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4.3 out of 5 stars412
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 1 June 2015
Book one of the by-now very well established PRIVATE series of crime novels from The Incredible James Patterson Book Machine is the perfect example of not only how he writes his books, but also why they sell so incredibly well. Jack Morgan runs a firm of international private detectives, complete with a huge budget and the most talented and skilled of staff (in the world, no less) to keep it successful.

In this opening salvo, the reader doesn’t just have a single plot line to follow, or a single murder to solve. We have several of both running at once. Mixed up with the violence contained within the book’s covers are real life characters, with their own personal problems to solve, growing pains to get used to, heart aches to get over, and of course thugs (and killers) to beat up, or to put in jail, or simply to kill (in self defence, of course).

Book one is principally about catching the long term serial killer of school girls. The count is up to eighteen (yes, i said eighteen!) by the time the story gets started and we learn some disgusting facts about life in the far-too-accessible internet age when we are introduced to the sicko’s that are on the murdering spree. Then a major betting scandal hits the NFL, and Jack agrees to investigate. And to top it all off, the wife of Jack’s best friend is found murdered in her bedroom, leaving the husband (Jack's best friend) as the main suspect. With the open-case count at three, the firm closes it’s doors to any more, but that means making an enemy of a local mafia boss. Yikes! And they come to get their revenge at the book’s forty percent mark, but even then, the baddies get more than they bargained for.

Being book one of the series, we learn how the business got started, and we are gifted with a tiny dose of emotion with a cameo appearance from Jack Morgan’s father before he dies in prison. I think the book could have benefited with a larger (background) role for him to play, as well as more (realistic) grieving from the son when we learn what happened to his Dad.

But Mr Patterson’s books have never been big on emotional depth; they are plot driven, action based classics. And as the famous old saying goes, ’if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’

This is clearly a solid beginning to this series. The release is not a new one; I think the book count in PRIVATE is approaching ten by now (May 2015). This one is not rushed by any means, but having just read PRIVATE VEGAS a few short weeks ago the newer books feel smoother and more sophisticated .

But this book is a great read in the James Patterson Genre, so I am happy to give it four solid stars.

BFN Greggorio!
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on 28 October 2014
There are as many clichés in this book as there are plot holes. Apparently really sophisticated crimes that took years to plan and execute get solved in a few days by a couple of guys having a few chats, threatening with fisticuffs and occasionally paying attention to forensics. Nothing run of the mill here either – a fraud case involving millions of dollars, a serial killer on the loose, the main character an incredibly handsome war hero who has incredibly beautiful women quite literally dying of love for him….see what I mean? If you are after something that will actually engage your brain and a plot that does not appear to be churned up in a weekend to generate more money for the author, try something else.
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on 7 February 2011
I can't believe that this book was written by the same person who writes the Alex Cross books, it was terrible. Each (very short) chapter seemed to end on an exclamation and the writing style was awful. It didn't help matters that I had just finished reading Linda Fairstein's Hell Gate which was suberb - properly researched, believable, first rate crime fiction. I am left wondering how much input Patterson has in these books he co-writes?
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on 24 August 2010
Patterson's PI firm 'Private' investigates three main cases:1. Serial killer targeting college girls, 2. The murder of his best friends wife, 3. Mob involvement in sports betting. Each of these sub-plots were not particularly thrilling, but I held on expecting some kind of twist or clever connection. The characters were also quite shallow with Jack having some Afghan war trauma and his twin brother being chased by the mob for gambling. Again I expected these traits to somehow feature in the main story. Overall I finished the book highly disappointed and feel that it was very dis-jointed.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 August 2010
I finished James Patterson's co-written book `Don't Blink' a couple of weeks ago and thought that I would never be able to read a book as bad as that with his name on it. Boy was I was wrong!

First off there are so many plots and sub-plots that you're constantly thinking "Who"? That's just the first gripe. The story itself is told in such a manner that it is almost rushed. You never get to connect with any of the characters because they don't appear for long enough.

Plot wise you would think that a school-girl serial killer and Jack's best friend being murdered would be enough but clearly not for James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. In addition to this we see Jack's twin brother in trouble because he owes the Mob $600,000 as well as American Football Referees fixing matches. In my eyes this sort of level of plot detail is far too much for the style of writing many of his fans are used to.

