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Private Games - James Patterson

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Author: James Patterson / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 19 July 2012 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Subcategory: Thriller / Suspense General / Publisher: Cornerstone / Title: Private Games / ISBN 13: 9780099568735 / ISBN 10: 0099568735 / Alternative EAN: 9781846059735

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      03.03.2013 12:48
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      Standard entertaining throwaway thriller from Patterson

      Contrary to what this title may make you think, this has no connotations towards being an adult only product, however it may be considered an adult only book. One of the seemingly millions of James Patterson books that hit the shelves on a regular basis, this is part of a group of books that features private security agency Private. This particular novel focuses on the 2012 Olympic Games, and how a madman is trying to ruin them with a spate of attacks on athletes and officials who have hidden and unethical approaches.

      We first get introduced to the hero of the book, Private's Peter Knight, but it's not long before you realise that it is a sort of sequel to Private London, so if you haven't read that one then be aware that there are spoilers in this book relating to the previous book. Before that though, we see the prologue, where key Olympics figure Sir Denton Marshall is decapitated by the mysterious madman who called himself Cronus after the mythical Titan who ate his old children. The book then follows a sequence where we get the occasional back story from first person narrative from Cronus, all the while his identity kept secret, as he goes through his life and recruits three eastern European sisters as his assassins, calling them the Furies, more mythology included.

      I like how the Greek mythology and the history of the Olympics teeters towards shunning the modern focal points of the Olympics of finance and fame, whereas the original Ancient Olympics were all about feats of strength and ability. It's a key element that mirrors the way the media is portrayed in the book. Aside from one of the key heroines, the Sun's Karen Pope, all media is given a wide berth and revealed as being an annoyance, something which is often talked about generally today. It's also clear that it's written from an American perspective though and for a predominantly American audience, as it's quite stereotypical in its descriptions and portrayal of all things British here, right down to the names of people (Sir Denton Marshall as the first victim, for example).

      As the book progresses, we get further acts of violence and deaths, and Knight's personal life is also brought into things. There is plenty of tension and fast pace, which is pretty much the main appeal of Patterson books. These days, the vast majority of his books are also co-written with a wide range of authors. Mark Sullivan is the co-author here, although if I'm honest there's no real change from the earlier style of the first few Alex Cross books, where there's a mysterious villain who may or may not be someone we have already passed off as a good guy/girl, there are short chapters for easy picking up and putting down whenever you want, and there are also plenty of twists and turns with action on every page.

      There is no depth at all to this. Everything is given a shallow treatment, and this is probably what makes this ridiculously easy to read. A day or two is plenty of time to take this all in, as the sentences and paragraphs are swift and simply written. This format has served the author well and so there is no need to change things. I usually use this sort of book to provide an easy read between tougher more detailed books, and while I do enjoy them, it's trashy crime thriller stuff that is perfect holiday reading material that you can pick up and throw away in the blink of an eye. I do find it somewhat tricky to remember what I have and haven't read of his, but the sheer volume of publications means that there'll always be one I haven't read yet. This one has the usual pace and enjoyment, so worth a read.


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