Storm Front by Richard Castle

Review published on June 15, 2015. Reviewed by jj redfearn

Plots don’t come better than this. Derrick Storm is arrested for homicide by Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook in NY NY. Get your mind around that!

Derrick Storm is of course Castle’s first action hero, a sort of a James Bond character, possibly based on himself in the same sort of way that Bond was based on Fleming. Jameson Rook is the character, also based on himself, Castle created after he’d started shadowing and helping Becket, NY’s elite homicide detective. So Castle has just had Castle arrest Castle. Magic. Will Castle escape Castle or does Castle have another trick up Castle or Castle’s, or Heat’s, sleeve?

Then there’s the cast. Did you know that Banker is the only word in the entirety of the English family of languages where B is pronounced W? Bankers are being tortured and murdered. Their fingernails are being torn out with pliers and then they die. Storm must find out why (you might think that’s obvious) and then, because there’s going to be a bad effect on the world economy if it continues (how can anything be worse than stopping them, you might ask), foil the plot. Bankers have good old banking names like Wilhelm Sorenson, Timothy Demming, G. W. Cracker (the first, second, third &c &c. Perish the thought of even more G Dubbyas) and Lee Fulcher. With an L. And an H. The sneaky Chinese government is involved in some way too, with their delectable agent Xi Bang. Xi is pronounced more or less in the Chinese fashion, She. So yes, there’s definitely a bit of She Bang Storm to look forward to.

Spies all have to have gadgets. That gadget has to be specifically relevant to the plot in hand and have no other possible function. It has to be available exactly when its needed and to be based on superpseudo-scientific principles. Storm has just such a gadget. When he gets it, you must immediately figure out what it’s for and when it will be used. Rook would have loved it, but Rook isn’t Storm so he doesn’t get one.

Good spies have good cars. Storm has Lamb… No, Asto… No, Bent … Start again. It’s a bit like Stardust when the words come out as clucks. Storm has … Fords. Unbelievable. I suppose it does make sense if you think about it. What do spies usually do to their cars? Fitting.

Topped and tailed with gooey sentimentality, filled with humour and irony, action packed from start to finish, Castle has outshone himself. Only final passing thought is that perhaps he should have used a pseudonym again as he did when the won the Tom Straw Award.

 

JJ Redfearn

Storm Front by Richard Castle is published by Titan Books in 2013

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