James Patterson & Mark Pearson
3.75 / 5
A pacy, smooth and brutally thrilling page-turner.
The story is filled with brilliant twists and turns, and it has more tricks up its sleeve than any magician, with misdirections, red herrings and cliffhangers aplenty. The story starts off as a simple kidnapping with ransom demands, but quickly becomes something that has massive consequences if Dan Carter and Private’s London branch do not crack the case.
The story begins with a horrific rape and murder of Hannah Shapiro’s mother in front of young Hannah’s own eyes, before Private’s Jack Morgan saves Hannah from, potentially the same fate. At the same time, the future Private London boss Dan Carter is serving in Iraq, where he witnesses the death of his best friend. 7 years pass and both of their lives have altered since then, and their lives cross when Dan is tasked with the responsibility of looking after Hannah as she begins her new life in England.
Hannah, now at Chancellors University, is kidnapped and her friend Laura is injured, but before the kidnappers escape, Chloe Smith, Dan’s goddaughter, undercover Private agent and Hannah’s friend catches up with them but takes a baseball bat to the head leaving her in a coma. This triggers a chain of events that has the Police and Private chasing madly in the hope of securing the safe return of Hannah and bringing those responsible to justice.
There is also a second case running simultaneously that focuses more on the investigations of DI Kirsty Webb, Dan’s ex-wife, who attempts to solve the crime involving a succession of murders with the interesting characteristic of the victim having their wedding finger cut off. Kirsty has the assistance of Private concerning the case, with the use of their advanced technologies and laboratories that help in the investigation.
The story continues at a brisk pace with Private’s resources being exhausted on both sides of the Atlantic. The kidnappers demand ransom for the safe return of Hannah but circumstances occurs that sets into motion events that were not foreseen by anybody concerned and could have devastating consequences if they come to fruition. Only Dan and his team at Private can prevent these events from happening. Private pulls out all the stops to catch the perpetrators and stop them before its too late.
Patterson/ Pearson have conjured a thriller that supplies enough suspense and mystery to hook the reader and keep them under their spell. I found this instalment of the Private series to be more readable than the previous book as I thoroughly enjoyed the exhilarating pace that the story progressed at, with a plethora of suggestive clues and hints that left me pillaging through the pages. The short chapters that are trademark Patterson help to speed the story along, however this did contribute to a weakness in the story. I felt that besides the sufficient attention paid to Dan and Hannah’s personalities, the short chapters contributed to the lack of description concerning the other characters, and there a vast amount. The vast number of characters could quite easily cause confusion for readers as they attempt to keep track of them all and there part in the narrative.
This is definitely one to read for those Patterson and thriller fans out there, especially those who love a rapid page turner with plenty of unexpected twists and cliffhanger chapters leaving you gasping for more. I for one, will continue reading the Private series and hope they maintain the action packed nature that the first two have produced.