James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
3.5 / 5
Quick-paced and very readable.
James Morgan, a former marine copter pilot during the war in Afghanistan, is entrusted with responsibility of a private investigation company, Private, started by his father. His father was serving a prison sentence and shortly before his death he provided the resources for Jack to enable Private to become a bigger and better company.
Private is dealing with three separate investigations; the case that has the greatest focus of Private’s resources involves the hunting down of the people who have murdered eighteen schoolgirls. The team at Private are also attempting to crack a gambling scandal that could have huge repercussions in the NFL and for competing mob factions. The final case concerning Jack was the murder of the wife of Jack’s best friend. Mingling in with these cases that already take up a massive part of Jack’s life, are Jack’s brother’s gambling problems that have landed him in debt to the mob, Jack’s frequent guilt-laden dreams of a man he left behind during a helicopter crash in Afghanistan and even more frequent morning phone calls from an unknown caller simply saying “You are dead.”
Patterson uses short chapters to create a fast, electric pace for the cases to be investigated in. The sense of urgency that Patterson imposes in this novel, and so I am told in his others, is evident through the characters’ thoughts and feelings that are delivered as quick as a flash. The quickness of the novel is intensified with the threat of another murder that Private throw all of their expensive resources at to try and find out how they can stop it from happening.
With three cases to be solved, Jack’s repetitive dreams and the large number of characters that are introduced, it was hard to become attached to any of the characters, including Jack. Private is very much a plot-focused novel, the absence of much internal monologue of the character’s feelings is obvious, there is some for Jack but it is pretty basic. Despite the shortcomings of detail for characters’ emotions and thoughts, the plot is solid and the combination of different cases simultaneously attempting to be solved keeps the reader intrigued and the short chapters only adds to how quickly the story is read.
This is definitely a book for those who enjoy thrillers and crime fiction, with particular emphasis on modern crime techniques which would appeal to those who enjoy forensics and technological methods that help to crack the cases. It is a very easy read and it can be done in a day or two, so those of you who want something they can whizz through, this is your book.