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)
Prologue | GIDEON AND DAVE
IT WAS EVERY florist’s dream. A Mafia funeral.
As fate would have it, Gideon’s mother and father owned the local flower shop and had been the beneficiaries of the outpouring of condolences from friends, relatives, and business associates of the Salvi family.
“It’s like my parents found a winning lottery ticket in their pocket,” Gideon told Dave, “and they have no idea I’m the one who put it there.”
The two boys, along with Meredith, walked solemnly past the line of thirty-two flower cars and up the stairs of St. Agnes. A white hearse was parked in front, and behind it a caravan of black limousines stretched for three city blocks. Media vans jammed the opposite side of the street, and a frenzy of photographers pressed against the police barricades, all hungry for the money shot that could make the front page of tomorrow’s Daily News.
And cops. Cops everywhere. Beat cops, sergeants, and brass all the way up to deputy chief. The Feds were there, too, filming every move, every detail, every face. Grief and privacy be damned. There’s nothing like a Mafia funeral to fill the Bureau’s archives with valuable footage of “known associates.”
Gideon, Dave, and Meredith were ushered into a pew, and Meredith immediately knelt to pray.
“How could you pray for him?” Gideon whispered once she took her seat.
“I didn’t. I prayed for forgiveness.”
“For what?” Gideon asked.
“I’ve been praying to the Holy Mother to punish him, and now I feel guilty.”
Gideon wished he could tell her the truth. “Don’t take all the credit,” he said. “A lot of people were praying for Enzo to die.”
By 11:00 a.m., every seat in the church was filled. A side door opened, and the crowd rose. Father Spinelli led the family into the chapel. First, Teresa, Enzo’s mother, wearing an elegant black silk designer suit and a simple gold cross around her neck. In lieu of a veil, she was stone-faced behind oversized dark glasses. Jojo, the surviving son, escorted her to the front pew.
Meredith squeezed her brother’s hand, knowing what was next. Joe Salvi, the silver-haired spitting image of his late son, entered arm in arm with his eighty-five-year-old mother, Annunziata, who was in the black mourning dress she had worn since her husband died decades ago. She let out a wail as she cast her eyes on the coffin.
The priest began. “For over eighty years, the Salvi family has made Howard Beach their home.”
Not their home, Gideon wanted to scream out. Their territory.
“And it is clear by the outpouring of love from this community...”
They’re only here because they’re too scared to stay away, or they want to enjoy the family’s misery.
“...that Joe and Teresa Salvi’s generosity is legend. Food baskets for the poor at Thanksgiving, toys for the children at Christmas...”
A fully stocked wine cellar for the rectory.
“...and just last month, their annual Halloween beach party. This year it was especially meaningful because it was the first time many of you were able to let yourselves have fun since the towers fell in September.”
Enzo had fun. Meredith didn’t.
“I know that the New York City Police Department is working hard to bring the person or persons who cut Enzo’s life short to justice, and—”
Without warning, Annunziata Salvi rose from her seat and lurched toward the coffin. “No polizia. La famiglia fornirà giustizia. La famiglia fornirà giustizia!” she screamed, throwing herself onto her grandson’s casket.
It was old country funeral theatrics, and Joe Salvi let his mother wail until she sank to her knees, sobbing. Finally, he went to her, helped her back to her seat, and stood facing the crowd.
Twelve hundred people held their breath as the Mafia boss cast his cold, dark eyes across the room, a message to one and all that despite their loss, the family was none the weaker.
Gideon and Dave, hearts pounding, lips sealed, dared to stare back. They knew what Joe Salvi was looking for. Them. And his eyes made it clear that he would keep looking for them as long as he lived. La famiglia fornirà giustizia, the old lady had proclaimed.
The family would make its own justice.
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.