James Patterson's NYPD Red series - this is the third, as you cleverly might deduce from the title - has been a good one so far, and this one holds up its end of the tradition quite well. At the center of the action are Detective Zach Jordan and his partner (and one-time love interest) Kylie MacDonald, who are part of the elite task force that is charged with protecting the rich and famous. And it's hard to believe they come any richer than the billionaire Hunter Alden Jr.
Alden's chauffeur, who also served as a father figure to Alden's son Tripp, is murdered, putting the Alden family in a spotlight they don't want. Tripp then turns up missing, but his richer-than-God father refuses to even consider that he might have been kidnapped and tries to thwart any police investigation by throwing around his political and financial clout. Zach and Kylie, however, aren't buying it, and the chase is on to find out what happened to the kid without ruffling the family's gilded feathers (or getting themselves killed).
Throughout it all, Zach has to juggle his feelings for Kylie, who's married to a drug addict who keeps backsliding, and Cheryl, a psychologist who took Kylie's place after Zach lost her while they were training at the police academy. Yeah, that part is pretty sappy, but I'm sure the idea of keeping two beautiful women on the string will appeal to a lot of guys.
There are lots of twists and turns (both right and wrong), and I'm delighted to say one of them actually caused me to gasp and say to myself, "Wow - I didn't see that coming!" And that, my friends, doesn't happen very often. All in all, another good read. Keep 'em coming!
NYPD Red 3 by James Patterson and Marshall Karp (Little, Brown and Co., March 2015); 359 pp.