A Quick Tip by Gail_Cooke
Voice performer Johnny Heller does for the audio edition of NAKED HEAT precisely what actors do for the popular TV series "Castle," - he brings them all to vivid life. As most know Richard Castle's lead character whether in print or on TV is a good looking, bright, wise-cracking writer who helps solve crimes while keeping both eyes on a beautiful policewoman. Heller inhabits his persona, equally adept at smart remarks and tracking a murderer. He's a relaxed reader, even during the story's tense moments, adding to his easy listenability.
Need we also add that Heller has won two Audie Awards and a slew of other honors? You'll be intrigued by the high-profile suspects in this case and the romance between Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook. Suspense + romance = good listening!
The first Castle novel featuring Heat and Rook spent 16 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list, and this non-stop action follow-up seems headed in the same direction.
Once again Nikki is pursued by handsome Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jameson Rook. Glib, ardent, and persistent Rook is a perfect foil for Nikki and her detectives. While she is being pursued, she is more in pursuer mode as New York is rocked by the murder of the city's top gossip columnist Cassidy Towne. The rocking almost becomes an earthquake at headquarters when Towne's body is stolen from the coroner's van carrying it to OMCE.
As it happens Rook had been working on an article about Towne and may have some helpful information, so once again Nikki lets him ride along with her as she follows numerous leads that seem to lead nowhere. Of course, we're often treated to the teasing repartee between this pair, such as Rook: "You know, Detective Heat, you mock me, and it hurts." Heat: "Skills." With just enough levity along the way NAKED HEAT introduces listeners to an intriguing cast of characters from a famous rock star to a major league baseball player to a perverted giant called the Texan who enjoys torturing his victims with dental picks before killing them. While there is a large cast, Castle fits the pieces together nicely and builds to a surprising conclusion.
As described Towne was a mean "mud-slinging gossip columnist" who had "lots of enemies. It was in the job description." But which one of those who hated her would actually kill her, and why?
For this listener the dialogue could easily turn from clever to cliche, such as "the usual suspects" or "Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson?" With a large cast of characters, new ones introduced throughout, it's a bit of a bumpy listening ride. But, if you're a fan of ABC's "Castle," you'll enjoy the trip.
- Gail Cooke