Sunday, March 19, 2017

Review of "NYPD RED 2" by James Patterson

In New York City a vigilante serial killer is murdering people who have apparently evaded justice. The killer dresses the victims in Hazmat suits and leavies them in public places, seemingly as a warning to other criminals. The 'Hazmat Killer's' first few victims are known lowlifes who don't attract much attention. But when wealthy political aide Evelyn Parker-Steele is tortured and killed - and a video is posted of her confessing to the murder of her lesbian lover - the authorities, the public, and the media take notice.

NYPD RED, a police unit dedicated to investigating crimes that involve high profile people (celebrities, political operatives, wealthy people, etc.) is called in to apprehend the Hazmat Killer. Detectives Zach Gordon and Kylie MacDonald are given the case after the previously assigned detectives make almost no progress solving the crimes.

The case is particularly important politically because a mayoral election is scheduled for the next week. The current mayor will lose the election if the case isn't solved before then; on the other hand, his opponent will benefit by delaying the capture of the killer. The various shenanigans that follow put the detectives in a difficult situation. To add to the pressure, another potential victim is kidnapped and will undoubtedly be killed if the Hazmat Killer isn't apprehended very soon.

The book is well-written, with an entertaining police-procedural plot and a variety of characters who add interest to the story including a mafia family, detectives, politicians, a priest, a drug addict, and so on. There's also a bit of romance: Zach is conflicted because - though he has a girlfirend - he's still not completely over his love affair with Kylie (his partner) a decade before.

This is an engaging book and a fast read that I'd recommend to fans of detective fiction.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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