Heat Wave
Author Richard Castle
Illustrator Shubhani Sarkar
Publication date July 27, 2010
Published by Hyperion; Reprint edition (July 27, 2010)
ISBN 978-1401310400
Publication Order
Preceded by
None; First book in Nikki Heat series
Followed by
Naked Heat
Kate Beckett: She's naked.
Rick Castle: She's not naked. She's holding a gun...strategically.
— Beckett and Castle, about the Heat Wave cover art[src]

Heat Wave is the first novel in the Nikki Heat series by Richard Castle. While it is a work by a fictional author within the context of the TV series, it is also a real book released as a tie-in work. The author is listed as Richard Castle, but the actual author has been a closely held secret.


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.

Major Characters

Castle Notes

These are notes that refer to the book within the context of Castle TV series. 

  • The tag line on the book, by the late Stephen J. Cannell, is that "This book is gold!". This is a double-meaning. While it is meant to imply the quality of the work, from his comments during the mystery writers poker games, it can also be taken as a double-meaning implying that the book is likely to earn Castle a considerable royalty.
  • During Castle's interview in the opening scene of The Late Shaft, Bobby Mann promoted the fact that Heat Wave would be coming out in paperback on July 27, 2010. This was its actual release date.
  • The book was optioned for a movie. While Richard Castle recommended Ellie Monroe for the part, it was awarded to Natalie Rhodes instead. Castle jokingly suggests to Beckett in Tick, Tick, Tick…that the part should go to Kate Beckinsale, so that they both could be called K-Becks. On his website, he suggests Natalie Portman for the role.
  • The book appeared to have inspired a serial killer, Scott Dunn (Tick, Tick, Tick… and Boom!). However, it later turned out that he'd been killing for some time and had only recently begun to fixate on Nikki Heat. Agent Avery summarizes the book for the joint NYPD/FBI task force assigned to catch Dunn, and copies are passed out so the agents could familiarize themselves with the subject of Dunn's obsession.


  • The acknowledgements mention both the show's characters and the cast, as well as Terri Edda Miller, calling her his "partner in crime."

Parallels to Castle

These are notes that refer to the parallels between the book and Season 1 of Castle.

  • All characters in the book have a parallel to a person in the Castle world:
    • Nikki Heat - Detective Kate Beckett
    • Jameson "Jamie" Rook - Richard Castle
    • Captain Montrose - Captain Roy Montgomery
    • Detective Raley - Detective Kevin Ryan
    • Detective Ochoa - Detective Javier Esposito
    • M.E. Lauren Perry - M.E. Lanie Parish
    • Margaret Rook - Martha Rogers
  • The dedication of the book is to Detective Kate Beckett.
  • Heat Wave takes place in New York, same as Castle.
  • Jameson Rook's first name can be shortened (to "Jamie"), same as Richard Castle's (to "Rick").
  • The "rook" in chess is also known as the "castle".
  • If asked, Rook will sign women's chests, just like Castle.
  • Nikki Heat loves coffee.
  • Rook tails Heat in the same way as Castle tails Beckett.
  • The mayor approved of Rook's "research".
  • There is a brief appearance by a journalist named Bree Flax, a reference to true crime writer Lee Wax, who was a person of interest in the case depicted in "Ghosts".

Start a Discussion Discussions about Heat Wave