Sunday, March 3, 2013

Private Berlin by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan

Chris Schneider is part of the team at Private Berlin, and as of tonight is the latest victim of a killer from his past, a killer who has a few names to check off his list.  At first it appears to Mattie, and Chris's other colleagues at Private Berlin, that he is merely missing, but then they make a grisly find in an abandoned slaughterhouse that leaves no doubt that Chris is gone.   Their discovery is short lived however, because a bomb blows the slaughterhouse and all their evidence sky high, but Mattie is not so easy to dissuade, and even though they are getting a frosty reception from the Police, Private Berlin is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to Chris.
But it is not a simple and straight forward case, and there are strong ties between the mysterious death of Chris and people from his childhood, and the reason that Mattie called off their engagement.  There is something sick and twisted hidden in Chris's past, a secret tied to the man who calls himself the Invisible Man - a killer who has a knack for hiding in plain sight, a man who appears to have infinite patience.  Mattie and the team have to think and act fast, because the game is always changing, and if they are not careful the Invisible Man may decide that Private should join his little game as well.
The Private series is an interesting series, not only because it is set in different offices around the world, but also because of the distinct local flavour the books have - which is no doubt due to the different people that Patterson has penned the series with.  I have to say my favourite so far is Private Oz, and Private Berlin is not exactly my least favourite, but it wasn't up near the top.  One of the things that put me off a little bit was the explaining of things, often of the history of something - it was done in bite sized chunks but it was distracting and at times annoying because I didn't need a history lesson along with my novel.  Once I had read through the first 25% or so of the book the pace picked up and it was as good as any other James Patterson and co, but it took that first 25% for the story to really get going and for the explanations to stop.
This is a good series and hopefully there will be more books set in Private Berlin, only next time hopefully there will be a little less in the way of in your face explanations of why things are happening and the history of where things are happening.  One of the strengths of Private is the blending of the characters between offices, and it would be nice to see some kind of crossover happening between some of the offices within the same novel - maybe starting in one country and jumping across to another.  The writing is good, the tension keeps up, you just have to get past all the explaining (something I am doing a little too much of here at the moment maybe).
If you like this book then try:
  • Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • Level 26: Dark origins by Anthony E. Zuiker and Duane Swierczynski
  • Private London by James Patterson and Mark Pearson
  • Private Oz by James Patterson and Michael White
  • Vodka doesn't freeze by Leah Giarrantano
  • Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  • NYPD Red by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
  • The basement: a novel by Stephen Leather
  • Step on a crack by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  • Darkly dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Reviewed by Brilla

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