05 October, 2012

#BookReview :: Private Games by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan

July 2012: The Games have arrived in London. Preparations have gone flawlessly and the stage is set for one of the greatest ever showcases of sporting excellence. But one man has a devastating plan. Having waited years for this chance, he is now ready for vengeance. When Sir Denton Marshall, a key member of the London Olympic organising committee, is found decapitated in his garden, Peter Knight, head of Private London, is called to the scene. Private are working with the organising committee on the security for the Games, so Denton Marshall was a valuable client. But there is a more personal link: Marshall was also the fiance of Knight's mother. Having only recently lost close friends and colleagues at Private London in a fatal plane crash, this is another torturous blow for Knight and threatens to push him over the edge. But it soon becomes clear that Denton Marshall's murder is no isolated incident, and that the killer's number one target is the Games itself. As the most talented athletes in the world gather in London, Knight knows he must find Sir Denton's killer. Thousands of lives are at stake...

The year is 2012. The Location is London and the backdrop is that of Olympic Games. Can things get any bigger? Huge number of agents has been assigned to the security detail of anybody who is somebody at the games. They are the best at what they do and have the latest technology to back them up. A high ranking games official is brutally murdered and a man named Cronus sends a letter to a reporter Karen Pope claiming responsibility.  Peter Knight gets involved in this case twice over as not only this was important to him professionally, but he also has a personal interest. With too much at stake, Peter cannot under any circumstances rule this as a mere co-incidence. Together with Karen, Knight has to discover the identity of the killer before it is too late.

I am a huge Alex Cross fan but it has been quite a while since I last picked up James Patterson Novel. Reading ‘Private Games’ almost managed to remind me why I liked his work so much.  Though Peter Knight is no Alex Cross and doesn’t completely fit the general profile of private investigators - he is definitely an interesting character. Overall, the way he handled the case was quite impressive but few of his mistakes were very amateurish making me think ‘Oh Come on!’

Obviously with Olympic Games in London, the backdrop of this book is HUGE.  Just as the thought of Olympic Games create an image of grandeur in my mind and this novel helped me to picturise it even more clearly. It had the glamour, the adrenaline, and the nerves – whatever feelings that come with an event like this. Mystery fanatics like me may be able to guess out the mystery part, but that does not actually take the charm out of the book. In this case, the journey is eventful enough to keep you going even though you know what to expect at the destination. And the climax was too… I do not know how to explain exactly without giving any spoilers. So let me just say the climax was a bit too implausible for me. The storyline was fast paced and the author has taken care to try and keep the readers engrossed within the pages with doses of mystery, action and psychosis.

To round it off, it turned out to be a pretty mediocre book, certainly not something I expect with the cover that says James Patterson on the front. Well, he has set the bar of expectations so high for himself that he is bound to miss it at times. I would not probably go out of my way to recommend this book but at the same time I would not advice not reading it. 


  1. On one hand I'm kind of surprised that such big name author failed to deliver. On the other though, I'm not much of a Patterson fan.

  2. Mediocre? I have heard so much praise!


    1. Its only mediocre compared to his own standards... Still better than a lot of books out there.