Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Private Games by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan (Private, #3) - Book Review

4/5 Stars




Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 409
Chapters: 120 (Plus a prologue and an epilogue.)
Publisher: Century

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


Anyone looking for a thriller with a diverse cast that's focused on the Olympics in London? Or maybe the real question is how could you not be?

Private Games is another stellar roller-coaster ride driven by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan. Topping its predecessor, this entry tightens things back into form, giving the reader a heart-pounding journey that doesn't require much mental gymnastics. 

The cast is comprehensive and compelling; the structure is solid and suspenseful; and the massive events within the novel are often smart and always thrilling.


Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

Peter Knight's plate is more than full, it's overflowing.
With his new promotion making him the head of Private London and one of the central figures in securing London's Olympic Games, the weight might just be too much.
Especially when you're a single dad with twins at home.
But when a member of the organising committee for the Games is found decapitated, fear sets in for the safety of thousands of people.
One thing's for sure.
Someone intends to destroy the Games...

Plot - 4/5 Stars

Private Games opts to stay in the same location as its predecessor Private London, and for good reason. Set in 2012, Patterson and Sullivan make good use of the Olympic Games to create a wide-scale thriller. I adore this series for its ability to make its world feel massive and physical, thanks in large part to the organisation Private and its worldwide limbs.

If you're following the series by release, like I am, and you've come from Private London, you might be wondering where the hell is that entry's protagonist, Dan Carter. Well, the authors answer this question. It does feel rather like they just wanted to reset the board and work with new characters, but luckily the cast works.

Private Games, from beginning to end, builds a beguiling threat. The severity is perfectly highlighted many times, and the threat itself is not to any select individuals exclusively, but to the entire camaraderie surrounding the Games. The authors plan and execute big, ensuring they exude and capitalise on the spirit inherent in the Olympics and what the entire event stands for.

It's a complex tale that utilises some smart moves which don't sacrifice its easy-going aura. Shocking twists and turns pepper the novel, and the authors paint a vivid picture that continues to escalate right up to the fiery finale.

There are a few inconsistencies in regards to the Games, but the overall detail is fantastic.

Pace - 4/5 Stars

A high-octane flow promises to keep those pages turning.

Characters - 4/5 Stars

I was initially disappointed with the brand new cast after just getting attached to Private London's gang, and I do feel the plot surrounding Dan Carter and his crew's deaths is quite the cop-out, but I eventually came around.

Peter Knight is a great lead. He's someone who acknowledges just how out of his depth he is in his new role as head of Private's London offices. He's genuine and easily attached to emotionally. His family dynamics are integral and welcome parts of the story, and they help offset the lone-wolf protagonists thus far.

The rest of this novel's lineup is pretty diverse. Character interactions and relationships prove to be interesting rather than just fluff, and most have interesting progressions. We even have original main character Jack Morgan as a secondary member of the cast, and I can't wait to jump back into his shoes in the next entry.

Patterson and Sullivan also make an intriguing choice by writing our protagonist in third-person narration and our villain in first. It gives us some wonderful insights and thrills, even if the villain does come across as a little cheesy.

Writing - 4/5 Stars

An improvement over Private London's ravaged structure, Private Games returns to Patterson's page-turning affair, with short chapters that feel natural rather than jagged.

Overall - 4/5 Stars

Keep your eyes peeled for my review of the next instalment, Private No. 1 Suspect, where I'm avidly awaiting returning to Private's owner Jack Morgan.

Previous Instalment: Private London
Next Instalment: Private No. 1 Suspect

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