Titan Books, h/b, £12.99
Reviewed by Rebekah Lunt
Are you looking for a book that is easy and enjoyable to read? A book that’s cheesy, funny, yet catches you out with surprising depth and emotion? Do you love Richard Castle? Then Reader, this is the book for you!
Frozen Heat is the 4th novel based in the crime-fighting world of Nikki Heat, who is partnered with journalist Jamieson Rook… sound familiar? The previous three have been rough and tumble, quirky and engaging crime thrillers, which have also set up Heat and Rook’s world, supporting characters, and the basis of their, ‘will they, won’t they, FINALLY they got it together!!!’ relationship… again, are you sensing a theme?
Anyhoo, you may come to this book hoping to enjoy all the cosiness of new-found romance… if so, really? Surely you know that’s not how it works?! Inevitably we get to bask in mere moments of contentment and pay-off for the numerous twists and turns we endured getting here, before of course, Heat’s work becomes centre stage again.
The plot for the crime that kicks off the mystery this time has just the right amount of suspense, gruesome detail, and tantalising connections to Heat’s past to keep you engaged. Indeed, one of the reasons to keep coming back and enduring the torturous meandering of relationships in these books is the overall connecting arc of Heat’s mother’s murder, and in the current story you get so many pay-offs from previous threads as well as opening up further strands of enquiry so that now, we’re not just focused on the murder of Nikki’s mother, but her life too.
The plots and side-stories for these books are always well thought out and structured, although yes, there is cheese; but there are moments that really catch you and are emotive on a level you don’t expect from this type of book. There’s a particular moment around the end of the text where Nikki finds something – and no, I’m not saying more than that because I don’t want to spoil the build-up for you – that really touched me and came across beautifully. Funnily enough, I read that bit around the same time as I got something stuck in my eye… at least that’s the excuse I gave the cat…
OK, yes, I’m a softy and a real sucker for a heartfelt moment amidst the thrills and mystery, but in my defence I do feel it’s done extremely well here. It has the same great balance that the show has (you know the one), and in a lot of ways it feels like you read through at least half a series worth of content.
Overall I love these books – I was going to say they’re my guilty pleasure, but that wouldn’t be true – I just love them! Get hold of them and enjoy.