Sunday, September 28, 2014

Private India by James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi

Private has the reputation of being the best at what they do, and Private India is no exception.  Santosh Wagh leads the team out of a high tech office hidden behind the facade of a run down neighbourhood, an office that has all the bells and whistles of your typical Private office.  When the first body is discovered in a hotel where Private India handles the security and reputation experience tells Santosh to involve the police, a wise choice in terms of the law but it brings him into contact with Rupesh, Assistant Commissioner at the Mumbai Crime branch, and a man with whom Santosh has history.  It seems like a relatively uncomplicated case, and the police are happy for Private to do all the work - as long as Rupesh gets to claim all the credit.  When a second body is found and then a third it soon becomes clear that there is a serial killer on the loose, one with a taste for ritual and women.

This is a baffling case and there is increasing pressure for Private India to deliver the murderer, pressure that encourages the little voice in Santosh's head encouraging him to drink.  As the bodies begin to pile up in the morgue, the team at Private begins to piece together the clues and discover the truth behind the ritualistic elements of the murders - but it is not enough to find the killer, not yet.  In a city where nothing is as it seems, and bribing the police and city officials is standard practice, getting to the bottom of the mystery is not going to be easy.  As the team slowly uncovers the pattern behind the murders they have no idea that they are in a race against time, because there are powerful people who want to see an end to Private India - a permanent end.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Private series is that it covers the globe through a series of teams interconnected by the head of Private, Jack Morgan.  Having offices all around the world opens up the series to more readers, and allows Patterson and co-writers to add a local flavour to the stories (one of my favourites so far being Private Oz, which is now known as Private down under).  Private India is one of the "stronger" books in the series, in the sense that there is a strong local flavour that feels very true to the country.  There is a rich backdrop for Private India, both in terms of the descriptions of the physical environment  but also in terms of the cultural feel - there are elements that some in the Indian community may not like to share, but that is part of the richness of India that makes the country so unique.

Private India feels very cohesive, and has the strong flavour of a true James Patterson thriller, some co-written books (including others in this series) seem to be a little "off", as though there is too much of the co-author and not enough attention paid to making it feel like it is truly part of the series.  This is a strong addition to the Private franchise and I sincerely hope that there are more to come from Private India as this is one of my favourite books from this series.

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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