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Picking up from where the 1st past of the book leaves off,’ A Raging Storm’ progresses out of the initial stages of setting up the plot. Leaving behind the plots and side plots of the first book, ‘A Raging Storm’ transitions to the real meat of a story filled with betrayal, rogue operatives and broken friendships. This second part of three in total, ‘A Raging Storm’ see’s the unlikely duo of Derrick Storm and FBI Agent April Showers pairing up again to uncover the mystery killer behind the assassination cliffhanger from the first book ‘A Brewing Storm’.
As mentioned before, Richard Castle is a fictional man on a TV Drama played by Nathan Fillion, who writes about a fictional man named Derrick Storm. There is a smattering of Castle TV show references within, including more mention of Clara Strike and other Richard Castle type personality inserts. Fans of the Castle series will recognize Derrick Storm/Richard Castle’s vocal quips in his smart-alecky replies to people in this book.
Also in the Richard Castle fashion of creating names they aren’t the most original though they are certainly memorable. With names like Derrick Storm and April Showers, these are characters and others sound great rolling off the tongue and onto the page.
An international man of mystery he is not, Derrick Storm is still a man haunted by his past. In everything he does, he is shaped by his past. Longing to go home but unable to since the C.I.A have pulled him onto this case, he knows he is both pawn and insurance policy for the success of the mission. If he fails, the U.S government forgets his cover name, Steven Mason, ever existed.
If he succeeds, he gets to go home back to his quiet life in Montana. More than ever his trust to paranoia ratio is skewed in favor of a deep paranoia and rightly so. Storm’s personality unfolds more in this short fiction, maintaining that classic Richard Castle type wit while also adding in authentic details for literature within this genre.
The other main character is of course the lovely April Showers whom Storm finds attractive but treats in a mostly condescending manner. Smarter than she may appear, she’s not all looks as she sets about outsmarting friend and foe alike. She isn’t at all taken by Storm’s charming persona and knows how to handle herself. The first book had Storm working behind her back but as ‘A Raging Storm’ progresses, the two must work together to solve the case and save each other’s lives. This part of the character progression between the two is expected and feels mostly natural with both characters getting along despite Shower’s animosity for Storm’s recklessness.
Weather pun’s aside, the only bad part of this section of the short fiction series is that the set up for the latter half of the book takes too long. The back story for the real motive behind the kidnapping and murder of a Senators son and the subsequent assassination of that U.S Senator is explained well.
Yet fans hoping for a quick thrill ride at the start of the book will be mistaken as the informational part takes too long. It is true that Storm’s character is an exacting and untrusting paranoid man so it makes sense that his character feels the need to figure everything out himself without outside influence but the reader may feel this takes up too many valuable pages of writing.
On the other hand, without that information, the entire latter half of ‘A Raging Storm’ makes no sense at all. The Russian back story involving the Gold found in several photos is absolutely necessary but boring information that isn’t very engaging at all during that part of the book. Once bodies are in motion again, the thriller aspect thankfully picks up once more. This is one section that steps outside the normal rollercoaster high and low moment of a story arc and just falls flat, leaving readers with an itch to school ahead past all the talking. It is a good build up but lacks any real tension or emphasis on time.
However, there are still important facts and figures listed inside, such as the motive for the assassinations as well as the fact that there are as yet to be revealed outside operatives who are conveniently just as ‘dead’ as Derrick Storm. This motivation, to the tune of Sixty Billion dollars, is enough to reshape the political landscape of the world and it is this fear that drives the story forward.
There is a heavy russian rivalry between long time brothers in arms Ivan Petrov and Georgi Lebedev waging war against President Barkovsky of Russia with the possibility of a third faction emerging. Throughout all of this, the C.I.A has its fingers all over this political plot, set on aiding Petrov so that Petrov can use his influence and new found wealth as a Russian oligarch to politically push Barkovsky out of office.
Stuck in the middle of this rising catastrophe are our intrepid hero and heroine. Caught in a web of the thriller variety, Derrick Storm and April Showers make a good showing in ‘A Raging Storm’ but the characters fall a little flat. The next and last arc of the story should hopefully help to fully resolve any issues during the dramatic cliffhanger for the second book. While not as dramatic as the assassination of a U.S Senator from book one, the second book still ends in a suitable climax of the story. Fans will have to wait just a little longer for this Derrick Storm short fiction to resolve itself in ‘A Bloody Storm’ due out this August.
Rating: 4/5 for good writing that reflects the tie-in authors personality well but can do with some improvements in pace and character design.
Image Courtesy of ¬†¬†Richard Castle