Although ABC would like you to believe Rick Castle wrote Heat Wave (after all, they did stick his picture on the back of the book), a ghost writer produced the thriller. We pity this anonymous wordsmith — he (or she) will always wonder whether being a New York Times best-selling author counts if a fictional character is getting all the credit.

The ghost writer's gnawing angst aside, it was pretty freakin' brilliant of ABC to publish Heat Wave, the book novelist Richard Castle pumps out during the first season of Castle, based on his experiences shadowing Detective Beckett. Even more brilliantly, there is no wink — everything, including the dedication and the acknowledgments, is written in the character of Castle.

If you think ABC is ever going to give up the identity of the true author, think again — the network is fully committed to the facade. When asked who really wrote Heat Wave, Andrew Marlowe, the show's creator, responded, "Richard Castle. The roguishly handsome best-selling author of the Derek Storm mystery series. He's charming. He's a good writer. And I don't know why you're trying to take credit away from him. The guy worked hard on it."

We appreciate Marlowe's faithfulness to the Heat Wave line, but we worry for any rabid fans at home who might already think Richard Castle is a real person. More than anything, we hope the ghost writer didn't base the book on an actual crime, along the lines of the seriously unbalanced writer-murderer in Season 2’s "Tick, Tick, Tick..." and "Boom!"

Thanks to stubborn ol' ABC, we'll never learn the identity of Heat Wave's actual author. In the meantime, we'll have to settle with the illusion that Rick Castle banged it out. As we've learned from watching Castle and Beckett solve crime after crime, it doesn't hurt to have a little imagination!


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