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Private - James Patterson, Maxine Paetro, Peter Hermann This was a great book to listen to as I traveled. It really held my interest and the length was perfect for a day's drive, 6 CD's.
Private is a very posh detective agency that handles high brow clients with problems they wish to keep quiet and out of the media. They are working pro bono with the police, to solve a serial murder case. The murderer is using the internet to snare his victims with faked text messages. Young schoolgirls are being lured to their deaths. Since the agency is also working on several other investigations at the same time, involving among other things, famous personages, the mob, athletes and friends, there are many sub-plots intertwining.
I found that, as it is with so many novels these days, sex was thrown in for no reason at all, since it added nothing to the plot and was actually distracting and made it seem silly at times. It is for that reason, I only gave it three stars. I think a book should be able to stand on its own merit because the story is good, rather than the lurid details of an unnecessary sexual encounter which adds nothing to the themes being developed.
The characters are colorful and well described. Although there are an abundance, they are easy to identify and remember whenever they come up. In the end, all of the loose ends and unsolved mysteries are resolved in this exciting novel. However, as you discover the workings of the agency, you will find an ethical dilemma or two. The detectives are brazen, sometimes using unorthodox methods and performing unsavory deeds. They work behind the scenes, often at odds with the police and hand in glove with the mob. In some cases, I wondered if they were any better than the criminal. Who is to say that a man who orders a hit is more of a criminal than the detective who orders a hit because the guilty person has escaped judgment? I suppose since one is sanctioning the death of an innocent party and one a guilty one, the line between what is ethical and what lacks ethics, is blurred. Where does honor end and dishonor begin? If you solve a crime and then shield the criminal, are you not, in some way, complicit, an accessory?
Although the author probably did not mean to raise these philosophical questions, I found myself thinking of them. If you do something corrupt in the interest of justice, does that make it less corrupt? Does anyone have the right to take justice into their own hands? These thoughts were raised by the twists and turns that shaped this novel.