Published by Cornerstone
Purchase from Amazon here
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…
Aha, great! Another book in the Private series by James Patterson and co-writers. This time James is writing in collaboration with Ashwin Sanghi and the book is set in India, in the offices there owned by Jack Morgan.
We meet Santosh Wagh who manages the India base, which is hidden within an office block and should be impenetrable to the outside world. Santosh likes more than the occasional drink, and has turned to the bottle regularly. It is clear that something sad has happened to Santosh but we don't hear the story for quite a while into the story, and so are left to build up our own ideas of what happened and how we view Santosh. He has been bought in to head up the India branch by Jack Morgan. Having read the earlier books in the series and building up an affinity for Jack I assumed that he would be a good judge of character and just went with it. I did find myself questioning his competency more and more as the book went on though.
We open with a hotel cleaner stumbling across a murder scene. Santosh and Private India are called in by the hotel but it becomes apparent that they also need to enlist the local police. Both parties agree to work together and we are introduced to a number of characters on both sides, from detectives to medical examiners.
The bodies soon begin to mount up and it becomes clear that there is a serial killer on the loose who appears to be following some form of ritual when it comes to killing. All the victims are women, all are laid out with various relics, and a yellow scarf is left at each crime scene. The clock is ticking to solve the murders and catch the killer before more murders take place.
I did enjoy this book. I found it easy to read and as I would expect spent time playing detective myself trying to work out who the killer was. Some of the characters weren't very likeable and I wanted them to be guilty. I found it hard to build an affinity to Santosh as his drinking and attitude annoyed me. I didn't find him a great detective for lots of the story. However, when I found out what had happened to him, and as the book drew to a close I kind of changed my opinion.
I missed Jack Morgan from this book. He does feature but no where near as much as in other books in the series. For me the Private series is Jack Morgan and so it takes some time to get to know new main characters. That said I liked moving round and enjoyed India as a backdrop.
The storyline was fast paced and so moved quite quickly. There was a point halfway through where I got slightly lost, but I soon got back into it and the action as it builds to a climax kept me up reading late into the night. I really liked the ending and felt it bought it all together in a great way.
I am a massive James Patterson fan, and love the Private series so am really looking forward to getting hold of a copy of Private Vegas and getting stuck in.
Thank you to Cornerstone who provided a copy in return for an honest review.