Review: NYPD Red 2 by James Patterson & Marshall Kemp (4/5)

Friday 19 September 2014
NYPD Red – the task force attacking the most extreme crimes in America's most extreme city –hunts a killer who is on an impossible mission.

A vigilante serial killer is on the loose in New York City, tracking down and murdering people whose crimes have not been punished. The number of victims grows, and many New Yorkers secretly applaud the idea of justice won at any price.

NYPD Red Detective Zach Jordan and his partner Kylie MacDonald are put on the case when a woman of vast wealth and even greater connections disappears. Zach and Kylie have to find what's really behind this murderer's rampage while political and personal secrets of the highest order hang in the balance. But Kylie has been acting strange recently – and Zach knows whatever she's hiding could threaten the biggest case of their careers.

Of James Patterson's many series I can definitely see NYPD Red battling to enter my top three after finishing this second installment. It was just as good as if not better than the first and given that I read it in less than a day, is always the sign of a good read.

Our two detectives Zach and Kylie are two of the best I think Patterson has created. Personally I like Zach more. He's in love with Kylie and that's evident on the page, in the line of duty and outside of work it's clear he cares about her a lot and given that I dislike Kylie's husband Spence immensely I would like to see them end up together. For some the romantic aspect might detract from the crime/thriller bits but for me I don't mind it. Zach does seem to be attempting to move on and is even jealous when a British computer nerd called Matt Smith (yes, really) catches the eye of his on-off lover Cheryl.

A serial killer is at large in New York. The Hazmat Killer is on a rampage, however before he kills his victims he makes them record a video whereby they admit to a crime (murder) and this therefore appears to justify the killer's reasons for committing murder himself. This is where the Dexter scenario comes into play. The people of New York are divided, some people want the Hazmat Killer captured yet the rest are happy for him to keep killing. However is it ever right to murder another murderer? Given that the victims themselves are killers it's hard to feel sympathy so it's interesting. The book opens with a duo exacting revenge on a Mafia boss's son yet the police in the beginning aren't aware there could be two killers...

Politics always plays a role in crime fiction, more so in American based crime novels and that was definitely the case here. The first murders hardly warranted press attention, not many people would miss the victims yet with the next victim being a famous celebrity the press are out in force and the Mayor demands the killer be apprehended before the next election, in seven days time. Meanwhile the Mayor's rival could perhaps have reason to not want the killer apprehended before the next election and this is where things get interesting... Meanwhile there's the secondary story of a young woman, Rachael O'Keefe who is on trial for the murder of her daughter. It's hard to say more but given the characters involved in the case of O'Keefe I was wondering whether it could be connected or was actually just two separate stories.

Overall with the trademark short chapters and the action packed scenes we've come to expect from James Patterson my Kindle reached 100% after only a few hours. The NYPD Red series is a hit with me and I can't wait for the third book in 2015. 

Source: Bought. 

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