REVIEW by @Fidget78: Private by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

The police can’t help you
Former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily–and his staff of investigators uses the world’s most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.
The press will destroy you
Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multi-million dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of 18 schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home: his best friend’s wife, Jack’s former lover, has been killed. It nearly pushes him over the edge. Instead, Jack pushes back and devotes all of Private’s resources to tracking down her killer.
Only one place to turn: Private
But Jack doesn’t have to play by the rules. As he closes in on the killer and chooses between revenge and justice, Morgan has to navigate a workplace love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans. With a plot that moves at death-defying speeds, Private is James Patterson sleekest, most exciting thriller ever.

What hasn’t been said about James Patterson.  Not much.  I read his books because they are a fast entertaining read.  I am a faithful reader of Women’s Murder Club Series.  They just strike a chord with me and as I said, an undemanding read.  I have tried other of his books and can pretty much take them or leave them.  I do, however, find myself more invested in the story when Maxine Paetro is his “co-author”. 

I picked up this first in the “Private” series because of Maxine Paetro and the premise of the novel hit me in a mood when I felt like reading a quick, interesting book.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Private kept my attention and I felt drawn into the story and the characters.  I especially liked the character, Justine.  She’s a former lover of Morgan’s and still works with the firm.  Justine does seem just a bit too perfect but hopefully as the series progresses, we’ll be introduced to some quirks or something.  She has some good interactions with one of the local cops and hope we see more of the Lieutenant.  Jack is somewhat flawed by his past family relationships and his time spent in Afghanistan.  There’s a lot of back story on Afghanistan and how Jack is dealing with his flash backs.  He is also being phone stalked at all hours of the day and night.  Someone keeps calling and calling and every time Jack picks up the phone, a mechanical voice says, “You’re dead”.  The best part of this by-play is Jack’s response begins to be, “Not yet”. 
I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book authored solely by Mr. Patterson.  I may be missing something, not sure.  Now for the down and dirty.  I enjoyed the novel but wasn’t overly impressed with how it was put together.  It’s listed as a thriller and the thrill just didn’t kick in.  The novel has three, count them, three different story lines going.  Jack is investigating an NFL cheating scandal and needs it to be kept quiet.  Well, the authors could have actually deleted that whole story.  It felt very contrived and just thrown in.  There was no mystery, it was just there.  The other two cases had more promise.  The murder of 18 school girls and the murder of Jack’s best friend’s wife (who happened to be a former lover of Jack’s).  These cases moved along and had the potential to be very good but they were not developed enough and then the book was over with the cases easily tied up and put to bed.  The End.
I just gave you the whole story.  If you like James Patterson, get it from the library first to see if this is worthy of your collection.  I liked the characters just enough that I will continue the series by getting the next book, but by Kindle which is a couple of bucks cheaper.  Some novels are worth the price of a hard cover, this one isn’t.
My rating:
2 1/2 Stars
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