And the long awaited Private series is finally here in India. This time its Ashwin Sanghi teamed up with international bestseller James Patterson. Private is one of the world’s finest detective agencies headed by Jack Morgan worldwide, with Santosh Wagh being its Indian head. Santosh is an ex-police officer with a drinking habit and a disconsolate past. Aided by a team comprising Nisha Gandhe: also an ex-cop turned attractive Private Investigator, Mubeen: the medical expert and Hari being the unusual techie with a yet muscular body.
The story starts with a rather strange murder of a Thai surgeon Kanya Jaiyen in India’s financial capital of Mumbai. Murders follow one after the other; The Afternoon Mirror reporter, School Headmistress, Chief Justice of Mumbai High Court and so on, all strangled with a yellow garrote and surrounded by strange cultural artifacts. As the story proceeds, they discover that the killer is more of a hunter who’s on a killing spree. Apart from bringing out the psychopath and block off any further killings, Santosh needs to save Mumbai from the much larger threats that await him and his team. Not blanking out the part of his dealings with the self. A typical murder mystery with some splattering of the Indian mythology that will definitely keep you guessing till the very end.
Pace of the story: the fast pace of narration well serves its purpose.
Soliloquy: The chapters bearing the killer’s soliloquy further add to the thrill.
Variations in sub plots: not restricted to the main plot with the entry of ISI, Indian Mujahideen and the local Don. A definite page turner having flecks of India’s all time burning bread-and-butter issues including gambling, prostitution, smuggling, terrorism and so on; all happening in the city of Mumbai.
Descriptions: Well researched advanced technologies and the gizmos with all long detailed descriptions for the tyros.
The ending: The mystery was something I couldn’t puzzle out till I just read it. That is how well it has been sketched. And the way Private India, by connecting the dots, traces the killer is amazing.
Unimposing Characterization: Yes, the book is fast paced and though well written, but the characterization? Oh boy. Not even the main characters were any good in making a lasting impact at any point of the story.
And to capitalize the flaws, here we have the Mumbai police giving all the authority to a private agency just like that. Just a request. That’s it! All because the Mumbai Police found themself loaded down with too many responsibilities
Poor research over the Thuggee tribe, which felt more of a wearisome lecture than what it was meant to be.
Despite the minor blemishes that you may pick apart, Private India is an unputdownable, one time read and you won’t break off before its page 448. All in all, it’s a fair read and all you need is to give it a go.
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