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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Private: Down Under by James Patterson (Private #7)

Private: Oz (Private #7)Private: Oz by James Patterson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: The world's most exclusive detective agency opens a new office - in Australia!
With the best detectives in the business, cutting edge technology and offices around the globe, there is no investigation company quite like Private. Now, at a glittering launch party overlooking the iconic Opera House, Private Sydney throws open its doors . . .

Craig Gisto and his newly formed team have barely raised their glasses, however, when a young Asian man, blood-soaked and bullet-ridden, staggers into the party, and what looks like a botched kidnapping turns out to be a whole lot more.

Within days the agency's caseload is full. But it is a horrific murder in the wealthy Eastern Suburbs and the desperate search for a motive that stretches the team to the limit. Stacy Friel, friend of the Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police, isn't the killer's first victim - and as the bodies mount up she's clearly not the last . . .

Read as an audio book.

The Private books are cookie cutter stories where the men are all handsome and have some kind of tragic past where they've lost a wife/child/girlfriend; and the women are all tall, with flat tummies, long legs, luscious hair and are all drop dead gorgeous; and the plots are repetitive.

Sensing a trend? Yup, I have.

Still, these make for a good commute book, vacation read, or just flat out brain candy where I can zone out for a while.

This installment has three parallel mysteries spooling out at the same time:
Craig, new head of Private: Sydney, is at the companies kick-off party when a bloodied and bound man staggers in and collapses, dead, in the middle of the soiree. The tortured man is actually the son of a respected Chinese businessman in Sydney, who hires Private to figure out who did this to his son.

Johnny and forensics expert Darlene are given the job of investigating Australian rock star Mickey's manager. Mickey believes his manager is going to kill him on his 27th birthday because he'd be worth more dead than alive, because Mickey would join the fabled "Club 27".

Craig also has the job of finding out who is killing the rich women in Bellview Hills (sp? "read" this as an audio book), an investigation that puts him in close contact with his cousin, Mark. Mark hates Craig, and has since they were 10. But the police chief said the department would work with Private on this case so Craig and Mark have no choice in the matter.

I enjoyed mysteries in this installment. And again, the reader knows who the antagonist is, knows what steps they are making, but unlike Private: Berlin, it didn't squick me out. Following the antagonist was interesting, not appallingly disturbing.

What I didn't care for were all the various and sundry loose ends that were left waving in the wind like a tattered flag and the half arsed resolutions:

  • Craig's "love affair" with Justine, Jack's not really a girlfriend/girlfriend/ex-fiance. There was excessive pontificating by Craig on Justine's stunning beauty when she arrived in Sydney, at the Private kick-off party, and through out the book. . Justine was involved at the start of the rich women's murders, touching gestures and google eyes with Criag, then...fell right out of the book until she boarded a plane for LA at the end and she cried. They didn't do anything!
  • The kidnapping and killing of Ho Meng's son. Ho Meng knew who had done it, so why all the beating around the bush to hire Private? Poor resolution to a no-mystery mystery.
  • Mark's 30 yeas of animosity toward Craig just suddenly resolved over a hospital bed? I don't think so
  •  Craig driving Justine to the airport a week after he released from hospital for a knife wound to the abdomen that nicked a colon. Authors - please consult with a medical doctor or nurse.
  • How the hell did Craig and - I forget which character - get locked inside an apartment? Door lock people out, not in. 
  • There's no way in heck the protagonist could have made and tossed a homemade Molotov cocktail in a darkened shed, bombed an apartment, run up and down stairs and slashed four tires in the time period indicated.
  • Even with the issues I noted above, I still enjoyed this installment more than some of the others. It's a great commute read and would be perfect for vacation or a very lazy weekend read. Just...don't expect much from these books other than entertainment.

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