NYPD Red 2 by James Patterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“NYPD Red 2” by James Patterson and Marshall Karp continues following the police adventures of NYC elite squad cops Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald. Coming into an ongoing investigation of a serial killer known in the press as The Hazmat Killer they are drawn into a crisis situation. Fueled by a mayor who is running for re-election against a friend of the latest victim the investigation is a pressure cooker of power plays and intrigue. Rich with the tapestry of New York City and the vibrant characters that live there the story carries the reader along on a twisting journey to find the vigilante alternately loved and hated by the city’s inhabitants.
In the midst of the investigation Kylie faces the challenge of her husband Spence’s relapse into drug addiction while Zach’s romance with recently divorced police psychologist Cheryl Robinson escalates, and Mayor Spellman makes a frantic attempt to be re-elected.
The Hazmat Killer chooses his victims from among the unpunished but obviously guilty who roam NYC streets. One by one the guilty are caught, held and tortured, and then their confession is videotaped before they are killed and left to be discovered in Hazmat suits. The latest victim is the not only a wealthy New York socialite she is also the campaign manager of mayoral challenger Muriel Sykes. This increases the pressure to solve the crimes before Election Day.
As Jordan and MacDonald attempt to figure out the connection between the victims other than their criminal histories, they skirt the edges of police procedure. As the investigation escalate the murder of a teenaged Mafia son from the distant past plays into the story. The only downside of the book is the somewhat corny and saccharin romance between Zach and Cheryl as well as Zach’s ongoing and undeniable attraction to former girlfriend Kylie. In spite of that the story flows well and the ending is a real jolt.
If you read and liked “NYPD Red 1” you will enjoy this follow up. Not too gritty, a little predictable, but with enough of a surprise at the conclusion to make it worth reading. Personally I hope to see more of these characters.