Review: Private India by James Patterson & Ashwin Sanghi (4/5)

Thursday 4 September 2014
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... 

Of the various different series by James Patterson one of my favourites has to be the Private books. I do prefer the series when it is based in America however as the series set outside the US tend retain an American feel. That changed with Private India however where I felt there was a definite sense of place and a real feeling of authenticity, the city of Mumbai was vivid in my mind and the culture of the city itself was told brilliantly by Ashwin Sanghi. Despite struggling with a few of the names I really enjoyed this book.

I love the idea of Private. A PI agency which operates sometimes on behalf of the law but other times on the wrong side of it. This time around women are being murdered across the city and their bodies staged in a ritualistic way. Seemingly unconnected at first it is up to Santosh Wagh and his team to try and apprehend the killer. Santosh Wagh was an interesting if at times frustrating character. He's certainly not the best Private boss we've met but intriguing nonetheless. He has a drink problem that came about following the 2006 train bombings in Mumbai and a strained relationship with the detective who is more than happy to hand the case of the murdered women over to Private.

The Private books usually have multiple strands to the story which in the past has confused me, there's often been too much going on at once but I didn't struggle here with the secondary story of a terrorist threat that puts the city at risk. Removing India from the title and this could be the plot of your standard Patterson thriller but having Ashwin Sanghi on board and adding the rituals and history of the country definitely makes it so much more than that. With a plot that kept me guessing through pretty much the whole book and the short chapters which I love I stormed through this book. Jack Morgan also appears in the book which as my favourite character from the series is a good thing. There's also a preview for Private Vegas which I am very excited for.

Thanks to the publisher for the NetGalley review copy.  

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