Sunday, September 07, 2014

Book Review: Private India by James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi



Book: Private India

Author: James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi

No. of Pages: 470

Genre: Fiction, Thriller

Publisher:  Arrow Books


Blogadda usually give 10-20 copies for book reviews to bloggers and there are times when the number of copies has shot up to 100 … 200 … and even 220 in one case. This time around, BlogAdda has come up a bumper offer of 250 copies for bloggers to read and review.

The book that is up for grabs is "Private India" by James Patterson in collaboration with our very own Ashwin Sanghi. Although a very prominent author and a very famous one, I have actually never read a James Patterson book. So this one is a first for me. I have read 3 of Ashwin Sanghi books and have liked only one of them.

Private India becomes the second book by Ashwin Sanghi and the first by James Patterson that I liked … 

The book is good. It has the unique combination of the so-called usual Patterson style with Ashwin providing the Indian context which has come out beautifully. The combination has worked well.

The book is a murder-mystery-thriller with a series of murders being committed by a serial killer who leaves behind weird clues and trinkets which make no logical sense. The ups and downs of the storyline along with the twists and turns are pretty enjoyable. But then, that is something you could have found in any thriller-serial-killer based novel.

What made 'Private India' stand apart was the Indianization and the the mumbai'ization of the plot.     

There was a very good and slick use of Indian mythological context – Goddess Durga and her different forms – built as an integral part of the mystery. The culture and ethos of Indian culture - the god-men, the politicians, the police, the beggars, the festivals - is well captured in the storyline and its writing.

The primary location of the plot is Mumbai and what is heartening to see (read) is that the author had made 'full use' of what Mumbai provides to an author. The story moves across the different locales of Mumbai including Dharavi and the red light district … the story encapsulated the different things and unique peculiarities of Mumbai … even the ubiquitous Mumbai local trains were not spared and a travel in these trains by our 'foren' characters is part of the story.

Besides this unique integration of locales and cultural nuances in the excellent storyline (with loads of suspense), the characterization was good and each character was adequately developed.

I personally think, the partnership really worked well. Ashwin and James have complimented each other's writing style and what they bring to the table. The result is a very well written novel with very few and negligible flaws.

And of course, an author signed book is always a delight to have. I wonder what would have happened to the Author's hand after signing 250 books at BlogAdda at one go … and many more afterwards at other places :)  

I would surely recommend this one …

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Ratings on Book Review Parameters:

Cover Design: 3.5 / 5

Writing Style: 4.0 / 5

Characters:     4.0 / 5

Story / Plot:     4.0 / 5

Climax:            4.0 / 5

Overall:           4.0 / 5   

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