Castle preps for a book promotion video spot for Raging Heat. It doesn’t go smoothly at first. Fortunately, the follow-up takes provide much better content. The video is for a web-mercial that Castle’s publisher assures this will help him go viral. All that Internet glory is coming soon enough, but first there’s another pesky murder that needs solving.
23-year-old Abby Smith was stabbed to death. The killer texted a photo to her just before she died. Her boyfriend, Carlos, says Abby was huge on social media thanks to her photo-sharing skills. She did “joke reviews” on “Snappamatic.” Edward Hann is an acupuncturist who had a beef with Abby. She dissed him virally. The angry guy showed up at her apartment, but he claims that someone else was stalking her.
One of Abby’s followers posted pictures of her deceased body online. The guy’s user name is “NET SLAYER.” Castle and Beckett visit the “Snappamatic” offices where the in-house tech person finds a clue to the killer’s location. It’s a vintage furniture store owned by an ex-cop, Bill Garrett, who once worked in the cyber-division. He’s brought in for questioning. Garrett says he left the force after putting a guilty rape suspect in the hospital. He didn’t kill Abby.
NET SLAYER texts the police claiming they have the wrong suspect. He taunts them with clues as to what he will do next. The game is on. The images the killer sent are of body parts, sausages and a date. Tory identifies the sausages as having been cropped from the photo of a food blogger on Snappamatic. The lady only has 47 followers. As for the date image, that came from the feed of an artist with only a few thousand followers. Even the Ryan Report has more than that! The date was seen on a spoiled milk carton.
Castle figures out the clues of the images. The date stands for “spoiled” and the sausages stand for “brats.” There was a recent article titled “The Spoiled Brats of Snappamatic.” The body parts belong to Tatiana Fisher from a picture she took with her boyfriend, Cam. She’s believed to be the killer’s next target. In reality, the NET SLAYER has already struck again. Tatiana’s boyfriend, Cam, is dead. The killer has been one step ahead of the police the entire time. He posts a playful picture of Castle and Beckett to give the illusion that they don’t care about the case.
Castle believes that the killer may have been cyber-bullied. The NET SLAYER was able to make 3D duplicates of the keys of victims. Surveillance video captures the face of a suspect. Bill Garrett says the guy’s name is Adam Lane, who was bullied and publically humiliated while in high school. The kid went off the grid shortly after that. The person who bullied him was found murdered 10 months ago.
Adam Lane is tracked down. He was waiting to be caught. He has the two founders of Snappamatic, Warren and Kent Wilder, held hostage at an undisclosed location. Lane has set up an online contest for the brothers. The one who gets the least amount of votes dies. Lane doesn’t care if he goes to prison. He’s content having a legacy. The clock is ticking. One of the brothers will die in 15 minutes. A desperate effort to find them through the Snappamatic site fails. It’s all up to Beckett now.
Beckett goes at Lane hard with some psychological tactics. It’s working. Lane becomes unhinged to the point where he unwittingly reveals the location of his two hostages. It’s at the high school where he was bullied. Lane is trying to bring things full circle. Ryan and Esposito arrive moments before the deadline. They dismantle the booby trap and save the panicked brothers. Case closed.
Castle gathers Beckett, Alexis and Martha together to watch the premiere of his web-mercial. He’s very excited. Then he’s very horrified. The video has been auto-tuned to the point where it makes Castle look like a goofy, clumsy buffoon. On the bright side, it does go viral with over a million hits. Looks like Castle’s publisher called that one.