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Heat Storm (Novel)


Heat Storm is Richard Castle's ninth Nikki Heat book, published in May 2017.


Nikki Heat and Derrick Storm, New York Times bestselling author Richard Castle's most enduring and beloved characters, team up for the first time to save Nikki's mother, Cynthia, who has been in hiding (and presumed dead) for 17 years. Standing in their way is a nefarious group of Chinese businessmen known as the Shanghai Seven, who have the resources – and ruthlessness – to stop them.

Although this is not the first time Storm, Nikki and Rook have appeared in the same book - they all met briefly in Storm Front - this is the first time they have all worked on a case.

Basic Details[edit]

  • Author: Richard Castle
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Kingswell (ABC)
  • Release Date: May 2, 2017
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1-4847-8786-1


  • Every writer needs an inspiration. And I found mine. Always

Major Characters[edit]

  • Nikki Heat - 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 husband 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.
  • Derrick Storm – Rugged ex-Marine and private detective, recruited to intelligence work by former lover Clara Strike and now the top agent for a secret CIA unit.
  • Carl Storm – Derrick's widowed father, an equally rugged retired FBI agent living in Virginia.
  • 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.

Secondary Characters[edit]

  • Jedediah Jones – veteran, secretive CIA insider, head of the unnamed special unit for which Storm works.
  • Lindsy Gardner - former librarian now turned popular presidential candidate, first encountered in High Heat.
  • John Null - Gardner's chief of staff.
  • Cynthia Heat - Nikki's long-absent mother, a former CIA agent now in hiding
  • Zack "The Hammer" Hamner - an arrogant special assistant to the NYPD deputy commissioner for legal affairs.
  • Clara Strike - Enigmatic and elusive CIA agent, mentor and former lover of Rook's.
  • Agent Javier Rodriguez – one of Jones's two key lieutenants, who, like Detective Ochoa, bears a close resemblance to Javier Esposito
  • Agent Kevin Bryan – the other of Jones's key lieutenants, who, like Detective Raley, bears a close resemblance to Kevin Ryan
  • George - The veteran barman at the Players Club, a favourite haunt of Cynthia Heat
  • Bart Callan - Former Dept. of Homeland Security agent who inserted himself into Nikki's investigation of her mother's death; later exposed and imprisoned in Deadly Heat
  • Colonel Feng - Chinese police official working for the Shanghai Seven
  • Albert Gorithem - Eccentric former FBI associate of Carl Storm's, and an encryption expert
  • Benigno DeJesus - Ace NYPD forensics expert trusted by Nikki

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

  • The dedication echoes the last lines of the series finale, Crossfire, which Castle and Beckett say in voiceover during the closing scene of the family together in the loft. The line originally comes from the pre-title sequence that aired before each episode during season 2.
  • In the opening scene of the book, a description of Derrick Storm concludes: "So yes, he was handsome. Some would say ruggedly so."
  • The downgrading of Bart Callan's incarceration from maximum security to medium security (which Storm investigates) and Callan's subsequent disappearance have echoes of Lockwood's escape in Knockout.
  • When Nikki is publicly offered a job in Homeland Security by Lindsy Gardner, she receives an anonymous message urging her to 'take the job in DC' rather than investigate her mother's death. In Watershed and Valkyrie, Beckett also has to decide whether or not to take a federal job in Washington.
  • The anonymous message Nikki receives is from 'the Serpent'. In Knockdown, Raglan describes the as-yet-unidentified Senator Bracken as 'the Dragon'.
  • An associate director at the Federal Bureau of Prisons that Storm is investigating is called Mason Wood. Mason Wood is also the name of the head of the GDS and the kingpin of the LokSat conspiracy in season 8.
  • In a letter, Cynthia Heat tells Nikki that, though she has hidden herself away from her daughter, she has been present at several of the most important events in her life incognito. In Hunt, Castle's father, Jackson Hunt, tells Castle the same thing.
  • In trying to keep Rook at a distance from the precinct, Nikki briefly thinks about making up a wild story that he has had an affair with a Russian called Svetlana. In Tone Death, Castle has to go along with the incorrect idea that he has cheated on Beckett during their 'time out', so pretends he has done so with an underwear model called Svetlana.
  • Nikki realises her mother has hidden vital evidence in a secret location when she hears a clue in a taped conversation of her mother talking. In Veritas, Beckett realises where a crucial audio tape containing evidence against Bracken is hidden when she re-reads her mother's notebook.
  • While tidying up her apartment after a break-in, Nikki picks up a picture of her with her mother on Nikki's graduation day. A similar picture of Beckett with her mother at an ice rink while Beckett was a teenager was seen in Knockdown.
  • The two assailants Derrick kills in his dad's basement are identified as Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter – the names of the two Castle writers who became joint showrunners in season 8.
  • After trying to cheer Nikki up, the book says Rook "didn't need a secret decoder ring" to be able to read her mood. In XY, when Beckett finds the 'Always' bracelet in Castle's cake, Castle says: "What? That was supposed to be a decoder ring!"
  • Rook has appeared on several Eligible Bachelors lists in the New work media. In The Third Man, Castle tries to hide from Beckett the fact that he has been named on the New York Ledger's Most Eligible Bachelors list.
  • Nikki and George go to a cafe described as "no kind of establishment for a grande skim latte with two pumps of sugar-free vanilla". A grande skim latte with two pumps of sugar-free vanilla is how Beckett likes her coffee, as first revealed in Little Girl Lost.
  • Albert Gorithem is described as looking at a piece of encryption "like it was as easy and pleasurable to read as a classic Stephen Cannell novel". Writer and TV producer Stephen Cannell appeared as himself several times on the show as part of Castle's poker circle and was an adviser to Andrew W. Marlowe behind the scenes.
  • The building in lower Manhattan where Lindsy Gardner has her campaign headquarters is called The Marlowe. It first appeared in Heat Wave.
  • Rook is given the fake ID 'Alexander' when he and the others launch their surprise attack on the guards in the Marlowe - a name he hates because it is his middle name. He suggests he be called 'Edgar' next time. Castle's birth name is Richard Alexander Rodgers, and his pen name is Richard Edgar Castle.
  • In the final scene of the book, when Nikki, Rook, Cynthia and the Storms are making a toast, they are described as celebrating as though 'coming to some long-awaited conclusion of a great chain of events – like a television show going through its series finale.'

References in episodes[edit]

  • None (book published after series finale)

New York Times Bestseller[edit]



Previous Nikki Heat novel: High Heat ~ Next Nikki Heat novel Crashing Heat