Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the 16th book in the Private series, Private Rogue by James Patterson and Adam Hamdy. This is the second outing for the pairing, coincidentally also the second book I have read in the series, and I have to say I’m loving it. My thanks to publisher Century/Cornerstone who furnished me with an early copy. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
We will take on any case, solve any crime, uncover any secret.
We are Private. And we’re the best.
In Afghanistan, an experienced pilot is shot down during a covert mission. The man survives the crash, but is pursued into the mountains by Russian operatives.
In New York, a wealthy businessman hires Jack Morgan to track down his daughter, who has gone missing along with her two children. But it is more than a missing persons case, the daughter has been linked to the murder of two men.
Jack finds the missing daughter and discovers that she is being pursed, and killed two of her pursers in her escape. Jack takes the woman and her children into his protection, but now he is harbouring a wanted murderer.
As Jack discovers more of the backstory of this woman and her children, he realises the only way to clear her name is for him to head to Afghanistan, and face the traumatic memories of his own time there serving as a US Marine many years ago.
I think that I have to count amongst my biggest regrets the fact that when I started reading again in earnest a few years ago, I didn’t rekindle my old obsession with action thrillers. I definitely regret not having found this series sooner as, two books out of sixteen in, I am hooked. Heck, I was there after Private Moscow, but if there was any doubt then Private Rogue has blown it to smithereens. Which is not a bad comparison given how this book starts. The grounding (understatement) of a team of US Special Forces operatives who have been sent to Afghanistan on a rescue mission then. ends in complete and utter devastation. Only one person survives and they well and truly have a target on their back.
High action, tense and with such urgency inherent in the text that if I had any belief I was in for an early night, that was also gone. I devoured this book in two sittings, getting over half way through in one evening before finally admitting that sleep might be good for my soul, if not my impatience to find out what was going on. But, tense as the opener was, it was only part of the story. The Private series is about a global team of private investigators after all and, best will in the world, they generally have bugger all to do with the Special Forces ops. So cut to Jack Morgan and his team who are engaged to find a missing family, a search which isas fraught with danger as a trip to the Afghan mountain ranges as it turns out.
Split between action in upstate New York and the inhospitable mountain ranges on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, the book absolutely gallops along. The writing is tight, the plot full of intrigue and pulse pounding moments that kept me completely invested in what I was reading and most definitely kept sleep at bay. The chapters are short, pacy, each one leaving readers with a kind of cliffhanger that makes it virtually impossible to ignore the ‘one more chapter’ call. And it really helps that the authors have created characters that you are completely invested in. Although, yes, this is about Jack Morgan and his team, I was completely invested in the lives and fates of the US pilot trapped and hunted in Afghanistan, and the mother and her two children who are being equally hunted back in the US. Although not immediately stated, the link between the two events is clear, even if the why of it is not.
I love the action sequences, the pace, the energy and, more than anything, the characters. Jack and his team are memorable, occasionally quirky, full of humour, but dedicated and focused. There is none of the inherent sexism that perhaps dogged action thrillers of old, all characters, male and female, giving as good as they get. I do love Sci and Mo-Bot, two of Jack’s top tech and science geeks, who bring a unique personality and a little less machismo to the story and are as important as the all action Jack given the nature of the threats the team face. It’s never about one person, even if Jack has the lion’s share of the attention with many of the chapters told from his point of view. It’s a team game and the respect that Jack has for those around him makes you believe in what they are doing. It certainly makes me want to read more.
Fast paced, edge of the seat action, emotionally driven story laced with a very generous helping of corruption and espionage. The kind of brilliant storytelling that makes me power to the last page. Everything I look for in my action thrillers and I am one very happy reader. Loved it.
About the Author
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 family.
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. Keep up to date with his latest books and news at http://www.adamhamdy.com