Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Private India by James Patterson & Ashwin Sanghi: a review

To hold a book of the ‘Private’ series, written by the world famous thriller writer James Patterson and co-authored by the best thriller writer of India, Ashwin Sanghi; titled ‘Private India’ has been a very pleasurable experience for me. Starting from the first page till the last, I could go on giving a thesis of what I liked and what I disliked about the book.

According to the blurb of the book- In Mumbai, seemingly unconnected people are dying, strangled in a chilling ritual and with strange objects carefully arranged with the corpses. For Santosh Wagh, head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world’s finest investigation agency, it’s a race against time to stop the killer striking again. In a city of over thirteen million, he’d have his work cut out at the best of times, but this case has him battling Mumbai’s biggest gang lord and a godman who isn’t all he seems. And then he discovers there may be an even greater danger facing Private India. Hidden in the shadows is someone who could destroy the whole organization- along with thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens.

To begin with, I would like to comment on the cover of the book. With bold colors and the typical ‘Private’ series type of cover with a sole man running and Mumbai in the backdrop enhances the feel of the book, along with the names of the authors being the icing on the cake. The subtitle also gives a very eerie sensation to the book with the readers brains twitching with the thought of reading the book.

The book starts with an explosion. Not to think of the deeper meaning of the word, I am referring to the literal meaning of it. A planned terrorist bomb blast is all that the book starts with and that becomes one of the best reasons why the reader is attracted to the book. I loved the way the characters have been described in the book.

Giving precise descriptions of all- characters and situations till to-the point layout and importance to every single scene; this book is surely a treat to the eye. Flawless- should be the word if I want to write about the narrating style of the authors. Given that the book is from the best people, it was expected.

The ‘murders’, I would say were planned wonderfully and even more wonderfully described by the authors. The readers would read around a quarter of the book with a normal pace, waiting for special Ashwin Sanghi effects (mythological twists I meant) to the book and just when the readers would start to think, there are none; would come the real twist in the tale.

As for the mystery is concerned, a commendable work by the authors in keeping the mystery alive till the very end of the book. Just as the readers think, this is the end- a new mystery pops up and they know- there is much more to it. I would say that it is the capability of the authors that they have managed to keep the brains of the readers at work along with the Private India team, making all the characters suspects at different parts of the story.

As a book, all in all; the authors have done their best to mention all kinds of crimes and situations that Mumbai and India faces currently, starting from forced prostitution, to corrupt politicians, to terrorism and everything else. Appreciating the writers for having written it so wonderfully that the readers fall in love with the book and along with it, they feel a sense of responsibility once they finish it.

The readers also feel the adrenaline rush when the race against time is going on. I would term it an unputdownable book. But for me, I kind of feel that the book is a tad too stretched. Though, I truly believe the fact that the descriptions were needed to keep the mystery intact, still I felt that the book, if it were a bit shorter than it already is; would’ve made it a perfect book.


When the story of Private India ends, the readers have a smile on their faces and when they attempt to close the book, James Patterson keeps the interest alive with an excerpt of ‘Discover where it all began…Private’ and as the readers read the excerpt they are left wanting for more. Such, is the charisma of the book and the authors. Just only one hitch, for me, made it an imperfect book but still; hoping to read more and more of the Private series and much more from the authors, I would rate the book 4.75 out of 5.

P.S.: This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books! 

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