Benjamin Thomas's Reviews > Private Games

Private Games by James Patterson
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Jul 23, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: mystery-detective-pi
Read from July 23 to 26, 2012

So my mother-in-law came for a visit last week and, knowing I read a lot of books, she insisted I read this latest and greatest book by James Patterson. Of course, just about all of me defenses went up because:
1) It's a James Patterson book. Now, I've enjoyed some of his early Alex Cross books but his novel manufacturing machine that cranks out 12-15 new books per year from his "co-authors" is a real turn off for me;
2) It's a recommendation from somebody who reads a moderate amount but rarely enjoys the same stuff I do;
3) I have waaaay too much stuff on my TBR shelves and there are far too many great-looking books coming out that I can't wait to get my hands on/download to my e-reader to be wasting time on something else.

But in the end...it's my mother-in-law. And so I did. And I could justify it by telling myself it's all about the 2012 Olympics in London that starts tomorrow. I would get points for timeliness.

Unfortunately, the book lived up to my low expectations but no further. This is actually the third novel in the "Private" series but features a new London-based protagonist and should easily stand alone. And it would have if only it had legs. The hero of the story is Peter Knight (very imaginative), an agent in the "Private" security firm which has been hired to provide security for the London Olympic Games. The story was a bit slow getting started but I did enjoy the descriptions of the major Olympic moments and the fictional athletes. Peter Knight, unfortunately, came across as a rather cliched character and a buffoon. He was matched only by the equally inept bad guy, a character going by the name "Chronos". Chronos is presented as an evil mastermind and yet makes mistake after mistake, absolutely none of which is capitalized on by our Mr Knight. In fact Knight's discoveries of clues were virtually all accomplished by accident. When he is in danger it is only through the actions of others, including his mother and his just-turned 3-year old son, that he is rescued. The final 30 pages or so provided some saving grace for this novel, raising it from 1 star to 2, and resulted in some satisfaction in the resolution. But for me it was too little, too late.

It would seem Mr Patterson needed to spend a bit more time in the editing role for this novel. As it stands, it is more like a badly done comic book than action/suspense novel. I remain wary of my mother-in-laws recommendations...
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message 1: by Randy (last edited Jul 28, 2012 06:44AM) (new)

Randy I still have a weakness for the Alex Cross novels, but have long since dropped his factory line novels like these from consideration. I guess he's a product of success, but more is not necessarily better.


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