Saturday, February 1, 2014

Private L.A. by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan

Private L.A. is part of the Private series and while it is not a series that you need to read in a strict order to enjoy the story, reading them "out of order" can ruin a few surprises for you.  For the best enjoyment you may want to read Private and Private No. 1 suspect before you read Private L.A.

Jack Morgan could never describe his life as boring, especially with a twin brother hell bent on taking everything Jack has - including his reputation.  His week goes from tense and interesting to heart pounding and out of control when Private is thrust into the middle of not one, but two high profile cases.  The first is No Prisoners, a terrorist who is attacking the city of Los Angeles through the controlled use of violence to extort money - a tactic no one has ever seen before.  The attacks are random, brutal, and designed to create the maximum impact of fear, anxiety, and terror - and Private may be the only agency with the ability to track down No Prisoners and bring them to justice. 

But it is a balancing act, because at the same time they are involved in the super secret disappearance of golden couple Thom and Jennifer Harlow - actors and philanthropists that appear to have vanished off the face of the earth with their adopted children.  The already tricky investigation is hampered by the team behind the Harlow-Quinn, who want the disappearance kept out of the media.  But there is also something else going on, a conspiracy that could cost the Harlow-Quinn's their lives and their fortunes.

As Jack and his team work the two cases they reach out to colleagues and experts to help unravel the tangled web of conspiracies, cunning plans, and dodgy deals - and the clock is ticking to save the future victims of No Prisoners, and the lives of Thom and Jennifer before their children are orphaned for a second time.

The Private series is an interesting one because it is co-written with a variety of authors and there is no single story arc that draws the series together - this is a strength and a weakness, and there are definitely co-authors that I prefer over others.  I had a little bit of trouble settling into Private L.A. to begin with, but after a few chapters I was caught up in the double story arc and the action and tension that builds rapidly through the first half of the book.  The writing was particularly good in Private L.A. and there was a sense of a story on a grander scale than some of the other Private novels, and I really felt that it delivered on the promise of the double story arc - neither story buries the other, and there are times when you are so caught up in one story that you almost forget their is a second story arc (the sign of really good writing).

Private L.A. may not appeal to all James Patterson fans because of the nature of the story, it is definitely a novel for adults and there are some uncomfortable moments, even if those moments may only come from what you imagine happens as well as what actually happens.  The action sequences are more intense than some of his other novels as well, though books co-authored with Mark Sullivan do tend to have more action sequences than some of his other novels.  A great read devoured in one sitting, and looking forward to see what happens next for Jack Morgan and his team(s).

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
  • The postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
  • Level 26: Dark origins by Anthony E. Zuiker and Duane Swierczynski
  • Private Oz by James Patterson and Michael White
  • The survivors club by Lisa Gardner
  • The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
  • 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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