📚 Private by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

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Private #1

Goodreads⎮Reviewed Aug. 2017

Narrator: Peter Hermann
Length: 7 hours 3 minutes
Publisher: Hachette Audio⎮2010

SynopsisThe police can’t help you….

Former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily – and his staff of investigators uses the world’s most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.

The press will destroy you….

Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multi-million dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of 18 schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home: his best friend’s wife, Jack’s former lover, has been killed. It nearly pushes him over the edge. Instead, Jack pushes back and devotes all of Private’s resources to tracking down her killer.

Only one place to turn: Private….

But Jack doesn’t have to play by the rules. As he closes in on the killer and chooses between revenge and justice, Morgan has to navigate a workplace love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans. With a plot that moves at death-defying speeds, Private is James Patterson’s sleekest, most exciting thriller ever.


4.5 ★ Audiobook⎮ I’ve never been one to turn down the amazing deal of the free, so I jumped at the chance to grab Private at no cost from Audible. They are currently running a special that allows Audible members to download this James Patterson novel for free until September 3, 2017. I was initially skeptical on two fronts: 1) I thought there had to be a catch (there wasn’t) and 2) I’ve recently had an unsuccessful listening experience with another Patterson and Paetro novel, Woman of God.

I’ve been wanting to get into James Patterson’s work for a while now to see what all the fuss is about. Still, I was leery after the synopsis for Woman of God misled me into thinking it would be a Dan Brown-esque thriller. It wasn’t. It turned out to be more of a faith-based novel, which disappointed me greatly. However, the lure of “no risk listening” was too much to deny in the case of Private. There was no loss if I didn’t like it and I would be able to rule Patterson out for good.

My initial skepticism were the primary reason I was so surprised by how much I almost immediately enjoyed Private. This isn’t the type of audiobook I typically hear, so it really is a testament to Patterson and Paetro’s writing that they were able to pull me in so quickly. Private isn’t a terribly long audiobook and I listened to the entire novel in a little over a day. I still can’t believe how easy it was to hear, even while multitasking.

It was shockingly easy for me to follow, especially considering the multiple storylines that were intertwining. Unrelated, yet interwoven plots usually require more attention on the part of the listener, but I never felt overwhelmed when listening to Private. Certain storylines interested me more than others, but I appreciated the plurality. It helped ensure that there was something for everyone. Personally, I really enjoyed the NFL gambling plot, although I’m sure that wouldn’t appeal to everyone. It was a nice shake up from the standard murder/kidnapping plots that are all too common in this genre.

Near the end of this audiobook, I was so wrapped up in the story that actually brought it with me and listened in the waiting room of a doctor’s office and missed the nurse calling my name! What I enjoyed most was that none of the plots were over-or-under played. There wasn’t the depth of detail you’d expect from a 10 or 12 hour audiobook devoted to one mystery, but I never felt like I was being shortchanged. If anything, this novel felt episodic. All of the isolated mysteries exclusive to this installment were wrapped up by the end. Yet, there were a couple of character-based storylines that arched into the next installment.

Speaking of the next installment, it’s currently downloading on my phone now. Nice job, Audible. I see what you did there. You give the first installment away for free, hook the listener on the series, and sit back and watch them buy the next 11 installments.Very well played.

Narration review: To my knowledge, I’ve never heard Peter Hermann narrate an audiobook before. But that didn’t stop me from trying to place his voice while listening. He might have narrated something I’ve heard under a different name or maybe he just has one of those voices. Either way, he gave an admirable performance. The characters were mostly male, so Herman only had to adjust his tone or cadence slightly to provide adequate variation. I was most impressed with his Irish brogue for Colleen. It sounded very natural.

The production quality was fantastic and I really appreciated the little musical tones that were inserted here and there, even if I didn’t always understand their purpose. I’m assuming they were inserted to note some sort of transition, like a new chapter or section within the text. That kind of thing can be hard for an audio listener to pick up on. The brief musical insertions served a greater purpose for me in breaking up the reading and calling my attention back to the story. Plus, they sounded really fancy! ♣︎

$ Available at Audiobooks.com and Audible/Amazon

5 Comments

  1. Private isn’t my favorite Patterson series (Michael Bennett) but it is up there. The way it is structured with branches all over the globe means that they’re not limited in settings, and new characters can be featured while still offering a familiar feel.

    If you like the multiple plot structure then the Patterson/Paetro entries in Women’s Murder Club should also appeal.

    Peter Hermann is Mariska Hargitay’s husband, for what it is worth.

Let me know what you think!