Джеймс Паттерсон: NYPD Red 4

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Джеймс Паттерсон NYPD Red 4
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    NYPD Red 4
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NYPD Red 4: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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A jewel heist. A murdered actress. A killer case for NYPD Red. In a city where crime never sleeps, NYPD Red is the elite task force called in when a case involves the rich, famous and connected. Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald are the best of the best — brilliant and tireless investigators who will stop at nothing to catch a criminal, even if it means antagonising the same powerful people they’re supposed to be helping. When a glitzy movie premiere is the scene of a shocking murder and high-stakes robbery, NYPD Red gets the call. In a hunt that takes Zach and Kylie from celebrity penthouses to the depths of Manhattan’s criminal underworld, they have to find the cold-blooded killer — before he strikes again.

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James Patterson, Marshall Karp

NYPD Red 4

For Jody and Harold

— MK


The Red, Red Carpet


Leopold Bassett flitted across the room to where his brother, Maxwell, was quietly nursing a glass of wine.

“Max, I just heard from my spotter in the lobby,” Leo said in a giddy half whisper. “Lavinia is on her way up. Can you stop brooding for twenty minutes?”

“I’m not brooding. I was just enjoying this absolutely exquisite Sancerre and trying to calculate how much this latest junket of yours is costing us.”

“You can stop calculating,” Leo said, “because now that I know Lavinia is coming, it’s worth every dime. She’s the only one we really care about.”

“Then why did we pay fifteen thousand dollars for the Royal Suite at the Ritz-Carlton, and what are the rest of these freeloaders doing here besides pigging out on caviar and swilling champagne?”

“Max, I don’t tell you how to design jewelry, so don’t go lecturing me on how to plan a soirée de publicité. If Lavinia walked into an empty room, she’d walk right out. These people are cannon fodder. I papered the house.”

“For one lousy gossip columnist?”

Gossip? Try fashion guru. People hang on every word this woman writes, every photo she prints. She’s a tastemaker, a trendsetter.”

The door to the suite opened, and Lavinia Begbie entered.

“Well, well,” Max said. “Judging by the arched eyebrows and frozen forehead, it looks like the hot new trend is Botox jobs gone horribly wrong. Her face looks like she had a stroke.”

“I hate you,” Leo said, and hurried across the room to greet the new arrival and her entourage: a photographer, an assistant, and a West Highland white terrier that Lavinia was cradling in her arms.

She set the dog on the floor, air-kissed Leo, and headed straight for Max. “Maxwell Bassett — jeweler to the stars,” she said, shaking his hand. “A pleasure to finally meet you. You’re quite the recluse.”

Max smiled. “Leo is a tough taskmaster. He keeps me locked up in my studio designing baubles for bold-faced names.”

“Locked up, indeed,” she said. “The last time I spoke to Leo you were somewhere in Namibia hunting white rhinoceros.”

“Please don’t print that,” Max said, folding his hands angelically against his chest. “PETA hates me enough as it is.”

“Leo, be a dear and fetch me a double bourbon, neat,” Lavinia said.

“Done,” Leo said. “How about your dog? Can I get her a bowl of water?”

“Don’t bother. Harlow loves cocktail parties. She’ll wait until someone drops a bit of food, then she’ll gobble it right up. I call them floor d’oeuvres.” She turned her attention to Max. “Let’s talk.”

“It took months,” he said, launching into his canned presentation, “but I finally found twenty perfectly matched four-carat emeralds—”

“Please,” she interrupted. “Spare me. Your publicist emailed me all the details, and my photographer will get a shot of Elena Travers on her way to the red carpet. I’m here to talk about the rumors.”

“They’re all true,” Max said. “Leo is gay. I told him you were onto him.”

“I’ve heard you’re planning to get into bed with Precio Mundo,” she said.

“Precio? The big-box store? How could they possibly market a brand like Bassett? Mark the hundred-thousand-dollar bracelets down to eighty-nine thousand and put them in an endcap display?”

“Don’t be coy, and don’t sidestep the question. According to my sources, they want you to create a line of—”

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please.” Sonia Chen, Leo’s publicist, stood outside the bedroom door. “I’ve met a lot of leading ladies, but none more stunning or more gracious than the young woman who will be walking down the red carpet tonight at the premiere of her latest film, Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is my honor to present Elena Travers.”

The actress stepped through the door wearing a strapless white Valentino gown that was perfectly set off by Max’s latest masterpiece. The guests applauded, cameras clicked, and from the other side of the room Leo Bassett called out, “At long last — I have found the girl of my dreams.”

The crowd laughed, and Leo rushed toward Elena, his arms spread wide. “Darling,” he cooed, commanding the room, “you look ravish—”

As soon as his foot connected with the West Highland white terrier, Leo’s body pitched forward. Harlow squealed, Leo shrieked, and hands reached out to break his fall. But nothing could stop his momentum until he crashed into a buffet table and landed on the rug, covered with sea bass ceviche.

A waiter helped him to his feet, and Sonia immediately materialized with a handful of napkins and began to brush the fish and salsa from his tuxedo. Leo waved her aside and stood center stage. “First rule of show business,” he said, playing to the crowd. “Never work with kids or dogs.”

Nervous laughter from the guests.

He smiled at Lavinia. “And how’s little Harlow?”

“She’s upset, but she’ll be fine,” Lavinia said, cuddling the Westie in her arms. “Leo, I’m so sorry—”

He held up a hand and turned toward Elena. “My dear, I’m afraid you’ll have to find another escort.”

“Oh, Leo,” Elena said, “nobody cares about a little cocktail sauce. Come on. We’ll have fun.”

“For God’s sake, Leo, go.” It was Max. “Nobody’s going to be looking at you anyway.”

“No,” he said, lashing out at his brother. “Leo Bassett is not walking down the red carpet smelling like a fucking fish stick.”

He turned, stormed into the bedroom, and slammed the door.

Max stole a glance at Lavinia Begbie, wondering how she’d react to Leo’s theatrics. But her face had been injected with so much wrinkle-numbing botulinum toxin that it was impossible to tell.


Ian Altman scanned the people standing behind the velvet ropes at the Ziegfeld Theater, looking for someone to shoot, but there was nobody interesting.

In fact, there was practically nobody at all. The carbon arc searchlight beams that crisscrossed the sky were doing a piss-poor job of attracting a crowd to the premiere of Elena Travers’s new movie.

That was the problem with having these red carpet events in New York, Altman thought. In L.A., the glitterati showed up. In New York, anything that blocks the sidewalk is just another freakin’ inconvenience.

As if to prove his point, a man trying to skirt the police barrier crashed into him, practically knocking the camera out of his hands.

“Asshole,” the pedestrian yelled. “You people think you own the streets?”

Altman had been trained to avoid run-ins with the public. “Not own, sir,” he said. “I’m with the TV crew, and we do have a permit that allows us to—”

The unmistakable thunderclap of a gun blast cut through the air, and Altman instinctively swung his camera in the direction of the sound. In the same instant, a dozen officers from the best-trained urban police force in America kicked into full emergency response mode.

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