Jack Morgan's visit to his father in prison was to be a welcome farewell to the dying man who'd given him nothing but unhappy memories of a disappointing relationship. Instead, Jack leaves the prison as the reluctant owner of his father's defunct private investigation business, Private. When he tries to turn down the failed business, his father tells him it comes with a 15 million dollar account in the Caymans that is his reward for putting up with all the years of parental disdain and neglect. With this enormous infusion of cash Jack is able to turn Private into a cutting edge leader in investigative technology with high tech resources that both the FBI and the local police department use. Currently, Private is assisting the local police in its attempt to find the serial killer who is targeting teenage girls. Not only is Jack trying to find the girls' killer, he is the victim of anonymous threats against his life as well. Perhaps the threats are the result of his delving into an NFL gambling scandal with mob ties. Perhaps they are connected to the murder of his former lover, his best friend's wife. As Jack pursues clues to solve these cases he discovers a secret enemy close to home who has eluded all the best efforts of Private's superior crime detection tools.
Private is a fast paced mystery with an intriguing plot and diverse, but logically interrelated subplots. Patterson and Paetro still write about characters who are driven by old fashioned forces like passion and greed, but they incorporate modern issues like cyber safety, post-traumatic stress disorder and high tech surveillance into their story. Jack Morgan is a particularly likable character. Not only is he a war hero, but he has the strength, integrity and sense of discretion to be able to maintain friendships with law enforcers and law evaders with equal success. He’s feared by some, envied by many, but respected by all. We care about what happens to him, and he cares about the people his company has contracted to defend and protect.
This audio book is overflowing with thrilling scenes involving tortured teenagers, ingenious psychopaths, and ruthless mob leaders. Add drug abuse, perversion, corruption and debauchery and you have the world that Private is hired to fix. It’s a tribute to Patterson and Paetro that they can take such dark situations and craft an engaging and suspenseful story with a promising, optimistic conclusion - one that leaves the listener wanting to follow Jack Morgan and his colleagues on another set of adventures.
Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetrot
Read by Peter Herman
Hachette Audio, unabridged: 7 hours on 6 CDs