Saturday, May 3, 2014

NYPD Red 2 by James Patterson and Marshall Karp

NYPD Red 2 is the sequel to NYPD Red so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** about what happens in the first book.  If you like to read series in order then read NYPD Red before you read anymore of this review.

NYPD Red is the elite task force that everyone wants to join, their mandate is to serve and protect the rich and famous - something Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald do very well.  At least, they had been doing very well, for the past week or so Kylie MacDonald has been off her game - not a good look when a new serial killer is making their presence known.  The first victims of the Hazmat Killer may have been petty criminals, but the fourth victim is from the top of the social food chain which dumps the case squarely in the laps of Jordan and MacDonald.  Dragged into the case by the Mayor (who is desperate for reelection) Jordan and MacDonald are on a tight time frame with very little to go on.

As Jordan and MacDonald Start to unravel the mystery that is the Hazmat Killer, they are also trying to unravel their personal lives as well.  After years of holding the torch of unrequited love Kylie Zach has finally found some happiness with a Cheryl - but he can't help but feel a little off balance because someone else seems to be elbowing in on their relationship.  Kylie has her own problems, her husband has fallen off the drug-free wagon and his rapid spiral into addiction is putting both their futures at risk.  Working at breakneck speed is never easy, especially when you don't know who the bad guys are and where they will strike next - make the wrong choice and the only thing that might be broken is your career.

NYPD Red 2 is something of a change from the usual Patterson - the chapters are longer and more densely written, and there is a lot more of the first person narrative - but it is still a first class read.  There are two distinct story strands blended together throughout the novel, the expected story about the Hazmat Killer and Zach and Kylie's race against the clock, but there is also the story about two young guys who made a decision to protect themselves and their neighbourhood and the resulting promise of reprisals from the victims mobbed up family.  The characters and the action work together seamlessly to drive the novel forward, with neither action or character development sacrificed to push the story forward.  I have really enjoyed the slightly more aggressive and intense style of writing that has gone into this series and hope that future novels in the series can create the same kind of atmosphere. 

There is very little time to stop and think about what is happening in this story, the twists and turns that make Patterson novels so addictive are here in spades - as is some very nice little personal dramas that make the characters more human.  I love the city of New York which seems to become a stronger "character" with each Patterson novel, and the novels do make New York seem a little like forbidden fruit that will bite back if you try and take more than your share of the pie. 

If you like this book then try:
  • Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • Kiss the girls by James Patterson
  • The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
  • The survivors club by Lisa Gardner
  • Kill me if you can by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
  • Postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
  • Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • The rabbit factory by Marshall Karp
  • Level 26: Dark prophecy by Anthony E. Zuiker & Duane Swierczynski

Reviewed by Brilla

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