Private Games is a mystery/thriller from the pens of James Patterson and Mark Sullivan. The story is centered against the backdrop of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games scheduled to be held in London, England this summer. The investigation firm, Private, has been hired to provide security for the Olympics. One of their agents, Peter Knight, soon finds himself in the investigation of the murder of a key member of the Olympic Games organization committee.
The murderer, or at least a person called Cronus who has claimed responsibility for the murder, claims that he is determined to restore the Olympics to their former glory. He is especially determined to eliminate anyone, include athletes, who cheats, uses performance enhancing drugs, or otherwise demeans the nature and spirit of the Olympics. He sends his manifesto to Karen Pope, a newspaper reporter who joins forces with Knight to solve the murder. As the body count rises, the two find that they cannot do it alone, and lend their support to Scotland Yard, in an attempt to help prevent things from spiraling into total anarchy.
Private Games has a solid, chilling premise, but I found its execution to be faulty. I found the story jumpy, inconsistent, and far below Patterson normal standards of excellency. With these co-authored books, it is hard to tell if Patterson did any actual writing or not, but if this was truly a joint effort, the two authors' segments do not mesh well together, if there was just one author, they should have done a bit more work on smoothing out the rough edges of the story.
This is not to say that you should avoid this book. It is a fine book to listen to, or read, on a plane or in the car when you cannot or don't want to, devote all your concentration to a story. The audio edition is read by Paul Panting, who does a stellar job. Most important, the story does contain a lot of action, which may help keep your interest. It also has a nice, albeit deadly tie in, with upcoming events. However, overall, I did not fine the plot to be very plausible, I did not care, one way or another, what happened to any of the characters, and the entire novel felt that it had been a 'rush-job' without a lot of preplanning devoted to developing the storyline, and with even less time devoted to editing the story to make it readable. A decent editing job would have greatly improved this story!
If I were to rate this, I'd give it a neutral three out of five stars. It is not Patterson's worse work, but neither is it his best. The pluses are that you don't have to read any of the earlier books in the series to understand what is going on, and it has enough action to hold your interest if you don't pay close attention to the story line. In addition, if you are a hard core Patterson fan, it is, of course, a must read.
Private, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro.
Former US Marine Jack Morgan runs Private, an investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion...
Run for Your Life, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.
In this chilling novel, a calculating killer is taking on New York City, killing the powerful and the arrogant. His message is clear: remember your manners or suffer the consequences! Can Detective Mike Bennett stop this demonic killer?