Private Moscow by James Patterson and Adam Hamdy

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Private Moscow, the latest book in the Private series by James Patterson, this time in partnership with Adam Hamdy. My thanks to publisher Century who provided the advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Advance Reader Copy

About the Book

An invitation from an old friend draws Jack Morgan into a deadly conspiracy . . .

On a cold January morning, Jack Morgan stands inside the New York Stock Exchange with his former US Marine comrade whose company is being launched onto the market, eagerly awaiting the opening bell.

But before the bell rings, a bullet rips through the air and finds its mark.

In the aftermath of the murder, the victim’s wife hires Jack to find the killer. As the head of Private, Jack has at his disposal the world’s largest investigation agency. What he discovers shakes him to his core.

Jack identifies another murder in Moscow that appears to be linked. So he heads to Russia, and begins to uncover a conspiracy that could have global consequences.

With powerful forces plotting against him, will Jack Morgan make it out alive?

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Hive | Googleplay | Apple Books

My Thoughts

Okay. Confession time. If you have read any of my other reviews of authors who have been writing for more than six months, this may not come as much of a shock to you, but I will say it all the same. This is the first book I have read by either James Patterson OR Adam Hamdy. It is not the first book I have owned by either author, and I’ve seen the Alex Cross, Morgan Freeman movies, so I know who James Patterson is, and Adam Hamdy (as I found out to my own embarrassment) is a very local to me author, so I know who he is too. I’ve just not actually read their work before. And, more importantly, I’ve not read any of the Private series before, a series that James Patterson has been co-authoring for what is now 15 books.

Yes. This is book 15 in the series. I haven’t read the other 14 … Whoops. But it genuinely doesn’t matter because, as I found at when I read it, it works perfectly well as a standalone, and you get detailed enough recaps on who the main players are in order to be able to fall right into the middle of the action and get swept away by it all. I certainly was. Maybe it is because it is a series that has been co-authored, where the second chair changes consistently as it means that while the central characters may remain, the story is always fresh.

I do love a good action thriller and, for me, Private Moscow had it all. Plenty of chases, short, fast paced chapters, brilliant characters you both loved and hated (although not at the same time) and an intricate and carefully constructed plot which keeps you guessing right to the very end. Jack Morgan is the owner of Private, a global chain of Private Investigation firms who handle some very complex cases for their clients. This time around though, Jack isn;t just investigating the case – he is part of it. Right at the very beginning of the book, Jack is thrown into action as his close friend and mentor is assassinated in front of him. From that point on this case is personal, although no-one can tell just how personal it will become for Jack and the rest of his team. The action takes us from the streets (and trading floors) of New York, to the cold streets of Moscow, with a case of corruption and conspiracy that will push Jack to the limit. And I loved it.

As I said before, the pacing of this book is spot on. The authors give you just enough to keep you on tenterhooks, the chapters short but full of action, leaving you with that just one more chapter feel that you really do need from an action thriller. I found myself left with loads of questions at each turn of the page, wondering just where and how they plot threads would pull back together. You can slowly see a picture emerging but as soon as you think you know what is really going on, another bombshell is dropped and you have to quickly rewind your thinking. It’s the kind of story tat left me with a smile of satisfaction, and a sense of sadness, but only because I now know what a treat I have missed not reading the first fourteen books. Guess what I’ll be asking Santa for this christmas!

The characters in this book are brilliant. Each voice is unique and the way in which they speak and act feels truly authentic. From the very start of the book I found myself warming to Jack Morgan,even though I knew little about him. Perhaps because a large portion of the book is told from first person POV with Jack as the main focus, but I really did feel that trust and that sense that this was a person I would gladly go on an adventure with. It is great to see a wealth of strong female characters throughout the book too, so well crafted that they could easily carry the story on their own which, in the case of Dinara Orlova, head of the Moscow Private office, was vital as she had to carry half of the story focus on her shoulder. Well hers and her colleague Leonid. Old school, gruff, not in the least bit politically correct (although perhaps he was by Russian standards), I really liked Leonid too. He was the kind of character who could wind you up with his actions, but whose loyalties and morales were all set in the right place. Dinara was work focused, strong, determined, but very human – perfectly balanced as a character and a joy to get to know.

Setting is all important in these kinds of novels and whether it was New York, Long Beach or Moscow, you really got a sense of where you were and of the differing politics and cultures that surrounded each location. Add to that the authors’ skill in creating tension and you have the perfect action thriller combo. I was actually sad when the book finished, and it is the first book in a while that I have torn through without finding myself distracted. Do I recommend it? Well if you like action thrillers, or fast paced, mystery and intrigue laden novels with brilliant characters then absolutely. I can’t compare it to what came before in the series, but I can tell you that this is one hell of a story that grabs you from the beginning and won’t let go.

About the Authors

JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. His books have sold in excess of 385 million copies worldwide. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past two decades – the Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, Detective Michael Bennett and Private novels – and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers.

James is passionate about encouraging children to read. Inspired by his own son who was a reluctant reader, he also writes a range of books for young readers including the Middle School, Dog Diaries, Treasure Hunters and Max Einstein series. James has donated millions in grants to independent bookshops and has been the most borrowed author in UK libraries for the past thirteen years in a row. He lives in Florida with his wife and son.

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ADAM HAMDY is a British author and screenwriter who works with studios and production companies on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the author of the Pendulum trilogy, an epic series of conspiracy thriller novels. Pendulum was a finalist for the Glass Bell Award for contemporary fiction, was selected for BBC Radio 2 Book Club and chosen as book of the month by Goldsboro Books. Adam’s most recent novel, Black 13, has been described as a scorching contemporary espionage thriller. 

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