Title: Private India
Authors: Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson
Publisher: Arrow Books
Number of pages: 470
Price: Rs. 193 on Amazon
I read a lot books. But I have never reviewed any books. But “Private India” made me curious and I couldn’t stop myself from signing up to review this book. I have not read any of the previous books in the Private series. But reading mysteries is something I like to do and after reading the gist of the book, I wanted to read this book all the more.
My first worry when I received the book was whether I would be able to finish reading the book within 7 days. Reading a book of 470 pages within 7 days when you have really busy schedule is daunting task indeed. Luckily, I did manage to finish reading it!
This book is one of the books in James Patterson’s series of Private books. Private is an international detective agency and the story in this book revolves around the Indian branch of Private- Private India. Private India is headed by Santosh Wagh, an ex RAW official who is battling the demons of his past. When he isn’t busy solving cases he is battling an alcohol addiction. Santosh’s team has Nisha Gandhe- the beautiful detective, Mubeen- the medical examiner and Hari- the techie guy.
The story is set in Mumbai. The team is supposed to solve a case- a queer one! A serial killer is on a killing spree. The targets? All women. And there seems to be no connection between these women. A doctor, a journalist, a school principal, a singer, a director, a yoga trainer, a politician, a judge! The fact that they were all killed using a yellow scarf is what connects the murders. And then there are strange objects at the sight of each murder. The objects are arranged around the body change at every murder. Sometimes it is a doll, and some other time a dozen eggs, or a tiger skin on a particular occasion. The props vary! But these props are the dots that need to be connected to solve the mystery.The Mumbai police are also involved in the investigations and work or rather seem to work together with Private India to solve the case. There is also another dimension to the story with the terror angle thrown in.
The best thing about this book is its fast pace. The story moves quickly and so does the curiosity in the reader. Things that looked unconnected begin to play a significant role in the investigation. The book does make an interesting read. I couldn’t stop myself from turning the pages to know what happens next. The language is simple and that makes it an easy read. Though I loved the main story, I feel that the terror angle was not necessary. The mystery of the multiple murders itself was sufficient for the story. The writers of the book have done a good job with the research. The facts regarding Mumbai are properly represented especially the working of the Police. There were a few lines in the book that I love to hate. I also did not like the part where Santosh was talking to the killer’s mind every now and then in the book.
Overall the book is great read. It is difficult to guess who the killer is until the very end. And that keeps the reader going. I feel the book could be shortened. There were a few things that seemed repetitive. A good book, but definitely it could be improved! I would give it a 3.5/5.