Jack is the main character and all we seem to hear about is his war-torn past. Now don't get me wrong if it's relevant to the character and/or story then fine, but this just seemed to come across as rambling at times.

In addition to the plot and character problems there is the believable factor. I am fully aware that any fiction novel, especially one with James Patterson as co-writer, will have a certain element of things that are slightly outside the normal realms of life. However, this book really went overboard with the mention of a crime lab owned by Private that is better than the FBI has?!? There are also a number of scenes where Jack randomly turns up at the home of one of the leading figures of the Mob un-announced. I think there was too much of this type of scene which took it from being over the top to laughable.

There are very brief moments where we see Jack's love life come to the forefront. Unfortunately for the ladies in question it is so brief that they probably weren't even aware of it. The story felt rushed, incomplete and totally ridiculous.

All in all I was AGAIN disappointed with a James Patterson book. I still debate in my own mind whether the reason is because JP doesn't contribute to the co-written books that much, or whether I am just tiring of his work. I think it must be the former as recently he has produced a reasonable offering with Worst Case featuring Michael Bennett. Like a fool I have pre-ordered his next book due Postcard Killers which is a co-written book due for release early September 2010. I am pinning my hopes on this particular one a little more as Lisa Marklund is the co-writer and as I understand it, has not co-written with JP before.
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on 10 February 2016
This was probably one of the worst books I have ever read. I struggled through it on holiday, without any real interest in what was happenning. The characters were almost transparent and one dimensional, the plotlines ludicrous and the whole seemed to be an excercise in making money, rather than the desire to write a good book. I won't be touching Patterson and his guest writers books again.
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on 1 March 2013
Book Review: Private by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro 3/5

I have mixed feelings about this book. I'm a James Patterson fan as his books are usually fast paced and I struggle to put them down. This one didn't grab me quite as much. Jack is an ex army guy who still struggles with memories of the war. His dad is in prison but leaves Jack money to continue with his Private investigation agency. They have the best staff and equipment and work for high profile people who trust them to keep their business quiet.

It is a good idea for a book; the problem is that they deal with so many cases all at once. School girls are being murdered, this should have been enough for the plot, but Jack's evil brother also comes into it generally making things difficult for Jack. They also deal with a case for his uncle where referees are fixing football matches (to be honest I had no interest in this particular plot line whatsoever) and a murder case where the wife of Jack's best friend is murdered and his friend is in the frame. Each time one of the cases became interesting the chapter ended and we were with other investigators dealing with one of the other cases. There were so many characters and plot lines I kept stopping to think `who's he? Which case is this one?'

By the end I had warmed up to the book but it still wasn't as exciting as other James Patterson books I have read, the tension didn't really up very much towards the end and there was just too much pushed into the book and not enough depth with any of the cases.

Yes, I will read the next one as it is worth a second look; I just hope it is better than the first.

Gail Jones
author of Family Secrets
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absolutely brilliant, this book takes you right into the heart of the story, you feel as though you are living the plot, twists and turns, hanging on by a thread, absolutely fantastic, as always with James Patterson you simply cannot put it down. A superb read.
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on 18 June 2013
James Patterson can never be accused of writing literary masterpieces. However, in general he normally writes a good fast passed story which keeps you turning the pages.

This is the first in a new series staring Jack Morgan a Private Investigator. The story is well written and covers three investigations. The first two are related around murder and are enthralling and keep you addicted to the next page. The third investigation I found to be unnecessary and actually quite mundane. I actually found myself skipping these portions of the book.

The book is a quick beach read that keeps you entertained and has left me wanting to read the next in the series. Worth a try if you want to be entertained rather than stimulated.
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on 5 August 2012
I have read all the Alex Cross and Womens Murder Club books and am a confirmed JP fan. My wife bought me this book and I flew through it.

This time its a 'Private' investigations company run by Jack, who has to solve 2 murders, a baseball conspiracy, and somehow juggle a crazy twin brother, double love interest, nuisance phone calls, a past that catches up with him, and interference from the Mob! With more technical resources available to him than the police and a great team behind him, can Jack neatly clear all this up in 490 pages? What do you think.

A good read, fast paced, interesting, clear plot, and a new direction for Patterson to go in. I'm about to start Private London, and I'm looking forward to it.
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