The Red Book by James Patterson

The Red Book Book Cover

The Red Book
James Patterson
Mystery & Thrillers
Random House UK
01 Apr 2021
Hell yes!


Detective Billy Harney exposes an evil lurking deep within his city - but it also brings his own past demons to light...

To Billy Harney, the newest member of Chicago PD's elite strike force, getting shot in the head, stalked by a state's attorney, and accused of murder by his fellow cops is all part of breaking a case.

So, when a drive-by shooting on the Chicago's West Side turns political, he doesn't shy away from leading the investigation.

As the easy answers prove to be the wrong ones, Harney's quest to expose the evil that's rotting the city from the inside out takes him to the one place he vowed never to return to: his own troubled past.

James Patterson and David Ellis have once again delivered a gripping and intense thriller in their second installment of the Billy Harney series, “The Red Book.” From the very first page, readers are plunged into a world of corruption, danger, and moral ambiguity that will leave them breathless.

Plot Summary:

Detective Billy Harney, a seasoned cop with a tormented past, finds himself at the center of a high-stakes investigation. When a drive-by shooting in Chicago’s notorious K-Town claims the life of a young girl, Harney is assigned to the Special Operations Section (SOS) to quell the escalating gang violence. His new partner, Detective Carla Griffin, is as enigmatic as she is intriguing. Together, they uncover a web of deceit that reaches far beyond the city’s streets.


Patterson and Ellis excel at creating complex characters. Billy Harney is a flawed hero, haunted by personal tragedies and fueled by an unwavering commitment to justice. His twin sister, Patti, provides a much-needed anchor in his tumultuous life. The chemistry between Harney and Griffin crackles with tension, as they navigate treacherous waters while battling their own demons.

Atmosphere and Setting:

Chicago comes alive in vivid detail—the gritty neighborhoods, the political machinations, and the simmering tension. The authors paint a city teetering on the edge, where alliances shift, and danger lurks around every corner. The reader feels the pulse of the streets, the weight of history, and the urgency of solving a case that threatens to ignite a powder keg.


“The Red Book” delves into themes of loyalty, betrayal, and the blurred lines between right and wrong. Harney’s relentless pursuit of truth forces him to confront uncomfortable truths about his colleagues, his family, and himself. The novel raises questions about morality, sacrifice, and the lengths one will go to protect what matters most.

Writing Style:

Patterson and Ellis maintain a breakneck pace throughout. Short chapters, snappy dialogue, and unexpected twists keep readers turning pages late into the night. The prose is sharp, efficient, and unapologetically gritty. Every sentence serves a purpose, propelling the story forward with precision.

Emotional Impact:

Prepare to be emotionally invested. “The Red Book” doesn’t shy away from the raw emotions that come with loss, betrayal, and redemption. Harney’s internal struggle resonates, and readers will find themselves rooting for him even when the odds seem insurmountable.


In a genre flooded with police procedurals, “The Red Book” stands out. It’s a rollercoaster ride of suspense, with heart-pounding action, unexpected alliances, and a climax that will leave you gasping. James Patterson and David Ellis have crafted a masterpiece—a thriller that grabs you by the collar and doesn’t let go until the final page.

So, if you’re looking for a pulse-pounding read that combines razor-sharp writing with unforgettable characters, pick up “The Red Book.” You won’t regret it.


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