by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan
Paris is burning – and only Private’s Jack Morgan can put out the fire.
When Jack Morgan stops by Private’s Paris office, he envisions a quick hello during an otherwise relaxing trip filled with fine food and sightseeing. But Jack is quickly pressed into duty after a call from his client Sherman Wilkerson, asking Jack to track down his young granddaughter who is on the run from a brutal drug dealer.
Before Jack can locate her, several members of France’s cultural elite are found dead – murdered in stunning, symbolic fashion. The only link between the crimes is a mysterious graffiti tag. As religious and ethnic tensions simmer in the City of Lights, only Jack and his Private team can connect the dots before the smoldering powder keg explodes.
This is the second James Patterson book I’ve read and I’m beginning to see what all the hype is about. “Private Paris” had me gripped from the beginning and I was eagerly turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next.
I think one of the main features of Patterson’s success is the level of detail that goes into each scene, allowing you to be fully immersed into the story. It’s short chapters keeps the plot fast paced and the story of Jack Morgan and Private’s office in Paris reads like a film, I could easily see this story on the big screen.
The story follows Morgan and colleague Louis Langlois as they investigate a number of symbolic murders around the city committed by a movement called AB-16, a mysterious group who leave their name at each scene in blood red graffiti. Featuring acts of terrorism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, this story felt extremely realistic and frighteningly relevant to the times, especially given recent events in Paris and other European cities. The plot was interesting and kept me captivated from beginning to end.
Being set in ‘the city of light’, I enjoyed the French references Patterson makes throughout. While being slightly ignorant to French culture myself, the writers gave me a background and an idea of the situation these events were happening in without being overwhelming – far too many books bore you to death with chapter and chapter of cultural background these days! The characters were well developed too. Jack and Louis worked well together, bouncing off one another in surprising, sometimes comical ways, and their relationship felt real. Patterson allowed us to learn more about the numerous characters through their dialogue and the choices that they made, a refreshing change from those who solely rely on description to paint a picture of their characters. If anything, I’d liked to have seen more of Morgan’s relationship with graffiti expert Michelle, but that said, I’m glad romance didn’t become a key theme here.
Needless to say, I’ll be back for more Patterson novels. But where to start?
See my other reviews of books by James Patterson here: