Book Review – NYPD Red 6 – James Patterson & Marshall Karp – Ass-Kicking Pace!
Plot Summary – NYPD Red 6
First up, a disclaimer of sorts…. This is the first NYPD Red series that I have read, for reasons unknown, I have been passing them up in all these years! And then, for lack of reading material around the end of the year, I picked this one up and boy! Am I glad that I did!! This one takes off much like all the other James Patterson collaborations, like a rocket and never lets go… I am not talking about literary brilliance or bewildering plot twists, this is plain dedicated police work, and with the aid of cutting edge technology, no crime seems impossible to solve.
Enough of that preamble, let’s get on with the story…Erin Easton is the symbol of the 2010’s Reality TV era. She’s no Actor, Director, or Politician, just an extremely photogenic woman who lives her life on Social Media, with millions of fans, watching her every move. If Erin Easton promotes a Lip Gloss, the Brand’s sales skyrocket. They are not selling Brands, they are Brands themselves! So when Erin Easton decides to marry, it becomes a Multi-Million dollar extravaganza, with TV Networks falling over each other to get exclusive Live Telecast rights.
But, during the ceremony, the bride gets kidnapped and nobody has a clue as to by whom or why, only some blood and pieces of clothing are found from the scene. The elite NYPD Red team (of two actually) is called upon to investigate. Dynamic Kylie MacDonald and her partner, Zach Jordan are on the scene quickly and they have hours before the ransom calls might start coming in and the pressure of solving such a high profile case, in full media spotlight, becomes monumental.
Alongside this PR nightmare for the NYPD, a curious crime gets reported. A couple of guys, posing as EMT’s are robbing rich old ladies of their precious jewelry and cash, leaving them tied and gagged. When one of them happens to be the Governor’s aunt, again the NYPD Red team is called in to solve the crime and apprehend the perpetrators. For large parts of the novel, both investigations progress parallelly with different threads leading the two detectives in different directions.
In essence, neither story is startlingly unique or given any stylised treatment, but the writing styles are so brilliantly sharp that it feels like one is being carried away in a tidal wave! Given that technology plays such a large part in any investigation these days, it still remains critical that the same technology be used intelligently. It is upto the human minds to tell the technology what to look for and where. To me, it serves a scary footnote that our lives are no longer as private as we’d like it to be but if in danger, the same close observation can be life-saving!!
For Celebrities of today’s generation, who are always online and have to spend most of their lives under constant public scrutiny, it is a razor that cuts both ways. The public makes them the celebrities that they are and their biggest threats come from the same mass who idolize and worship them. A somber thought indeed.
Conclusion – NYPD Red 6 Book Review
The story is nothing out of the ordinary, it’s the treatment and writing style which gives it the pacy feel, like a roller coaster ride at an entertainment park. Even the twist in the tale, near the end, is almost predictable, you see it coming from a mile off, but that doesn’t take away from the book’s enjoy-ability factor. The police grunt work is admirably detailed and the intrusions by media in all walks of our lives – with its cascading ill effects on privacy and priorities, are highlighted well too.
Like a two-edged sword, media coverage can either aid and abet the criminal or, if responsibly done, it can help the Police track down criminals. NYPD Red 6 is a continuous reminder of that adage. Like so many other JP collaborations, this is not award-winning stuff, just a jolly good read to while away the time.