Book Review #196


Hardcover, 385 pages

Published June 28th 2010 by Little Brown and Company (first published June 10th 2010)

Original Title



0316096156 (ISBN13: 9780316096157)

Edition Language



Private #1


Jake Morgan, Justine Smith, Colleen Malloy, Emilio Cruz


LOVED it! One of my favorite Patterson books ever! THIS is the Patterson we know and love!! I really hope that this turns into a new series like Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club. I truly loved all the characters and the story was dynamite!

About the Book:

Jack Morgan is a former CIA Agent and Marine who inherited Private Investigations, a firm who does first-class investigations for the elite, the rich, and the famous. Private has top-of-the-line equipment, a plethora of staff members who will work 24/7 to get things done, and a multimillion-dollar forensics lab that is better equipped and faster than anything at the LAPD or FBI.

In this book, Jack’s team of investigators and analysts are involved in several cases, but I was not confused at all while reading. I thought I might be when I started reading about one case and then the story shifted to another case, and then another case; but I wasn’t. The transitions were seamless and I didn’t forget what was going on and was able to pick right back up with each case as it came up in the story.

With that said, the three cases that Private is working on are: (1) the death of Jack’s best friend’s wife, Shelby; (2) the Schoolgirls killings; and (3) an NFL gambling fix. All cases are unique and interesting in their own right. Being a huge football fan, I was really intrigued by the NFL storyline case in this book.

Case #1: Jack’s best friend, Andy, calls Jack to tell him that he has found his wife, Shelby, dead in their home. Jack is dumbfounded and upset and tries desperately to figure out the answers. This leads to some very shocking revelations about Shelby and Andy. I really loved this case – lots of suspense, trying to figure out “whodunit” and being completely wrong!! Lots of shocking moments that left me on the edge of my seat!

Case #2: Justine Smith is a shrink, a forensic profiler, and the second in command at Private. She has been working the Schoolgirls case for the past two years. High school girls are being killed in a variety of different methods with a trophy taken from each girl and later left for the authorities to find, with no prints or means to trace the killer. At their wits end and with a public outcry to find this monster, the LAPD and the DA approved Private to work the case as a public service – pro bono. Justine and Emilio Cruz – a gifted investigator at Private with a bulldog-like personality – try to sort through the evidence, interviewing old witnesses, and retesting old forensic samples in their state of the art lab, hoping for a break in the case. What they discover is shocking and sickening.

Case #3: The NFL gambling fix case was really intriguing. I loved how this case was laid out, investigated, and wrapped up. It probably took up the fewest number of pages in the book, but it was my favorite case! Someone seems to be throwing games – for big payoffs. But, who is behind it? And why? Jack and his investigating partner, Del Rio, are on the case, determined to find answers.

Mixed in with the cases, as always, we have to have a little romance and some nookie here and there. Jack had a relationship with Justine in the past and is currently having fun with his receptionist at Private. Jack’s personal life is like a roller coaster. He is haunted by dreams of the time he was in Afghanistan and actually died, but was brought back to life by his fellow Marine, Del Rio. He keeps having flashes of something he missed and is trying desperately to put the pieces together so he can move on with his life. It doesn’t help that he receives daily phone calls telling him, “You’re dead, Jack.” Add to it a father who is in jail and a brother with a huge debt and hates Jack with a passion, and you have a novel ripe with a deep and emotional character.

The characters in this book are fantastic and I loved them all. I really hope we get to see lots more of Private in the future because this is the Patterson I love. One of his best book ever – I definitely recommend it!


Author: mccullum001

I'm a 27 year old, who really doesn't know what I want to do...I have the education, but nothing to show for it...Stay Tuned!!!

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