Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Private Oz by James Patterson and Michael White

Private Oz is the latest offering in the Private series from James Patterson and his co-authors, and this one was set a little closer to home for this Kiwi reader.  Set in Sydney, one of Australia's most famous cities, the action kicks off as Craig Gisto and the team are celebrating the launch of Private in style - just before a young victim crashes through the door and dies.  The resulting police circus brings Craig into contact with his cousin Mark, a senior cop who would like nothing more than to see Craig crash and burn in spectacular fashion - a sentiment that is not helped when the Deputy Commissioner of the NSW Police decides that Private will be involved in the case right from the start.

Finding out who the young victim is is just the beginning, Private soon finds itself tangled in a series of cases, making for a busy first week.  There is the music mega star who is convinced that he is going to join the famous 'Club 27' and die on his 27th birthday.  There is the wife whose husband has gone missing, a wife who doesn't want the police involved because she is not convinced that all of of his businesses are legit.  Overshadowing everything is the case that has the police and Private on edge, a murder in a wealthy suburb, a murder that is just the beginning.  Trying to get a private investigation company up and running is challenging enough, but to try and do it when a dangerous killer is on the loose, and your cousin is actively trying to stop you working the case - now that's a serious challenge.

Private is an interesting series, not only because there are lots of different co-authors for the series, but also because of the local flavour in each of the books and the way different characters are used to tie the different offices of Private together - in this case it was Justine Smith.  It was particularly fun reading this one as Australia is just across the "ditch" from New Zealand and it felt more like a local story than those set in England or America - though let me reassure you that New Zealander's do not have a "twang". 

I did find that Private Oz was a little more disjointed than most novels by James Patterson, it lacked some of the flow that you usually find, and while there are "warnings" when you are reading in the past, it still took a while to get used to the story jumping around a little.  I also felt there were a few too many active storylines in this book, it took about half the book for the stories to really gel with each other and settle down - but that could come down really strongly to personal reading tastes.  This is another great co-authored book from James Patterson, and another great addition to the Private stable - now all I have to do is wait for my mother to finish so we can talk about it.

If you like this book then try:
  • Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • Private London by James Patterson and Mark Pearson
  • Private games by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
  • Private # 1 suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • Private Berlin by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
  • Kiss the girls by James Patterson
  • Kill me if you can by James Patterson and Marshall Kamp
  • The postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund

Reviewed by Brilla

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