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This book is a tie-in to the ABC tv series ‘Castle’ – but not your usual kind of tie-in.  In that show, celebrity author Richard Castle tails NYPD Detective Kate Beckett and her team, in order to research his latest crime series.  He bases his character Nikki Heat on Beckett, and releases a number of Nikki Heat books.  This book is the first one in that series, so in effect it is a book written by a fictional character! (The identity of the actual author of the books is a closely guarded secret.)

The way it’s done is very clever, complete with an author photo of Richard Castle (actually Nathan Fillion, who portrays him on the show), and in his acknowledgements he thanks both the fictional characters and the actors on the show.

The story of the book revolves around the death of property mogul Matthew Starr.  There are no shortage of suspects as Nikki and her colleagues, including Jameson Rook (the character which Castle bases on himself) investigate the murder, and Nikki finds herself in danger as she works to uncover the truth.

It’s hard to review this book without connecting it to the tv series.  It could be read as a straightforward crime thriller, even if the reader had never seen the show.  However, I think fans of the show (and I count myself among their number) will probably get more out of it, as the characters in the show all have counterparts in the book, and I found myself hearing their voices in my head as I read the story.

I definitely enjoyed the book.  It moves along at a rapid pace, and certainly captures the atmosphere of New York City.  I was kept guessing right until the end, and there were enough twists and turns to make it difficult to predict what was going to happen.

And for fans of the show – the much-referred to sex scene between Heat and Rook is in the book, and does indeed happen on page 105, just as stated in the show!

Overall, an enjoyable read – I will definitely read the subsequent books in the series.

(‘Author’s’ website can be found here.  For more information on the tv show, please click here.)

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Lincoln Rhyme is New York City’s best Criminalist, who has helped solve some of the most perplexing crimes that have been committed in the city.  He is also a quadraplegic, as the result of an accident at a crime scene, three years before; and has decided to kill himself.  But then the Police need his help.  Someone is committing brutal and seemingly random attacks in the city, and the only person who can solve the clues left behind is Rhyme.  However, Rhyme can’t walk the crime scenes himself, so he needs somebody to do it for him.  Amelia Sachs is working her last shift as a Patrol Officer, before she transfers into Public Affairs. But the scene she stumbles across in the morning, leads her head-first into a new investigation, where she finds herself being the eyes and ears of Lincoln Rhyme…

This is the first novel in the Lincoln Rhyme series, and I felt that it did a great job of introducing the two main characters, Rhyme and Sachs.  The story itself had a lot of twists and turns, and there were some genuine surprises along the way.  I was never able to second guess what was going to happen, and the action moved along at a fast pace, making me want to keep reading.

As well as the main storyline, about Rhyme and his hastily assembled team trying to solve the case, the relationship between Rhyme and Sachs is explored, and as a result, I felt that I got to know the two characters well.

The other characters weren’t so well developed (with the exception of Rhyme’s aide Thom, who I adored), but that did not detract from the enjoyment of the book.  As this is the first in a series, there is presumably plenty of time to get to know the others.

I did feel that at times, the storyline about the kidnappings stretched credibility somewhat.  Rhyme is certainly supposed to be brilliant, but on occasions he seemed able to deduce something very specific from the vaguest of clues.  This is the course the character’s job, but it did feel slight unbelieveable.  However, there was enough excitement and intrigue in this book for me to forgive that minor niggle.

Overall, this is a cut above a lot of other crime based novels, and is very cleverly written.  (it’s very evident that Deaver has done his research with regards to forensic work and equipment).  A highly recommended read.

(Author’s website can be found here.)

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