Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald should be enjoying the start of a new year, but instead they are facing down the barrel of a perplexing case. The trusted driver of one of New York's elite has been found murdered in a pretty gruesome fashion, beheaded and left like garbage by his car. The possible witness is the son of said member of New York's elite, and he is suddenly no where to be found. His father doesn't seem in the slightest bit interested in co-operating with the NYPD, and he seems to be actively throwing roadblocks in their way to stop them unraveling the case.
It soon becomes clear that the reason they can't talk to junior is that he has been kidnapped, but no one seems willing to actually say the words and bring Jordan and MacDonald into the case. In a world full of privilege it is not uncommon for people to call on favours and use their money to buy what they want, but NYPD Red has never had to deal with a case where the victim is so hellbent on not receiving help. Determined to solve the case Jordan and MacDonald push boundaries and continue to dig for the truth. The pressure is on professionally, but also personally as they deal with drug addict husbands bouncing from rehab to rehab and the sudden appearance of ex-husbands. The deeper they dig the more they uncover about the root of the conspiracy, and the mind blowing secret at the heart of the conspiracy will rock their worlds and challenge their professionalism to the core.
NYPD Red is an interesting series that has gone from strength to strength, presenting a glimpse of the 1% and their lives. While this is a work of fiction (obviously) there is a ringing element of truth with the events and the way the characters live their lives. There is a saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it seems very appropriate for the slimy character of Hunter Alden who seems determined to get what he wants no matter what the cost. Apart from the callous way he treats his family, there is also the underlying plot of what exactly did he do all those years ago as part of Project Gutenberg.
At times the name dropping gets a little tiresome (its all about the brand names darling) - but it does help to lay the backdrop for this drama around a family of true New York blue bloods. Unlike some of the other James Patterson co-authored works, the NYPD Red series seems to be a lot more about the action and thriller elements, there is character development but the action is what drives the story forward. It may seem like a contradiction, but it is also the characters of Jordan and MacDonald that keep the story moving, their view of the world and their passions keep them moving into action even though it could mean the end of their careers. There is a good writing chemistry between Patterson and Karp in this particular genre (thriller/action) and it fits them well, much as Patterson and Ledwidge has amazing writing chemistry in the more traditional detective/thriller genre.
Hopefully there will be many more novels in the NYPD Red series as it is a nice change of pace for Patteron and Co. Sometimes the detective/crime genre can become formulaic because of the nature of the writing (good guy, bad guy, crime, conspiracy, solved the crime, done and dusted), but NYPD Red seems to break out of that mould a little and make its own path and direction. A great read devoured in a single afternoon.
If you like this book then try:
- NYPD Red by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
- Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
- Kiss the girls by James Patterson
- Pop goes the weasel by M.J. Arlidge
- The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
- One step too far by Tina Seskis
- The postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
- The basement by Stephen Leather
- The silence of the lambs by Thomas Harris
- Vodka doesn't freeze by Leah Giarratano
- Level 26: Dark origins by Anthony E. Zuiker and Duane Swierczynski
- Kill switch by Neal Baer & Jonathan Greene
- The edge of normal by Carla Norton
- The survivors club by Lisa Gardner
- Kill me if you can by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
Reviewed by Brilla