‘NYPD RED’ by James Patterson


Hollywood film mogul Sid Roth gets more than he bargained for when he orders a tomato juice at a top New York hotel. Within minutes, the man is dead, but the killer has already moved on to his next victim and has no intention of stopping.

As part of the elite NYPD Red team, Detective Zach Jordan is assigned to the case. Used to dealing with high-profile individuals in the city, he gets a surprise when his boss pairs him up with a new partner. Trouble is, Kylie MacDonald comes with history – she’s Zach’s ex-girlfriend. Can the former lovebirds put their past aside to deal with a seemingly psychopathic killer?

Co-authored with Marshall Karp, this is James Patterson’s first book in the NYPD Red series. Quite what the deal is with co-authoring in Patterson’s case is hard to say, but my initial reaction was that either he’s just not as great as everyone says he is, or Mister Karp is solely responsible for this less than thrilling adventure. When any author goes from first person narrator to all-seeing narrator, I always find myself looking for the reasoning behind it. And okay, it’s an easy way to show us what’s happening with the killer and anyone else relevant to the story, but that’s all it is – an easy way. Far more interesting would have been to only see it from Zach’s POV and discover the clues as he does.

In its favour, the book was an easy read and I liked the screenplay bits, which added variety, however, there’s nothing new here in terms of plot or dialogue and the twists were obvious from several miles away.

The word on the street says Mister Patterson’s earlier works are by far the best, and to be fair, if I’d realised this was a joint effort, I’d have gone for a different one. Next time I go for a thriller, I’ll stick with Lee Child or Stuart MacBride – writers I know can deliver the goods.
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