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Heat Wave (Novel)


Heat Wave is the first book written by writer Richard Castle and based on his exploits shadowing Detective Kate Beckett, who inspired the character Nikki Heat.

Heat Wave made its debut on the New York Times Bestseller list the first week of its release in 26th position. Within a few weeks it rose to #6.

The paperback also made it into the NYT Bestseller list when it was released.


A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light.

Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly bestselling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City's top homicide squad. She's hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York's Finest. Pulitzer Prize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren't her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them. The one called heat.

Basic Details[edit]

  • Author: Richard Castle
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401323820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401323820


'To the extraordinary KB and all my friends at the 12th'

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]

References to Castle Episodes, Cast, Crew[edit]

  • On page 21, a reference is made to the "the Marlowe Building," in deference to Castle creator Andrew Marlowe.
  • On page 25, Heat and Rook meet up with "Fat Tommy", gangster friend of Rook's who gives the two a tip that helps with their case. In A Death in the Family (episode 1.10), Castle & Beckett visit with a mobster friend of Castle's for help on their case.
  • On pages 57-58, Detectives Raley and Ochoa rattle off a series of slang names for "suspect" for Rook, just like in Home is Where the Heart Stops (episode 1.7) when Ryan and Esposito do the same for Castle. In both scenes, Castle & Rook try to write down all the names, only to have Beckett & Heat stop him.
  • On page 66, Rook recruits Heat to join him in a poker game with a judge named Horace Simpson. In Ghosts (episode 1.8), Beckett also joins Castle in a poker game with a Judge named Markway, who is played by Dan Castellaneta, who has voiced Homer Simpson on The Simpsons. On page 67, Heat thinks to herself how funny it would be if Judge Simpson said "D'Oh", Homer Simpson's favorite expression.
  • On page 131, Rook gets into a fight with a witness, wrestles the witness's gun away from him, points it at him and says "Go ahead. I need the practice." In Home is Where the Heart Stops (episode 1.7), Beckett says the same thing to a murder suspect who lost his gun after fighting with Castle.
  • During the course of the investigation, Heat and Rook interview the victim's nanny with whom he was having an affair. In Nanny McDead (episode 1.2), the murderer of a young woman found in an apartment clothes dryer turns out to be a nanny who was having an affair with the married father of the child she took care of.
  • Also in the course of the investigation, Rook enlists the help of Casper Phillips, a well-known art dealer with a sketchy past. In Home is Where the Heart Stops, Castle enlists the help of Caine Powell, a jewelry dealer with a sketchy past.
  • Rook's and Heat's discovery that the artwork in victim Matthew Starr's apartment are all reproductions is similar to their discovery Castle & Beckett make in The Fifth Bullet (episode 2.11), where a young man buys a piece of artwork he thinks is the real thing, only Castle & Beckett discover it is a reproduction.
  • Rook's last name is an indirect reference to Castle - in chess, a rook is a castle-shaped playing piece.
  • The book is dedicated "To the extraordinary KB and all my friends at the 12th"
  • In the book's acknowledgments, the author writes "A debt is due...as well as to my friends Nathan, Stana, Jon, Seamus, Susan, Molly, Ruben and Tamala. May our days, no matter how long, continue to be filled with laughter and grace."[1].

References in episodes[edit]

© 2009-2010 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
  • In Hell Hath No Fury (1x04), Castle teases Beckett about what his new character is going to be like: 'really smart, very savvy, haunting good looks, really good at her job ... and kinda slutty!'. Beckett is later horrified to discover that she is to be called Nikki Heat ("That's a stripper name!").
  • In A Chill Goes Through Her Veins (1x05), Beckett tells Castle all about her mother's murder, and says at the end "So I guess your Nikki Heat has a backstory now, Castle".
  • In Little Girl Lost (1x09), Beckett inadvertently reveals that she has seen a preview of the cover art for Heat Wave – a preview that was only made available to members of the Richard Castle fan site.
  • In Deep in Death (2x01), Castle, two models and a photographer take over the precinct for a racy publicity photoshoot with a cover of the book while Beckett has to fend off a reporter hoping for an interview.
  • In Inventing The Girl (2x03), Beckett is upset that the Cosmo reporter got to read Heat Wave before she did, so Castle gives her a pre-publication advance copy. ("Why didn't you ask? "Why didn't it occur to you?")
  • In Fool Me Once (2x04), Beckett teases the boys that she is going out on a date, but in fact goes home to read Heat Wave in the bath. Later, Castle spies Beckett in the ladies' room where she is doing some more secret reading, and informs her that the "steamy sex scene" is on page 105.
  • In When The Bough Breaks (2x05), Beckett arrives at the fabulous launch party for Heat Wave and is secretly thrilled to see the book's dedication for the first time. She tries to thank Castle, but Castle ruins the moment by starting to talk about the case.
  • In Tick, Tick, Tick (2x17) and Boom (2x18), Castle reveals that Heat Wave is to be made into a Hollywood film. As the case develops, it becomes clear that the killer has become obsessed with Nikki Heat and Beckett.
  • In Nikki Heat (3x11), Beckett invites the star of the film, Natalie Rhodes, to shadow her at the precinct – where, much to Castle's delight, she quickly transforms herself into a spitting image of Beckett.
  • In To Love and Die in LA (3x22), Castle and Beckett visit the Heat Wave set while in Hollywood, where it emerges that Natalie has had to drop out of the film.
  • In Need To Know (6x03), it emerges that Heat Wave the movie, without Natalie, went straight to DVD, because of what Castle describes as "script issues ... and casting issues ... and directing issues..."

New York Times Bestseller[edit]

Heat Wave debuted in the New York Times Bestseller list at #26.

Online Chapters[edit]

ABC released the first ten chapters of Heat Wave online. You can read them via the following links.


Audio Book[edit]

Available on CD and as an MP3 version. Narrated by Johnny Heller.


  1. Heat Wave, page 198

Next Nikki Heat novel: Naked Heat