Wednesday, 24 February 2016

NYPD Red 4 by James Patterson & Marshall Karp (NYPD Red, #4) - Book Review

4/5 Stars

A jewel heist.

A murdered actress.

A killer case for NYPD Red...


Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 332
Chapters: 79 (Plus a prologue with two parts.)
Publisher: Century

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


And we're back with the fourth entry to Patterson and Karp's NYPD Red series. Plucky Detectives Zach and Kylie continue to balance the personal with the professional as they descend into cases concerning the rich, famous and often corrupt.

Patterson's standard quality is present, keeping the high-octane thrills that propel his novels forward mercilessly. One thing I might have forgotten to mention in previous reviews is just how well these books act as standalone works. So feel free to pick up any one in the series so far and give it a go.

NYPD Red 4 has a decently complex story that doesn't go overboard but is full of murder, vendettas and betrayal. You know, all that crazy stuff that captivates millions?

God, how morbid does that sound?

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

When a simple robbery ends with a dead actress, Zach and Kylie of the elite NYPD Red section of the force are called in.
But if one murder isn't enough, the criminals of New York have more.
A series of thefts plague multiple hospitals, with expensive and life-saving equipment simply just gone.
Forced to balance a highly publicised death with a crime better kept under the radar, the detectives will be spread thin.
Something that could irrevocably destroy the stability they've built in their personal lives...

Plot - 4/5 Stars

There are a good amount of plot threads within NYPD Red 4; all are engaging and exhilarating, but they aren't quite ready to break any trends. I do love the intricate way things play out, with the authors using the traditional switching of viewpoints, from good guys to bad guys, to add a nifty layer of perspective that makes for a fuller world.

The series has some fantastic twists under its belt, and while this entry has its share of welcome surprises to break up investigative monotony, the previous instalments have done better. 

Of course, you can't complain when the quality of the story is so riveting and riotous. The action is on point and the variety of stories never exceeds that level where you find it too convoluted. Patterson and Karp get it just right.

Pace - 4.5/5 Stars

Thanks to that plethora of plots there's always something for the reader to find. As things progress you're never bored, with character interactions and relationships adding a nice balance to the more professional aspects of the novel. The action and suspense help break up the structure, and NYPD Red 4 goes a long way to proving just how consistent the authors are when it comes to flow and pace.

Characters - 4/5 Stars

NYPD Red 4 boasts a functional cast; from background characters to main ones. In all this, Zach and Kylie of course stand out. As our two leads they are the ying to the other's yang, and the chemistry between the two has always been, and still is, consistent.

However, I carry over some iffs I have with this entry's predecessor: The romantic relationships and their dynamics. The formula has been used in each book in the series and it can be bloody infuriating. We do reach an implied conclusion this time round, and progress, no matter how little, is still progress.

I'm also worried about Zach and Kylie's camaraderie. The series seems intent on having Zach always look like an idiot or a jerk, and it messes with the balance between the two leads. It's especially annoying when Zach is the more level-headed member of the cast and is usually criticised for doing the right thing. He's not perfect, but neither is Kylie, and the focus is harsh on one and too light on the other.

Writing - 5/5 Stars

The fast-paced thriller I needed. There can be some stiff shifts in scenes but overall the short chapters and relative ease of the novel means a short and suspenseful journey you'll love.

Overall - 4/5 Stars

There is no doubt in my mind that this series has more entries coming in the future, and I cannot wait.

Previous Instalment: NYPD Red 3

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