“ Author: James Patterson / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 19 January 2012 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Subcategory: Thriller / Suspense General / Publisher: Cornerstone / Title: Private London / ISBN 13: 9780099553489 / ISBN 10: 0099553489 „
Churn churn churn. I don't think anyone is churning out books as fast as James Patterson is these days. now though, instead of being the sole author, he is combining his talents with others in order to get them on the shelves quickly. I'm not sure whether he does the writing and someone else supplies the plot, vice versa, or whether they share the writing, but nearly everything his name is on these days has someone else's name there too.
Does this lessen the quality of his books. Well no, and mainly because the quality just isn't there. This doesn't mean to say that the book or any of his books are rubbish, though. Let me explain: there's just no plot depth. I can't honestly say I can read any book as fast as Patterson's work and still be reassured I picked everything up, every little clue and every character nuance.
In Private London, we come across the Pond to the UK, where Dan Carter heads up the London office of Private, the most elite private detective agency in the world. They have virtually unlimited resources and money, hence the best gadgetry money can buy and the time that the police can't afford. Working closely with the military and police, they often are the first point of call for those that need them...especially if the client has money.
The book starts with a flashback though, as Hannah Shapiro and her mother are held captive by two men. Private's head bursts through the door too late to save the mother, but the 13 year old Hannah is safe. 6 years later, she is travelling across to the UK and Carter is assigned with her safety. Choosing the daughter of his former military CO to be her company and his 'eyes' proves to be not enough, as Hannah is kidnapped one night.
Thus ensues a vicious and fast paced twisting thriller as Carter and his elite team try to track down Hannah and her captors, battling organ harvesters, gangland bosses and more than just a few grudges. terrorism rears its head, as do bare knuckle fights, various different weapons and the latest in technology. Patterson and his co writer Mark Pearson go all out with the pace, making sure that the majority of the book is full of shallow detail but plenty of it, keeping things moving and the story interesting. There are a lot of twists and turns, little bits here and there to keep you guessing. They keep going right til the end as well.
The characters are endearing as well. As with most Patterson books, the characters have promise but because of the pace of the book and because the words are taken up with action and no depth, these characters never really get a look in. As with most of his books, you're only likely to gain an insight into the characters if they're sustained for more than one book. I know there's a sequel to this, perhaps there'll be more.
It's hard to put this down, but then the chapters are so short (often 3 or 4 pages), the print large compared to a lot of books, and the story very fast and easy to pick up. Easily read in a day or two unless you have much more pressing things to do, I can't say I'm surprised but the quality once again hits home as being easy pickings holiday reading that you can just pass on once read. Worth a read if you fancy a decent entertaining couple of days without much mental effort being used.