Heat Rises

Richard Castle, Author, Johnny Heller, Performed by
Richard Castle, read by Johnny Heller. Hyperion Audio, unabridged, 10 CDs, 11.25 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-4013-2612-8
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Perhaps no one could make this formulaic third Nikki Heat thriller—marketed as authored by Richard Castle, the fictional writer in the television series Castle—hold a listener’s attention for more than 11 hours, but Johnny Heller’s uninspired reading certainly falls short. The book centers on yet another feisty, sexy, maverick female police detective and a sensational murder—this time of a New York City priest—with wider implications. In his narration, Heller’s emotional range is limited: passages describing a fight or a brush with death sound virtually identical to low-octane sections of the book. Additionally, Heller’s use of accents is inconsistent, and his plodding delivery does nothing to add drama to the book’s climax. Given that the protagonist is a woman, hiring a male narrator was a gamble—and one that doesn’t pay off in this case. A Hyperion paperback. (Sept.)
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