Sunday, 19 October 2014

Private L.A. By James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

Out now
Published by Cornerstone
Purchase from Amazon here

The blurb:

Private Jack Morgan investigates the disappearance of the biggest superstar couple in Hollywood.

Thom and Jennifer Harlow are the perfect couple, with three perfect children. They maybe two of the biggest mega movie stars in the world, but they're also great parents, philanthropists and just all-around good people.

When they disappear without a word from their ranch, facts are hard to find. They live behind such a high wall of security and image control that even world-renowned Private Investigator Jack Morgan can't get to the truth. But as Jack keeps probing, secrets sprout thick and fast--and the world's golden couple may emerge as hiding behind a world of desperation and deception that the wildest reality show couldn't begin to unveil. Murder is only the opening scene.

My review:

I am a long time fan of James Patterson and love the various series's he writes. I get quite excited when a book of his is released and am straight to the library to get my hands on a copy.

Private L.A. is the seventh book in the Private series. For anyone unfamiliar with this series, it revolves around Private Investigator Jack Morgan who owns an investigation agency with offices around the world, where they are hired by many high profile clients. Previous books have included Berlin, London and Australia. This book, as the title implies is set in Los Angeles.

Private LA has multiple storylines going on. The main one is the apparent kidnapping of celebrity family the Harlows. The couple and their three children have gone missing and Jack Morgan and his team are called in to investigate.  There are the usual twists and turns...have they been kidnapped? Are they still alive? Who would want to take them? As always, I found myself trying to play detective myself and work out who did it and why. There is a large cast of suspects and motives which kept me pondering throughout.

The second storyline was around a group of terrorists called 'No Prisoners' who are holding the local authority to ransom. This, in my opinion had real potential to be a great storyline of threat and violence, and I might have lost it somewhere along the line, but it never really took off in the way I was expecting which was disappointing.

The other storyline is around Jack's brother who is on trial for murder and definitely involved with the wrong sort. As readers we see Jacks brother trying to involve Jack in the trial. There is definitely legs to keep this running for a while yet. It would feed my curiosity to know more about Jack and his past.

I have to be honest and say that this book didnt engross me in the way previous books have. I am an addict to the Alex Cross series and the Michael Bennett series, but the Private ones just don't seem to captivate me in quite the same way.

Don't get me wrong, it is a good read, and the short chapters are a great way to flit between scenes and the different storylines. But there is just a spark missing for me. It's almost as if there are too many plots going on, which dilutes them all for me.

I love the character of Jack Morgan who is a clever man with an edge to him. But my favourite character is in this book is Justine who works with Jack, and has also had a relationship of sorts with him in the past. I am kind of wanting to knock their heads together to sort themselves out. In this book Justine goes through some dark times and loses it a bit. She is a strong woman who carries everything inside herself and I wanted to read out to help her at certain points, or send Jack to wrap her up and look after her.

The next installment is out now titled Private India and I am hoping to get reading this in the next few weeks.

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