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Castle Book Review: Storm Front

“The gondolier could only be described as ruggedly handsome.”

If Richard Castle could wave a magic wand and be someone else, he would be James Bond. As he cannot, he writes stories in which his hero is. Derrick Storm, back from the dead, is smart, resourceful, and “ruggedly handsome.” In other words, he is too good to be true.

The graphic novels are not that well written and the first series of Storm novels were only all right, so I went into this one with more than a fair bit of trepidation. I was hooked from the beginning.

The story has some real meat to it. Bankers around the world are being killed. Why this is happening and the reason those particular men are being killed is complex and, it must be said, a bit unrealistic. If, however, you are looking for realism in this type of novel, you will be disappointed.

The action takes us from Afghanistan to Zurich and a lot of places in between. The pace never lets up and I found myself eagerly turning the pages to see where we were going next and what was going to happen there. The twists are good and the resolution is better handled than many books of this type. The villain is stock, but the person pulling his strings is a very interesting choice and very deftly written.

Of course, there has to be a nod to fans of the show. While there were very few allusions to the show itself, Storm finds himself in New York City where he runs into Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook. The scene worked well and I found myself smiling throughout it.

There is a minor subplot involving an orphanage in Romania that is there to show Storm’s softer side. While it is an obvious ploy to tug on our heartstrings and to ensure that we understand how wonderful Storm is, it works. The characters involved, especially Sister Rose who runs the institution, are better drawn than some of those in the main story.

There are loads of tiny details woven through that bring the characters to life in a way that pure exposition can not. While one, the fact that Storm only drives Fords, felt a bit like product placement, it somehow worked and enabled me to gain insight into the man’s personality.

Most of the characters who are part of Storm’s world show up. His dad plays a major role; Jones as his boss is the usual enigma; Clara is on the periphery. There is, of course, the love interest. She is a very interesting character and what happens to her surprised me.

As you would imagine from a book written by Richard Castle, there is a fair amount of humor. I got the distinct impression that the author understands that one reads these books for the fun, not because they are great literature. My favorite Castle book for some time, add this one to your summer reading list. Perfect for a day on the beach or by the pool.

1 comment:

  1. When I hear Storm Front I think of Jim Butcher immediately and Harry Dresden.

    Glad to see they are continuing the cross-promotion thing. Kinda feel bad for the ghost write though.


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