I had issues keeping up with this book because it started off being a little flat at the beginning. I especially had trouble believing in the credibility of Nikki Heat being roadblocked in her investigation so easily--somehow, I had the distinct feeling that Kate Beckett wouldn't have been cowed so easily like that, even at the expense of pissing off her Captain. Then again, I was also under the impression that Captain Montrose was definitely very un-Montgomery-like in this book and it irked me a little bit.
All that Kate Beckett spunk seemed to have evaporated.
No matter though. It was quite interesting trying to find all the parallels between the book and the television series, even if things didn't seem to fit in quite right.
I liked the previous book more so than I liked Heat Rises, and it could be because the investigation felt stalled in several moments throughout this book. Nevertheless, it's still a vast improvement from the first book in the series, and we get to see more development in the characters, even if they still don't quite compare with the television series' characters.
The murder case was a more conspiratorial one, starting with the death of a priest with connections to an old murder case that was blown off as related to gang violence, and then finally the danger of Nikki Heat being targeted because of her dogged investigation of the murders.
It's fairly standard crime thriller fare, but it had its moments of intrigue and excitement. I'll give it that much.
You can see where this book might have taken a page from Castle with the ending of Season 3. And also, it borrows the idea of a murder being blown off as gang-related violence, via Detective Beckett's mother's murder... which may or may not have more conspiratorial possibilities lingering in the background as well.
Overall: Enjoyable as enjoyable does.
And really, the only reason I decided to even write a sloppy, short thoughts piece for this book was because I wanted to give a shout out to the very brief Firefly reference in the last 25% stretch of this book. Really, it was only a sentence, but it was there.
And also, there was a scene of dialogue that really tickled my funny bone and had me guffawing... for whatever reason:
"Oh, very cold. Be glad you not have goldfish," he said. "Mrs. Nathan, she have to move her goldfish to Flushing."
Rook said, "Is it me or is there something sad about hearing goldfish and Flushing in the same breath?"
Obviously, I'm easily amused...