Billed as “The World’s Most Exclusive Detective Agency“, Private International is about more than just surveillance. They look after all the privacy interests of the wealthiest people in the world, from trailing cheating husbands and wives, to providing bodyguard services to the rich and famous, to couriering sensitive materials across the world. Private London is the sequel to James Patterson’s successful novel Private and follows Dan Carter, the head of Private’s London branch, who is given the job of babysitting Hannah Shapiro, heiress to a software mogul’s fortune, across the Atlantic to London to start university. It’s only slightly complicated by the fact that Hannah survived a botched kidnapping event when she was a child, so Dan thinks it’s just going to be another simple child minding job for a wealthy family. Even so, because it’s Private, Hannah has nothing but the best – including a personal bodyguard who attends the university with her.
Things should be straight forward, but Hannah’s background leads to another kidnapping attempt in the grounds of the university when she is leaving a bar with her two girlfriends. A threatening YouTube video showing Hannah vulnerable and tied up in a room, is sent to Private and then there is a race to find her before she becomes more than just a kidnap case. One thing you can definitely say for James Patterson is he knows how to put together a thrill-ride. The hunt for Hannah leads Dan and the resources of Private through London to a surprising finale in a manor estate on the outskirts of London, facing down not one but two glamorous would-be terrorists.
For someone just starting to get to know James Patterson, it’s certainly been exciting. The fast pace and gripping storyline makes this one novel that didn’t leave my hands till I was done.
Available now: Random House RRP $32.95.