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Thursday, 18 February 2016

NYPD Red 3 by James Patterson (NYPD Red, #3) - Book Review

4.5/5 Stars

A chilling conspiracy leads NYPD Red into extreme danger...

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Edition: Paperback
Pages: 418
Chapters: 82 (Plus a prologue with two parts.)
Publisher: Arrow Books

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

NYPD Red 3 is another stellar story that stuns and surprises. The authors throw the reader into a complex web of abduction, extortion and catastrophic conspiracies. It's fun and ferocious. Of course, there are the more predictable and overused elements, which I'm sure avid Patterson fans will pick up on, but the tried and true formula rarely lets the author down.

Character relationships are tenuous and tantalising, but sadly they follow the same pattern the last two books used, and they need a revamp, stat.

All in all, a great entry that proves to be another unstoppable read.

SPOILER WARNING

Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

When the headless corpse of a chauffeur is found, NYPD Red get the call.
Detectives Zach and Kylie attend, but find themselves sucked into a deadly conspiracy.
The dead chauffeur worked for one of New York's elite, a rich man named Hunter Alden.
Alden's son is missing, but the man seems unconcerned and blocks the police at every corner.
He has a secret to hide, one far more important to him than a killer and his son.
A secret tied to one of the biggest atrocities in history.
And Zach and Kylie have just been chucked right in the middle...

Plot - 5/5 Stars

Patterson and Karp treat us to their standard fare: An exhilarating thriller that is the epitome of suspense. There's action and adrenaline; spectacular surprises; and an overall conspiracy worthy of your delighted disgust. Of course it stretches your disbelief, but then most novels do, and I love it. Sometimes, and in this story's case, things are so bonkers that they're brilliant.

The tension and frustration is worked to the bone, placing us firmly on the protagonists' sides as they try to enact justice only to be stonewalled by the people they're trying to help. The secrets prove to be compelling, and the bureaucracy is a fascinating look at greed. 

Pace - 5/5 Stars

I feel like I should write up some standard script for this section and just copy and paste it into every Patterson review.

The pace, as always, is awesome. Smooth and unencumbered. The short chapters allow for fast forward momentum and the authors' skill at weaving the story means you'll never be confused.

Characters - 4/5 Stars

Zach and Kylie are great, they really are. They haven't changed much over the three entries I've read, but then, their personalities and methods work so well that any alteration could derail their work and chemistry. Zach is the calmer, more compassionate half of the team, and Kylie is the opposing balance: Brash and straight to the point.

The rest of the cast do a good job as always, and it's a pleasure to see their distinctive personas again.

What irks me most is the romantic relationships inside NYPD Red 3. Namely, Zach's burgeoning romance with Cheryl, and Kylie's marriage to Spence. The contention in their respective relationships is getting old, fast. Kylie doesn't know how to handle her drug-addict husband, and Zach can't get over his love for his police partner and his jealousy at his current girlfriend's ex. Just when I thought the authors would bring everything to a head in this entry, the pattern unfolds the same way it has for the last two books.

A resolution needs to be cemented before the reader loses faith in the cast.

I'm also beginning to resent a certain trend. It's something I noticed in previous entries but only really came to the forefront of my mind while reading this novel. Zach gets far too much criticism. He's painted as the jerk a lot of the time when he's only being rational. He's the most level-headed character in the bloody book. Kylie gets far too much of the credit and not enough stick. Poor Zach is repeatedly laughed at for showing any emotion, then attacked for being too manly.

The guy just can't win...

Writing - 5/5 Stars

The book lives up to its story, and this is in large part to how well the authors get the plot across. It's clear, concise and completely nails any type of scene given to the reader.

Overall - 4.5/5 Stars

I can't wait to sink my teeth into the next instalment.


Previous Instalment: NYPD Red 2
Next Instalment: NYPD Red 4


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