Private Beijing by James Patterson & Adam Hamdy

Today I’m thrilled to share my thoughts on the latest book in the Private series from James Patterson and Adam Hamdy – Private Beijing, and to wish the authors a very happy publication day. I’ve been loving getting to know Jack Morgan and the Private team and this is another heart pounding addition to the series. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 29 December 2022
Publisher: Penguin UK

About the Book

Private Beijing is ripped apart after an attack leaves three agents dead and the head of the team missing.

With the Beijing branch in turmoil, Private’s owner and global head, Jack Morgan, immediately gets on a plane from LA.

Soon after Jack lands in China, another Private office is attacked. It’s clear that the entire organisation is under threat.

As Jack launches a global investigation from unfamiliar territory, he will need the loyalty of his team now more than ever.

My Thoughts

I have really enjoyed getting to know Jack Morgan and his Private team over the course of the past couple of books. I admit I have come very late to the series, drawn in by James Patterson’s co-author in these last three books, but I’m so glad I have picked them up as they are right up my street. Fast paced, packed with high stakes action and tension that is way off the scale, they really are an addictive read that is very hard to put down. That was definitely the case with Private Beijing which starts in explosive style, creating a kind of bow wave effect that carries readers along with it. One stakeout gone wrong is bad enough, but two? It’s very clear someone, or some organisation, is targeting Private, and Jack and his entire team are in danger. The who, the why and the how the hell do I stop it, are the facts that Jack needs to get to the bottom of, and fast.

The action in this book is split between several continents, the majority of it taking place in Beijing and New York, the site of the two attacks on Jack’s teams. You really get a sense of location, and of the vast difference in culture between the two cities, and how this will help, or impede, Jack’s investigation. As far as his investigations in Beijing go, Jack is at a real disadvantage. Private investigation firms are a rarity in China, and support for the Private team is low, which adds a layer of complexity to an already fraught situation. Add into this an enemy who clearly has great skill and a very wide reach, and the scene is set for an almighty showdown.

There is a real element of mystery that threads throughout the book as the team, and we as readers, try to figure out who might be behind this co-ordinated attack. There is no clear correlation between the two incidents, no obvious motive and really keeps the intrigue high and kept me completely hooked on what was happening on the page. I loved the way in which the authors captured Jack’s torn loyalties, between resolving the threat in Beijing and supporting his team back home. That mental struggle as he worked out how to keep moving forward when the thought of a simpler life with the person he loves becomes more and more appealing. But that’s one of the great things about Jack Morgan as a character. His determination, loyalty and integrity are second to none. And whilst the bumps and scrapes (understatement) he picks up along the way during this particular case prove he is now superhuman, he comes pretty close.

Along with all the action, I do love the camaraderie and banter between the team. There is a good vein of humour, in spite of all the darkness and threat, and Sci and Mo-bot manage to keep the spirits up in New York, applying some of their special brand of geekery to the investigation and keeping Justine focused on what is at hand rather than simply worrying about Jack. In fact, the whole Private team are a joy to read about, the friendship and loyalty to Jack and to each other, one of the draws of the series of books. We are introduced in this book to Zhang Daiyu from the Beijing office, and she is quite a formidable character too, very fitting of her place in the Private crew. A former police officer, her contacts prove invaluable, as well as her knowledge of how to navigate Beijing’s less salubrious neighbourhoods. We also catch up with some of Jack’s other team members, and another face from Jack’s past, all of them some of my favourite characters from the series so far. Can’t wait to see what the one particular reconnection may lead to.

If you haven’t read the Private series but love a brilliantly tense and fast paced action thriller, then I can highly recommend this book. I think, in fairness, you can start anywhere in the series (I did), although for this particular book I’d recommend reading Private Moscow and Private Rogue first as you will have greater understanding of some of the threads in this story. Energetic, entertaining and definitely recommended.

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 400 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 stand-alone thrillers and non-fiction.

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.

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