Sunday, January 18, 2015

Private Vegas by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Private Vegas 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 PrivatePrivate No. 1 suspect, and Private L.A. before you read Private Vegas.

Spend any time with Jack Morgan and his team and you learn two things - firstly that their lives are never boring, and secondly that they know some rather interesting people.  Jack may have managed to avoid prison time when a plot to frame him for murder failed, but now another member of his team is facing serious prison time after he was accused of beating a woman so badly she almost died.  At a time when he should be focused on supporting his friend and colleague Rick Del Rio Jack is also trying to avoid another attempt by his brother Tommy to take over the business, and Jack can't shake the feeling that his brother knows something about Rick's current predicament.  

Tangled around the mess that is his personal and business life is a series of converging and diverging cases.  One of the tangles begins in Las Vegas, where a smooth operator is grooming willing young women to wed rich older men in a long term game plan to make them all some serious money.  Another tangle begins in Los Angeles where two men with very specific tastes are targeting women that catch their eye, women that are unwilling to testify against them.  Even if the women were willing to testify the case is unlikely to go anywhere because the men are diplomats and hiding behind their diplomatic immunity.  Jack is never one to give up though, and if he is patient they may slip up in a way that will allow him to bring them to justice.

Private Vegas is the latest offer in the Private series, a series that offers an amazing world of dynamic possibilities for story arcs, international storylines, and a large cast of characters.  One of the greatest strengths of the Private series is that there are offices around the world, which takes some of the action out of America and into cultures and worlds closer to home for some readers.  That diversity is also a risk as sometimes the co-author lacks some of the writing chemistry, or because the cast of characters gets too large.  In some respects Private Vegas is a return to the "heartland" of the Private world, a story set in the home town of Jack Morgan and his core team, a place we have been many times before and it feels like "home".  

It is always a challenge to review books in the Private series because if you reveal too much in the review it ruins the delicious little twists and turns that make the series so interesting - but if you don't reveal enough then the book can sound boring and cliched.  The multiple levels to the story, the side cases and investigations are what make these novels so interesting and create the realism and depth.  The straight forward police dramas lack some of this depth because they are by necessity playing by the "rules", and usually the detectives are working with only one case at a time.  In the world of Private there are always multiple cases and multiple clients, nothing seems to stand still and there are incursions from their personal lives into their professional lives.

Hopefully there are many more books in this series, both around Private L.A. and about the other Private offices around the world because there are a lot of stories left to tell.  There are hints here that a showdown of sorts is coming between Jack and his twin brother Tommy - and I can't wait to see what happens next because whether Tommy beats him or gets his comeuppance there is so much potential for things to go very wrong or very right for Jack Morgan and his team.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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