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NYPD Red is a special task force charged with protecting the interests of Manhattan's wealthiest and most powerful citizens. When a world-famous movie producer is poisoned on the first day of a Manhattan film festival called Hollywood on the Hudson, they are the first ones called. Then an actor is killed on the set of a film. And a Molotov cocktail explodes at a movie premiere.

Detective First Grade Zach Jordan and his new partner—and ex-girlfriend—Detective Kylie MacDonald are assigned to the case. The killer has every murder, every escape, planned down to the last detail—and he's scripted an explosive finale that will bring New York and Hollywood to its knees. With larger-than-life action, relentless speed, and white-knuckle twists, NYPD RED is a mega-blockbuster from "The Man Who Can't Miss." (TIME)


Chapter 6

CAPTAIN DELIA CATES is NYPD to the core. Born and raised in Harlem, she’s a third-generation cop with a career path that puts her on the fast track to becoming the city’s first female police commissioner—Columbia University, four years in the Marine Corps, and a master’s in criminal justice from John Jay College.

She’s somewhere north of forty, quite attractive, with dark brown eyes, flawless cocoa skin, and a warm, easy smile. Inside, she’s tougher than a three-dollar steak. She’s also a born leader and the best boss I’ve ever had.

It’s not every day she summons me for a one-on-one, and this morning’s invitation caught me off guard. I walked into her office at 7:55.

It was a typical no-nonsense Cates meeting. She spelled out what she wanted, I responded with a few well-placed “yeses” and “Captains,” and I walked out at 7:56 only slightly more conflicted than when I went in.

I headed for the briefing room and took a seat with Kylie and eleven other detectives. Cates walked in at 8:00 on the nose.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” she said. “As you all know, the mayor has rolled out a red carpet three thousand miles long in the hopes of winning the hearts and wallets of Hollywood’s movie moguls. Our job is to make them feel welcome and safe. Basically, it’s the same drill we go through every day, but this week we have five times as many people to serve and protect. A lot of the goings-on will be behind closed doors. Meetings, lunches, tours of production facilities—all in controlled environments, a lot of them with their own rent-a-cops.

“But there’s also going to be a number of high-visibility public events, and that brings out the stalkers, the fans, the paparazzi, and a shitload of other crazies. The biggest one is a red carpet shindig tonight at Radio City. I just spoke to the DI at Midtown North, and people are already starting to camp out. We’ll have at least a hundred uniforms working the crowd, plus another thirty in plainclothes, including all of you. The bad news is that this is going to be one damn long day. The good news is that the mayor loosened the purse strings, and there’s plenty of overtime money in the budget.

“Tuesday and Wednesday, there’ll be fewer public events, but you know these folks like to party after a hard day, so take your cell phones to the bathroom with you. Then on Thursday—”

Her cell went off. “See what I mean?”

We all recognized the ring tone. Cates called it her “bat phone.” Anyone who had that number took priority over whatever she was doing at the moment.

She answered. “Captain Cates.” She listened stone-faced for fifteen seconds, then said “We’re on it,” and hung up.

“We’re off to a bad start,” she said. “We have a dead Hollywood producer on the floor of the dining room of the Regency—Sixty-first and Park. Possible homicide. Jordan and MacDonald—get on it.”

I can’t quite explain what happened next. Kylie was up and heading for the door. But I just sat there processing the reality of what had woken me up in the middle of the night. Kylie and I were a team, and we were going out on our first case together. It was quite a rush. It couldn’t have been more than three seconds, but it was three seconds too long for Cates.

“Jordan,” she barked. “Go.”

I went.

Cates snapped right back to the briefing. “For those of you who haven’t met her, Jordan’s new partner is Detective Kylie MacDonald. She’s on temporary assignment—”

Temporary assignment.

It’s the last thing I heard before I got to the door, but I no longer had any idea how I felt about that.

Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson

Read by Edoardo Ballerini & Jay Snyder

Edoardo Ballerini is an actor and an award-winning audiobook narrator. On screen, he's best known for his working the television series The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, and 24. Edoardo was nominated for a 2012 Audie Award for his recording of The Land of Laughs. AudioFile Magazine named him one of the "Best Voices of 2011."

Jay Snyder has performed on Broadway and Off-Broadway, regional theatre, television, film, and works regularly in the voice-over industry.

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