Private Paris, by James Patterson

AB-16 Tag ex Private ParrisA piece of tagging, appearing any and everywhere among the streets of Paris, seems innocuous enough…its meaning obtuse, but not overtly offensive; more a puzzle, really, or a code, with no meaning – yet.
Not exactly a top priority for either the Paris La Crim force or the Private Paris agency.

Jack Morgan arrives in Paris from Berlin, but what was Patterson-J_Private Parisa routine office visit becomes a case involving a girl kidnapped or missing, who may or may not want to be found. Rescued yes, but not detained.

While tracing Kimberley, Jack discovers Paris’s hidden world of crime, murder, cultural clashes, arms trading – all among the idolatry of its cultural icons of the arts, fashion and culinary expertise. The missing girl’s case becomes secondary to a world of pseudo terrorism, and Kimberley is pivotal to both.

There are many characters for the reader to keep track of as they come and go, but the plot easily meshes together all the elements of a conspiracy undreamed of. This is the eleventh of the Private series, another I’ll have to pick up on at number one, and was written with Mark Sullivan.

Publishing in 2016 by Century, for Penguin Random House

Paperback – 978-1-780-89279-5
Hardback   – 978-1-780-89278-8

Reviewed for distributors Booksellers NZ

NYPD RED 3 (James PATTERSON, w. Marshall KARP)

NYPD RED 3Three generations of a wealthy family, with Hudson Alden I as the founder of the family’s legacy pissed off at the lack of ethics of his son (‘Hunter’ Hutchinson Alden II), who is equally pissed off at his son-Hutchinson Alden III, a.k.a. ‘Tripp’. 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 Madison.

Not an atypical family issue…so far, fairly commonplace…you think?

Hunter’s chauffeur, Peter, has his head removed and placed, carefully in Tripp’s camera bag, on the floor of Hunter’s garage. Tripp and Lonnie are missing. The note in Peter’s mouth scares the b’jaysus out of Hunter. Memories of one tall blond unnamed man. But Hunter is not so scared that he’ll call the police – no, he’s a determined S.O.B., and tries to handle things his own way, being more concerned about the note and what its writer wants than he is about Peter, or should be about Tripp who is missing.

NYPD RED detectives Zach and Kylie 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.
Faked TXTs from Tripp don’t help.
An interview with the typical neighbourhood busybody gives them another puzzle-piece to fit into the blurry picture.
The janitor of a disused school is dragged into the puzzle.
Hutch, 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.

Lots of “two steps forward, one step back” situations, the main characters fleshed out by incidental interaction in their personal lives, action scenes, and the solution comes, by way of an unexpected reveal before the case is closed.

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Publisher: Century for Penguin Random House, UK

Paperback ISBN: 9781780892757
Hardback ISBN: 9781780892740

Date: 2015, NZ release 2nd April
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