Book reviews

Private Delhi – James Patterson

Release date: 12 January 2017
Rating: ★★★★★★ – 6/10
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Private Dehli (Private series #13) blurb:

Santosh Wagh quit his job as head of Private India after harrowing events in Mumbai almost got him killed.  But Jack Morgan, global head of the world’s finest investigation agency, needs him back.  Jack is setting up a new office in Delhi, and Santosh is the only person he can trust.

Still battling his demons, Santosh accepts, and it’s not long before the agency takes on a case that could make or break them.  Plastic barrels containing dissolved human remains have been found in the basement of a house in an upmarket area of South Delhi.  But this isn’t just any house; this property belongs to the state government.

With the crime scene in lockdown and information suppressed by the authorities, delving too deep could make Santosh a target to be eliminated.

Organ harvesting, murder, child abductions, conspiracies, vigilantes – this book has everything you want in a James Patterson thriller (crime fiction?  I never know what genre to put them in).

So, we last saw Jack absolutely devastated at the end of The Games, or as it was published in Australia, Private Rio.  Despite his many fanciful flings across the years, it seemed that he and Tavia may have made an actual go with it, but alas that was not to be the case.

At the start of Private Dehli we find Jack with a new project and a new focus (possibly as a distraction): helping Santosh Wagh, former head of Private India (based in Mumbai), with his alcohol addiction.

Santosh’s story began in Private India where we learned that he had lost his wife and child in an accident, and was not dealing well with the loss.  In steps Jack with the offer of running Private India, and Santosh accepts, and nearly loses his own life.  In between then Santosh has taken the offer of a new beginning in Dehli, and possibly been tempted by the drink again.  Fast forward to now, and both, Santosh and Nisha have moved to Delhi to head up this office.

The story tracks well – it has that classic Patterson style of jumping around a bit as the story progresses.  It is primarily told in chronological order, skipping the point of view between the killer, Jack, Santosh, Nisha, and a few other key players, but does step back when the antagonist is reminiscing of why and how he became ‘the deliverer’.

In terms of following the characters, I will absolutely admit that I lost it and had to draw myself a map (I think better when I draw) of who was who and how they were related to character X.  This is probably because while it normally takes me 2-3 days to read one of these I have been distracted by work and so reading this spanned two weeks… But I will absolutely share my amazing drawing with you in case you feel the same!

I had to redraw my map – my original had too many key spoilers identified!

Despite my confusion and constant referral to my character map, I enjoyed the plot twists and fast pace of these books, and Jack Morgan will always be one of my favourite Patterson characters (I have absolutely left Lindsay Boxer and Alex Cross in the past – for now at least).  Also, I absolutely did not guess the killer… and that surprised me!

These books are not literature, and judging by the number per year that Patterson releases I am certain he isn’t writing half of them anymore.  However, I will always say these are a great lazy beach read.

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