NYPD Red—the task force attacking the most extreme crimes in America's most extreme city—hunts a killer who is on an impossible mission.
A vigilante serial killer is on the loose in New York City, tracking down and murdering people whose crimes have not been punished. The number of victims grows, and many New Yorkers secretly applaud the idea of justice won at any price.
NYPD Red Detective Zach Jordan and his partner Kylie MacDonald are put on the case when a woman of vast wealth and even greater connections disappears. Zach and Kylie have to find what's really behind this murderer's rampage while political and personal secrets of the highest order hang in the balance. But Kylie has been acting strange recently—and Zach knows whatever she's hiding could threaten the biggest case of their careers.
NYPD Red 2 is the next spectacular novel in James Patterson's newest series, a book that proves "there's no stopping his imagination." (New York Times Book Review)
Part One | THE HAZMAT KILLER
THE SQUAD CAR Cates sent for us was parked in the bike lane on Center Drive, lights flashing.
“Oh shit,” Kylie said as we hiked across the lawn.
“I need another clue,” I said.
“Our ride. The driver’s waiting in the car like he’s supposed to, but his partner who’s out there chatting it up with those three women is Tim McNaughton.”
“I’ve met him,” I said. “Cocky son of a bitch, but so were we at that age.”
“Zach, there’s a difference between self-confidence and being an asshole who hits on anything with tits. His picture is on the bulletin board in the ladies’ room with a circle/slash symbol over it. On the bottom somebody wrote, ‘His pickup lines have all the subtlety of a chloroform-soaked rag.’ ”
“You always had a way with words,” I said.
“Thank you,” she said as a hint of the missing mischief crept back into her eyes. “Somebody had to warn the newbies.”
As soon as McNaughton saw us, he turned back to the women he was yakking with. On cue, the three of them yelled out “Go, Red, go!” and pumped their fists in the air.
“You guys deserve a cheerleading squad,” he said, proud of his handiwork.
“Not at a homicide scene,” I said, hoping there were no video cameras around to capture the moment.
“Oops!” He laughed. “My bad.”
“Gracie Mansion,” I said. “Lights, hold the sirens.”
The backseat of a cop car is not designed for comfort. It’s cramped, made of hard plastic for easy cleaning of body fluids, and slung low to make it tougher for the occupants to get any leverage should they try to attack the good guys on the other side of the steel mesh cage and bulletproof glass.
The driver pulled away and headed east out of the park. McNaughton twisted around and flashed Kylie his best game show host smile. “It’s a tight squeeze back there, Detective. Just wondering if you had enough room for those legs?”
“I am more uncomfortable than you can possibly imagine,” she said.
He laughed as if he actually got the joke. “How’s your husband doing?” he asked.
“My husband? What the hell are you talking about?” Kylie snapped.
“Hey, no offense. I read the whole story in the Daily News. Big-shot TV guy who makes cop shows becomes crime victim.”
Kylie’s husband is one of the more visible TV producers on the East Coast, which made him a prime target for the nut job who almost crippled the film business in New York. Kylie and I took the maniac down, but not before he put Spence in the hospital.
“So, how’s your old man doing?” McNaughton said.
“My old man?” Kylie repeated. “My old man is doing turn around and shut the fuck up, McNaughton—that’s how he’s doing.”
Timmy McNumbnuts slunk around in his seat, and nobody said a word till we got to 88th Street and East End Avenue.
Kylie bolted from the car and marched up the walk toward the mayor’s residence without looking back. I hung back and thanked the driver for the lift.
McNaughton put his hand on my arm. “What’s her deal?” he said. “Is she like this with everybody?”
“No,” I said, removing the hand. “Just child molesters and assholes. Have a nice day.”
Copyright © 2014 by James Patterson
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.