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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Private: Berlin by James Patterson and... (Private #5)

Private Berlin (Private #5)Private Berlin by James Patterson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read as an audio book.


Chris Schneider is a superstar agent at Private Berlin, Germany headquarters for the world's most powerful investigation firm. He keeps his methods secret as he tackles Private's most high-profile cases-and when Chris suddenly disappears, he becomes Private Berlin's most dangerous investigation yet.


Mattie Engel is another top agent at Private Berlin, gorgeous and ruthlessly determined-and she's also Chris's ex. Mattie throws herself headfirst into finding Chris, following leads to the three people Chris was investigating when he vanished: a billionaire suspected of cheating on his wife, a soccer star accused of throwing games, and a nightclub owner with ties to the Russian mob. Any one of them would surely want Chris gone-and one of them is evil enough to want him dead.


Mattie's chase takes her into Berlin's most guarded, hidden, and treacherous places, revealing secrets from Chris's past that she'd never dreamed of in the time they were lovers. On the brink of a terrifying discovery, Mattie holds on to her belief in Chris-in the face of a horror that could force all of Europe to the edge of destruction and chaos.

Jacket blurb is a bit overly dramatic....
 In this installment, the plot's focus is in Berlin, a city 20 years from the fall of The Wall, but still keenly feeling the dark hand of communism. Mattie's ex-fiance and co-worker, Chris, is missing. When Private activates his locator chip, they find it in the teeth of a rat in an abandoned slaughterhouse. Further investigation reveals a bone yard along with the more recent remains of Chris and another person. Before more can be done, the slaughterhouse is blown up. As Mattie and Private start to dig into Chris's past they find out there are more secrets than answers.

I enjoyed this with some caveats: I stopped listening to the antagonist Faulk (not sure about spelling) about 1/3 of the way through. Once I got the gist of the depths of his warped and twisted being and knew where he was going, I had enough. Since the chapters are so short, it wasn't a problem to skip and I never really felt that I missed anything. Faulk was cleaning up loose ends, not hard to figure out who was next in line.

Being an audio book, some of the acronyms were difficult to remember simply because I couldn't go back to look them up or see them for a visual reference.

I appreciated how our female protagonist did not run around like so many cozy mystery heroines tend to do, rushing headlong into situations without back-up, being a self-selected investigator, and generally unrealistic. Mattie behaved like the cop she was, pushed when pushing needed, agreeing to hold back when advised to do so, and using the resources at her disposal. Except for one instance of a car chase in Frankfurt, she was a solid, realistic character.

Overall, a good installment in the Private series. I still don't like knowing what the antagonist is doing, but those chapters are at least short and easily skipped without affecting the story. Recommended if you like quick suspense mysteries.

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