PRIVATE, James Patterson with Maxine Paetro

| 17 September , 2010 | Reply

Kristy McCormick

I\’ve read and reviewed several James Patterson novels recently and I have to say, although I\’m a fan of his from way back, it makes me wonder what else he can come up with. Private, his latest collaboration with Maxine Paetro, feels as though it may be the beginning of a new series. And considering these two authors write the Women\’s Murder Club series (which I love) I\’m hoping this series might pick up speed and become as good.

Private is the story of former US marine Jack Morgan. After inheriting some (seriously dodgy) money from his father, Jack agrees to re-open his Dad\’s investigation agency. Basically a firm full of private investigators and super intelligent forensic experts, Private sets out to crack the cases the police don\’t have the resources or know-how to solve quickly. Or the cases that the police never need know about at all.

Jack and his team are already working on an investigation into a multi-million dollar gambling scandal in the NFL and the unsolved murders of eighteen schoolgirls in LA when he receives some shocking news. His best friends wife Shelby, Jack\’s former lover, has been shot dead in her own home. With nothing much to go on, Jack gradually unravels the mystery and secrecy surrounding Shelby\’s life and is shocked by what he finds.

Meanwhile the NFL scandal is casually sorted out – with links to the mob, and some dodgy referees it was a pretty obvious one really and initially had me wondering what on earth it was doing in the story. But the (somewhat tenuous) link was eventually discovered, and led Jack to some information and an eventual outcome of sorts for Shelby\’s murder.

The schoolgirl murders was more of what you\’d expect from Patterson. Although there was nothing too gruesome to be found in this book, he once again demonstrated his knack of taking a seemingly innocuous aspect of daily life – in this case text messaging – and pointing out the horrific realities of what technology can be used for. All the schoolgirls killed are sent a seemingly innocent text message which draws them directly into the killers trap. Scary stuff.

Overall, I don\’t think this is the best book James Patterson has ever written. I enjoyed it, but I certainly didn\’t love it like I have many of his other novels. It kind of lacked the edge of your seat quality that lots of his books have. That said, I think there may be more of Jack Morgan to come and I\’d certainly be willing to take another look.

Available now: Random House RRP$32.95


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