by James Patterson & Ashwin Sanghi
When Santosh Wagh isn’t struggling out of a bottle of whisky he’s head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world’s finest PI agency.
In a city of over thirteen million he has his work cut out at the best of times. But now someone is killing women – seemingly unconnected women murdered in a chilling ritual, with strange objects placed carefully at their death scenes.
As Santosh and his team race to find the killer, an even greater danger faces Private India – a danger that could threaten the lives of thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens…
“Private India” is the eighth book in a series and having loved the tenth (Private Paris) when I read it a few weeks ago, I decided to pick this one up. Okay, I read them in a weird order, but this is a series you can dip into. Sadly “Private India” did not live up to the quality of others in the series and I can see I’m not alone in this opinion as other reviewers seem to agree.
With the tagline “the pages turn themselves” to his name, James Patterson is known for his gripping page turning thrillers that vividly read like the films they could one day be. “Private India”, however, just wasn’t one of them. Set in Mumbai, Private is a private investigator team headed by ex CIA agent Jack Morgan who makes sure he recruits the best of the best in major cities across the world. It seemed to me, however, that the best of the best in India were not all that special and rather unforgettable. As the story centres around a number of symbolic murders I found myself forgetting who the numerous characters were, whose side they were on and how I should feel about them.
Don’t get me wrong, the story was interesting. The ritualistic serial killings were intriguing and the story behind them provided a compelling read, especially at the beginning. Why were bodies being found with yellow ties around their necks? Why was one of the victims holding a tiny Viking helmet? What was the connection between these female victims? But what was missing from this story was the suspense, the desire to turn the pages. If a book of this size takes more than a week to read, I know something is up and not one to give up on books, I had to force myself to get to the end.
The ending itself was dramatic, overly heroic and took away from what should have been a final discovery of the murderer. I felt like the last few chapters were unneccesary to the plot and I could have done without.
I’ve read that other combinations of authors work better throughout this series. Perhaps Patterson and Sanghi just weren’t an ideal match.
Overall rating: Difficult to get into with unforgettable characters, sadly this James Patterson book doesn’t live up to readers expectations despite its intriguing story line. It’s just 2 stars for “Private India”.
See my other reviews of books by James Patterson here: