An audacious jewel heist. A murdered actress. A killer case for NYPD Red. In a city where crime never sleeps, NYPD Red is the elite task force called in only when a case involves the rich, famous, and connected. Detective Zach Jordan and his partner, Kylie MacDonald - the woman who broke his heart at the police academy - are the best of the best, brilliant and tireless investigators who will stop at nothing to catch a criminal, even if it means antagonizing the same high-flying citizens they're supposed to be helping. When a glitzy movie premiere is the scene of a shocking murder and high-stakes robbery, NYPD Red gets the call. Traversing the city's highs and lows, from celebrity penthouses to the depths of Manhattan's criminal underworld, Zach and Kylie have to find a cold-blooded killer - before he strikes again. NYPD Red 4 is the next sensational thriller by James Patterson, the number-one best-selling crime writer of all time.
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Two cases, fraught with politics and rich people, one headline splashing, and the other hush-hush. For a while the main case, the murder-8-million-dollar-necklace robbery, seems a little too convoluted to be possible, but then we are dealing with egos, super high lifestyles, and idiots.
There is some action, mostly among the bad guys, but the story starts off on a high note and just keeps rolling. The detective skills of Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald are great without stretching belief. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that this series has been as satisfying as the Lincoln Rhyme-Amelia Sachs books by Jeffrey Deaver. However, this series has not succumbed to the improbable plot twists and infallibility of Rhyme in the more recent Deaver books.
We do get deep into the lives of our two protagonists. Kylie is dealing with her husband Spence's latest foray back in to drug addiction. There are some true-to-life but non-preachy realizations regarding hitting bottom, being an enabler, and loving someone despite not being able to continue coping with their choices. Then there is Zach, ruining the trial month of cohabitation with Cheryl. He keeps running out to help Kylie (his old flame), so combined with his cop hours, he undermines his relationship with Cheryl. He has to decide where his head and heart are regarding Kylie, and so Cheryl. Instead of being sophomoric and predictable, this confusion seems quite real, and very human. There are twists here too, and it will keep you guessing.
Most of the people in this story are fully-fleshed and very real. My favorites are the diner-mom who counsels Zach on his relationships using packets of Sweet-n-Low, and Annie, an aging con artist. She is a surprise, and then a delight, even though she should be locked up.
I don't understand why it was deemed necessary to have two narrators; either one would have done fine the whole way through. It didn't really detract from the story, but didn't add anything either. It was fine, would have been as good with one. I would have liked a bit more real New York accent in all the cops, the mayor, the boss of RED; it's too easy to forget we are in the Big Apple.
I have wanted to throw some of Patterson's books against a brick wall, but here he has a decent co-author. I have enjoyed this series, and look forward to more from Marshall Karp.