Saturday, January 1, 2011

Private, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Private is a typical James Patterson novel—suspense, over-the-top characters, and a nice and tidy ending. I love James Patterson, although my favorites are his Alex Cross novels, and that’s what I would recommend if you haven’t read any of his before.
This book involved a private detective agency (called “Private”) that is owned by Jack, our handsome hero, who has bedded several of our female main characters.  The interesting thing about this book is that there are three separate cases.  One involved fixing the outcomes of professional football games, one is about Jack’s best friend’s wife getting murdered, and the most compelling of the three is a serial killer case for which the police have enlisted Private’s help.
I think what makes this book different than many of Patterson’s is that none of the main characters are ever in any danger.  Most of the time in his books, much of the suspense comes from the bad guy somehow trying to get to the hero, through threatening his family or something like that.  I guess I should be glad this book didn’t follow “the formula,” but it also made the book not as heart-pounding as I expect.
There are interesting side stories that help make up for the lack of thrill.  Jack is suffering from PTSD, which causes bad dreams, and keeps him somewhat preoccupied.  Jack has a twin brother who is the devil himself. And there’s a breakup of Jack’s relationship with his assistant.
Apparently, this book is part of a new series.  I don’t think I’ll make the effort to read any more.  My suggestion is that if you are a Patterson die-hard fan, you probably need to read this.  Otherwise, try a different one.
As a side note, this book is 385 pages long, and would have counted towards my 350 Page Book Challenge, but I thought that would be cheating. There are no other books I’ve ever read that have more white space and ½ pages than Patterson’s.  On a positive note though, if you are an educator, these are great books for reluctant boy readers.  They can read what seems like a huge book, but the pages just turn so fast that they really get satisfaction from reading and these are usually stories that keep them interested.
Pages:  385
Published by Little, Brown, 2010

Rating: 3/5

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