This is the story of three generations of a wealthy family, with Hudson. H. Alden I as the founder of the family’s legacy, annoyed at the ethics of his son (Hunter H. Alden II), who is equally annoyed at his son (H. H. Alden III, a.k.a. ‘Tripp’). And what Tripp has done to annoy his father is avoid the world of investments and trust funds, and instead seek a career in movie making, with friend Lonnie, under the tutelage of teacher Ryan Maddison. Not an atypical family issue in novels…so far, fairly commonplace…
Until Hunter’s chauffeur, Peter, has his head removed and placed, carefully in a chiller box, on the floor of Hunter’s garage, and Tripp and Lonnie are missing. Enter one tall blond unnamed man, whose note in Peter’s mouth scares the living daylights out of Hunter. But Hunter is not so scared that he’ll call the police – no, he’s a determined man, and tries to handle things his own way, being more concerned about the note and its writer than Peter, or Tripp who is missing.
NYPD Red detectives Zach and Kylie (who star in the previous two NYPD Red novels) only become involved when Peter’s headless body is found – not hidden, just…left on the ground among trees, a small distance from Hunter’s limousine. NYPD Red have a body, a limo, and nothing more – not even cooperation from Hunter. His wife, Tripp’s step-mother, doesn’t know about Tripp and his friend Lonnie being missing, nor about Peter’s death…yet.
While Hunter uses his private detective to carry out his own investigations, Zach & Kylie are left to patch information snippets together. Possibly fake texts from Tripp don’t help. An interview with the typical neighbourhood busybody gives them another puzzle to fit into what they have, and the janitor of a disused school is dragged into the mystery. Hunter’s father, uninterested in Hunter’s financial shenanigans, calls in the newly appointed mayor to lean on NYPD Red to move more quickly on finding his missing grandson.
There are lots of “two steps forward, one step back” situations, the main characters are fleshed out by incidental interaction in their personal lives, action scenes, then we come to a close by way of an unexpected reveal before the case is closed.
Reviewed by Lynne McAnulty-Street, also here
NYPD Red 3
by James Patterson
Paperback ISBN: 9781780892757
Hardback ISBN: 9781780892740