Storm Front by Richard Castle(4 out of 5)
Okay, you knew it was only a matter of time before “Richard Castle” wrote another book. And the surprising thing is that it isn’t a Nikki Heat novel, it’s now Derrick Storm being given the title release treatment. If you aren’t aware of what I’m talking about, Castle is a well-known TV show on ABC starring Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, an author who is shadowing Detective Kate Beckett and the 12th precinct in New York City, as inspiration for his Nikki Heat novels. In keeping with the show, Richard Castle’s Nikki Heat novels have been released to the general public. Of course, they’re all bestsellers. Of course, I do read them, as I’m a fangirl of the show and that’s what I do. Richard Castle’s first claim to fame- before the Nikki Heat character and that line of novels- was Derrick Storm. There are 3 previous Derrick Storm novels, all are E-books. Obviously, anyone who knows me knows what I think about books and technology(if you’re new here, I despise the concept of e-books, e-readers, etc. Nothing will ever beat a physical book in my hands. Those “wonderous” Kindles just don’t have that new book smell! And they can suck it). So unless they decide to release them in book form, I have to miss out on them. That’s a shame, because I really think I prefer Derrick Storm to Nikki Heat. Of course, I think that’s because of the line between fantasy and well, more fantasy- Nikki Heat books closely mirror what’s going on at the 12th precinct in Castle. If you watch Castle religiously, you will read the Nikki Heat novels and go “this is a little familiar.” I like a break from my all-time favorite show, even in book form. I know how ludicrous that sounds given I am reading all the books that are supposedly by a fictional character played by one of the most talented men alive, but this is how I roll. I have read all the Monk books, and I used to watch Monk. I watch Psych, and I have read all those(William Rabkin, please, I need a new one!). Castle is no different. Except- Derrick Storm- is different. And I think that’s why it has the edge on the Nikki Heat novels. It was BC(Before Castle, meaning the TV show). It’s always nice to shake it up a little bit. I like that they have decided to release Derrick Storm in book form.
There’s a line of high-level high-profile bankers who are being gruesomely murdered in different corners of the world. They are hideously tortured, as well as those around them being taken out in bloody and stomach-churning ways, and the killer leaves a calling card- he rips the fingernails out of the banker’s hand(for his ‘personal collection’. shudder). When Jedediah Jones calls Derrick Storm after years of silence and tells him this, Storm immediately knows it’s his archnemesis Gregor Volkov and it’s his mission to put a stop to him. Years before, a standoff between Storm and Volkov in Mogadishu led to Volkov’s presumed death. Of course, Volkov didn’t kick the bucket, he merely had severe damage to his face that required extensive plastic surgery(the dude wears an eye patch and keeps the fingernails of his victims!- the description of the bad guy sociopath couldn’t be more spot-on). Storm knows it’s Volkov and the chase is on. Storm has help from a mysterious foreign agent, Ling Xi Bing. The mutual admiration society spins into a romantic entanglement between Storm and Bing. As the story progresses, several more bankers bite the dust and things get real ugly fast. Storm ends up paying the ultimate price, and gets more aid in toward the end from one Clara Strike, his former lover and compadre, with whom he some unfinished business(Castle TV tie-in here- Clara Strike was modeled on Sophia Turner, who knew Castle way back when and was involved with him. She was played on the show by Jennifer Beals. She also turned out to be a shady hood rat, but I’m sure down the road in the Derrick Storm novels that will be addressed, if the Derrick Storm books follow the Castle TV show references at all, like the Nikki Heat novels do.). All in all, a page-turning good read.
Can you read this book if you’re not a fan of Castle? Absolutely. I almost want to say that you might enjoy them more if you didn’t, but that’s not the case with me. If anything, if you’re a diehard Castle fan, you might find yourself rolling your eyes several times in the book because the references in the Derrick Storm arena are taken from Castle(Derrick telling Ling “Always”? Please- that’s Beckett and Castle’s word. The duo who are similiarly named to Javier and Kevin—because their names are also Javi and Kevin? Well, I got nothing to say to that. And yes, Nikki and Jameson DO make an appearance, so the crossover is complete.). There’s something about Derrick Storm that stands on its own from the Nikki Heat novels, and I like that. It’s a nice break from the Nikki Heat. Not that I’m dissing them, for I’m not(except the last one, which I had a real hard time getting through), but it’s nice to see the character that started it all(and I know how ridiculous that sounds, believe me). The action moves all over the globe, not just in NYC. Storm has a number of run-ins with different characters, and he’s more of a globe-trotter. I just think he’s written a lot more thoroughly, at least in regards to plot. Several of the Nikki books, I had a good idea halfway through how it might end, and it did. I had no idea how this was going to end, and there were two smaller storylines going on at the same time, so it kept the pace going. I really enjoyed this, and hope they continue to release them.