Private India, by James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi


Thank you Team Blogadda for sending me this lovely treat – it’s two interconnected but distinctly different thrillers rolled into one. Now, who could resist that, right?
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Spy, Mystery
Summary: Multiple murders take place within a span of a few hours, and each time the killer leaves little clues or tokens at the crime scene. In a parallel storyline, there’s also the mystery of a bomb planted by terrorists at an unknown location.
Characters: Santosh Wagh: Chief detective at Private India, with a past that haunts him and drives him to down bottle after bottle of whiskey. Nisha Gandhe: His assistant. Jack Morgan: His boss at Private. Rupesh: Works with Mumbai police and Santosh’s former best friend. The killer: About whom I will not say anything.
The writing technique: This is a gripping plot, no doubt about it (unlike the disappointing Krishna Key). The pace is just right – not too fast, not too slow. The narration is crisp and the suspense has been maintained quite well till the climax. However, the characters leave something to be desired. It’s almost stereotypical for a main character to have a haunting past – that is how many times it has been repeated. Can’t a main character operate if his past has been normal? Is it that people with normal histories don’t do that well professionally, because they don’t have a place to drown their miseries in? Or are there just no new back stories?
The buildup towards finding the murderer has been executed so perfectly, but once the murderer has been captured, the climax is lackluster, in my opinion. This is a psychopath who has killed so many women in such, for lack of a better word, “creative” ways. One he or she is captured, (and this is a work of fiction, no less) is he or she gonna go down without or hardly any noise? That does not sound too convincing (or fulfilling from a reader’s point of view).
The bomb scene, on the other hand, with Jack, seemed to over-compensate (unnecessarily) and thereby gave it a very bollywood-ish feel.
The scene with the vultures was quite chilling and stands out from the rest of the book. The way it’s been written, and even the imagination of the writer to write a scene as that one is simply superb.
I don’t know if any psychopaths leave deliberate clues in real life, because I have read a lot of spy novels earlier in which this happens. Are they challenging the intelligence of those bringing them to justice or do they want to get caught? Well, in the books they always do.
This book, in more ways than one, bears a resemblance to Anita Nair’s Cut Like Wound. While I am an Anita Nair loyalist, I must admit this is a better book.  I have read two of Ashwin Sanghi’s previous works but this is my first James Patterson. This book certainly makes me want to read more of his work though!
This book is available at: Amazon
Overall rating: 3.5/5

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