When Jack Morgan opens the Mumbai branch of Private, the world’s most elite detective agency, he hands the reins to top agent Santosh Wagh. Now, in this teeming metropolis of over thirteen million people where the guilty have everywhere to hide, Santosh goes on the hunt for one elusive killer. A killer who is targeting seemingly unconnected women and placing strange objects at their death scenes in a series of chilling rituals.
As the Private team races to find a link that will lead them to the next victim, an unseen menace threatens to destroy the agency from within -and plunge the city into chaos. With countless lives hanging in the balance, Santosh must confront the demons of his past . . . before Private India meets an explosive end.
Someday I will be even more celebrated and they will worship me like a deity.
This story is a collaboration between the world’s bestselling author and a man who can hold his very own in the literary world, Mr. Ashwin Sanghi. However, I can tell that this book was not written by JP as I can’t find any trace of his DNA in the story. I’ll give his involvement 40% given that he worked on character development.
The good? I felt as if I was transported to Mumbai. I felt the people, the pulsing of the street and the eclectic atmosphere that only Sanghi can take credit for. And I love Santosh Wagh.
The bad? Jack Morgan (I’ve never warmed up to this character) and the violence on Private’s end. Also, everything felt jam-packed into one book. Some could’ve been left over for a sequel.
Private India is headed by Santosh Wagh, a brilliant PI with a murky past. He is aided by the beautiful Nisha Gandhe, ex-cop turned PI, Mubeen the medical expert and the macho techie, Hari.
The first ten chapters or so were boring and depressing, but flawed characters were introduced. At times, I felt as if I was reading a history book about India, the goddess Durga and the Thugees.
What we have on our hand is a killer targeting women. 9 in particular as this killer is killing in the 9 stages of the goddess mother Durga. Each victim is garroted with a yellow scarf and left with tokens that represent the goddess during the 9 stages. Sanghi took us around town in Mumbai introducing us to exotic places like the Parsi Tower of Silence in Malabar Hill. Trust me, the Tower of Silence is terrifying!
via Google Images. One cannot see the place unless you’re a Parsi.
Overall, the book was a page-turner (I put my work on hold just to finish this book) with many twists and turns, you may or may not see coming.
I was left disappointed by the ending but it left the premises open for more Santosh Wagh so yes, Patterson and Sanghi, bring it!
Despite falling in love with Santosh Wagh, almost every ‘Private’ story is the same when the lead character is called into question: they’re dealing with a death of a loved one (in this case, Santosh’s son and wife) and they’re enemies with the friend they once were good with (in this case, Rupesh). I had tied in Rupesh and Santogh’s unfortunate story in the early stages of the story as a love triangle. Almost everyone in this story was up to something or living double lives and I loved how every character was tied together in this murderer’s spree.
Some reviewers had trouble reading this book because of the strange names. It’s India. You don’t see names such as Tom, Garth or James getting tossed around often. I often associate India with the exotic and the names suited each character well. The names were easy for me to remember and I had no trouble pronouncing the names at all.
3/5. Before the big reveal, I had put all of the pieces together. Nice try, though, Ashwin.
Santosh was my absolute favorite! He is the Chief of the Indian’s Private firm and he is still battling with many problems. He has an encyclopedic memory and is a history nut who can recite stats at any time. Fascinating! I’m always on the look-out for characters as such. He’s India’s very own Dr. Spencer Reid and I love that he was flawed.
“Your bodies are ready,” announced the police surgeon, opening the door to the refrigerator chamber, like a baker announcing a fresh batch of bread from the oven. (page 45) The writing was well done and I like this baking metaphor.
1/5 … call me whatever you like, but since the story focuses on Mr. Santosh Wagh, an Indian detective should’ve been on the cover.
THEY EXPLODED DURING rush hour.
… because James Patterson didn’t write this novel and I still can’t stand Jack Morgan. I picked up this book despite my lack of love for Jack Morgan because my love for India has no boundaries. 💙