a man "handsome in a roguish way" (as Castle has sometimes described himself) who offers to "ride along" (as Rook did with Nikki and her squad in Heat Wave) with her.
  • In the Acknowledgements, Castle thanks Kate Beckett for teaching him "how to make sense of songs", a reference to Punked (episode 3.04), when Castle asks Beckett how she knows when she's in love and she replies "All the songs make sense," making this essentially his second declaration of love to her.

References in episodes[edit]

  • In The Dead Pool (3x21), Castle becomes so upset about Alex Conrad spending time with Beckett that he deletes his glowing review of Conrad's book from his website, richardcastle.net, and replaces it with a preview of the cover art for Heat Rises.
© 2011-2012 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
  • In Knockdown (3x24), after getting home following a big row with Beckett, Castle angrily throws a glass at the cover art of the book in his office.
  • In Rise (4x01), Beckett comes to surprise Castle at a book signing after lying low for months while recovering from being shot. When she gets to the head of the queue, she hands the book to Castle and says: "Kate. You can make it out to Kate." After the signing, Castle is unhappy about Beckett not having called for months, but they go to the swings to patch things up, with Beckett holding her signed copy of the book.

New York Times Bestseller[edit]

Heat Rises debuted in the New York Times Bestseller list at #1.

Online Chapters[edit]



Previous Nikki Heat novel: Naked Heat ~ Next Nikki Heat novel: Frozen Heat