NYPD Red Review
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When James Patterson first teamed up with old pal Marshall Karp for 2011’s Kill Me If You Can, it seemed to be a match made in literary heaven. Patterson’s typical rapid-fire action was perfectly paired with Karp’s signature wit. And with the follow-up, NYPD Red, this dynamic duo has only gotten better.

In NYPD Red, Karp brings a little Hollywood flair to Patterson’s standard New York crime thriller. As the city of New York celebrates Hollywood on the Hudson—an event that’s designed to lure big Hollywood productions (and dollars) to the Big Apple—a killer begins to strike. It starts with the poisoning of a movie mogul, followed by the accidental on-set shooting of a well-known star. With each new murder, the set-up is a little more ambitious, the profile a little higher. But this is only the beginning. The man who calls himself The Chameleon is building up to an unforgettable finale—one that’s worthy of a big-budget action movie.

New York’s High-Profile Victims Response Team, publicly known as NYPD Red, is called in to track down the killer. Detective Zach Jordan and his new partner (and ex-girlfriend), Kylie MacDonald, are handed the case on their first day together. And with millions of dollars at stake—and the mayor watching their every move—there’s no time to lose.

Crime thrillers don’t get a whole lot more entertaining than NYPD Red. Patterson’s eagle eye for action once again gives the story the kind of break-neck pacing that readers have come to expect from the beloved best-selling author. I sometimes feel like a broken record when it comes to my reviews of Patterson’s novels, but—love him or hate him—you have to admit that he’s got a sure-fire formula for action and suspense. His signature style—complete with those super-short chapters—keeps the story moving right along. For that reason, once you pick up one of his thrillers, it’s no small feat to set it aside—and that’s the case once again with NYPD Red.

Karp’s contribution, meanwhile, is the laid-back style. In addition to the usual cold-blooded killers and committed cops, NYPD Red is filled with Hollywood hotshots—and while real-life movie moguls and action stars may tend to take themselves way too seriously, Karp doesn’t make the same mistake here. Instead, he gives the story a fun, flippant tone, injecting just the right amount of twisted humor to the story’s suspense. And the result is a read that’s every bit as darkly entertaining as it is exhilarating.

If you love a good popcorn flick as much as I do, you won’t want to miss Patterson and Karp’s latest collaboration. With its non-stop action and its wicked wit, it’s as much fun as your favorite summer blockbuster—but it’s still cheaper than a ticket and a trip to the concession stand.

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