Private India - Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson

Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson team up for the first time to create 447 pages of awesome thriller novel, Private India. The book is yet another installment from the best selling Private series by James Patterson. This time around, the destination as the title suggests Private , the World’s largest investigative organization comes to India.

Jack Morgan has hired Santosh Wagh as the head of Private India, who is a former RAW Agent. Santosh is assisted here by former CIA officer Nisha Gandhe, Dr. Mubeen a forensic expert and Hari the technology geek.

The challenge before the team is a serial killer in Mumbai who is on a killing spree, using a yellow scarf as his special weapon. Who is this person? Why does he specially target women? What's the meaning of all the props he painstakingly displays around his victims? Above all, how are all the murders connected to each other?

Most of all the challenges come from within; all team members are battling the war within, with their past and the present. So much so that running away from the past Santosh has taken up heavy drinking. But it is still of little help as the nightmares return, night after night. The past also haunts Mubeen who terribly misses his child and wife, killed by the neo Nazis in America. It is like the pain of the past is a bond that ties the whole team strongly.

The questions are abound but as bodies keep piling up, Santosh and his team are racing against time. The media has picked up on the scent as all dead are seemingly known personalities, a doctor, a media personality being among dead. With seemingly involvement of religious God man, Mumbai underworld Don, and a top lawyer the story has its twists and turns. Adding to the drama is the terrorist organization Indian Mujahideen who is planning a terrorist attack in Mumbai. But how is a serial murder case connected with a terrorist attack? Who is the intended target? Santosh and the team have to fit out the puzzle with the police reluctantly helping them out, seemingly with their own different agendas in mind. Rupesh, the police guy was once the best friend of Santosh, but with time the gap between them has widened. Now they have to bridge this gap to solve the case.

The collaboration in this book seems quite ideal; Ashwin brings in his usual excellence in religious angle thrillers. On the other hand, James brings in his expertise with thrillers and the Private series.
 Combined together, we have a potent combination and a marvelous thriller.
But the book does get predictable in a while. Halfway through the book, I knew who the killer would be and what the climax could be like. Still the pacy narrative and the writing itself keep you hooked up till the end. The ideas are not exactly new but still presented in a unique way.

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