Private L.A. By James Patterson & Mark Sullivan Review!

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Private L.A. (2014) by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan is the seventh book in the Private series and it is an intriguing read full of twists and turns.


In this outing, Private Jack Morgan is on the case of a missing family. The case is high profile in the media as the parents Jennifer and Thom Harlow are well-known and respected film stars and philanthropists. Now both they and their three young children have been kidnapped without a trace. Soon however Morgan gets more than he bargains for as the case becomes more and more complex the deeper he and his team at Private dig. On top of all this Morgan is investigating a terrorist group called No Prisoners where a shooting on a beach draws Morgan’s attention to the terrorist gang. What follows is more and more killings and terror with Private running out of time to save as many peoples’ lives as they can. I thought the two cases were written very well. There is great indepth into the characters and some of them in both stories are extremely dark, evil characters so I wouldn’t say it was easy for Patterson and Sullivan to write how their minds worked. But both stories were written very honestly and were very interesting to read with lots of twists and turns in both in excellent fast-paced chapters.There is also quite an interesting side storyline involving Morgan’s run-ins with his brother Tommy who is accused of murder and trying to maintain Morgan was involved with the murder too. Their estranged relationship is interesting to read. A lot of drama there to say the least.


A part of the book that did my head in slightly was Justine’s overthinking of her problems. I actually quite like her as a character otherwise so I think this is unfortunate but she doesn’t half go on and to be honest I wouldn’t mind but some of her problems don’t seem all that big and she just seems to like moaning. It’s a pity because I like that she is a strong, open-minded, intelligent, independent woman. But a lot of those sections I could have done without. They add nothing to the story.


The great thing about the Private books is that even though it is a series, this felt like a standalone book so I would imagine even though this is the first longer-length Private book I read that each book in the series can be read in any order.


A great read which keeps you turning page after page quicker than you planned to.


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Along Came a Spider By James Patterson Review!

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Along Came a Spider (1993) by James Patterson is the first ever Alex Cross novel.


In this book, Cross is faced with the investigations into the murders of two black prostitutes and an infant child. While he is investigating, his nemesis Gary Soneji appears in the book after kidnapping two white children from affluent families called Maggie Rose and Michael Goldberg. Soneji had been working as a maths teacher at their school as a cover for his plans of kidnapping. Cross is mad about being took off the previous case and how more attention is being given to this case while the case of the two black prostitutes and the infant child are being pushed to one side.

Soon into his new case he meets the first woman who is his love interest in the books Jezzie Flannagan and they begin working together on the case. She is the head of the children’s Secret Service. It soon becomes apparent that the two children are buried alive in a farmhouse coffin. Soneji kills FBI agent Roger Graham and soon after Goldberg’s body is found. Cross is now in deep over his head in his first case featuring Gary Soneji.

This book is brilliantly put together. The main person in the kidnapping apart from Soneji I did work out but it is by no means obvious. It is a great little mystery excellently written and from this first book it is easy to see how interest was brought to this amazing series starting with book one. It’s a very addictive read which you’ll find hard to put down.

This book covers many important topics like interracial relationships with Cross’ and Flannagan’s relationship, race in general and class. In this book we get a great introduction to Cross, his family, his life, his investigating methods and his integrity as a person and in his job. The background on all the characters is great. We get very complex, rounded characters which help make the book very interesting. The plot combined with Patterson’s signature fast chapters is a wonderful read and having read other books in the series it was great to get to read how it all began.


A fantastic must-read.


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The Quickie By James Patterson And Michael Ledwidge Review!

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The Quickie (2007) by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge is a wonderful and engrossing read.


Following the story of protagonist cop Lauren Stillwell, we as readers get to know her very well in both her personal and professional life. After seeing her husband Paul with a blonde woman who she thinks he might be cheating on her with she embarks on revenge by having her own affair with fellow cop Scott. But their night of passion soon turns into a nightmare when she witnesses Paul and Scott fighting before Paul puts an unconscious Scott into the boot of his car. When Scott’s body is found later Lauren is left in the unenviable position of having to go against her instincts as a person and a cop to protect her husband and their future together.


I loved the drama of this book. It was a read that kept me turning the page. The plot I found very intriguing. Instead of a cop on a case trying to find the truth, Lauren was a cop on a mission to stop the truth from coming out and you really feel the pressure she must be under throughout. I also found it really interesting reading about the human element of Lauren and Paul trying to have a baby and Lauren’s pain and struggles to get pregnant. On the downside the outcome was predictable and I think it has been done before and I did feel that Lauren was being constantly given excuses for the things she did wrong like cheating. It would have made her more human for me if she had the affair for no reason other than she wanted to. While I loved the element of her covering for Paul which created a lot of suspense, some of it was slightly contrived as there was moments where she should have been caught out really.


Despite these downsides, I really enjoyed the book. The quick pace of the short chapters helped make it unputdownable and there was many twists and turns throughout. There was great pieces in this book about unconditional love, betrayal and finding strength under difficult circumstances. A very good read.


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2nd Chance By James Patterson And Andrew Gross Review!

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2nd Chance (1999) by James Patterson and Andrew Gross is the second book in the Women’s Murder Club series.


This book follows the story of protagonist Detective Lindsay Boxer and her three friends assistant district attorney Jill Bernhardt, crime reporter Cindy Thomas and medical examiner Dr. Claire Washburn as they try to combine their skills to figure out who killed two African Americans, a little girl and an old woman. A symbol at the murders indicates that a racist hate group Chimera is involved but the cunning murderer/s keeps throwing them onto different trails as the book progresses. 

Boxer is going through her own emotional feelings in this novel after losing her partner and it is emotive how she must put these feelings to one side to concentrate on the case. Throughout the book we get great background on the lives of the four women as the case continues. We find out that Bernhardt is pregnant, more about Washburn’s life with her husband Edmund Washburn and that Thomas is dating Aaron Winslow who is the pastor and father of the young girl that was murdered. Boxer’s estranged father also turns up to complicate matters after 20 years.

The mystery is great. I didn’t figure out the ending so kudos to Patterson and Gross for that. There is also great camaraderie between our four investigators and it is a very enjoyable and entertaining read filled with drama, emotion, mystery and humour. As always the pages flew by with each chapter encouraging the reader to continue reading. A very strong mystery with many suspects to throw the reader alongside Boxer and the girls off track over and over and a book that deals with serious topics like racism, grief and estranged family.


Addictive and brilliant.


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Violets Are Blue By James Patterson Review!

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Violets Are Blue (2001) by James Patterson is Patterson’s seventh novel with his protagonist Alex Cross.


This novel comes after Roses Are Red and Four Blind Mice, neither of which I’ve read as of yet but what is great about Patterson’s work is that even in a series every book is pretty much a standalone and a reader can jump in anywhere in the series and not be confused as to what is happening.

In this particular story, Cross is investigating the murders of two joggers who were killed in what looks to be a ritual by vampires. This leads Cross into a world of vampires and Goths. I must say that something I particularly liked about this book was that Patterson wrote Goths very humanly and that isn’t something you encounter in every story surrounding Goths or a character that is a Goth and he perfectly wrote the bias that Goths face. Having known people who are Goths I really liked that he didn’t play up to stereotypes.

Cross is being pursued in this book by the Mastermind who knew Cross from before and is intent on seeking revenge on him and breaking him down completely. I will say the only let-down was the conclusion. From early on I did know what the outcome would be. In saying that the way the conclusion was written and the tension leading up to it throughout was spot on. There is also as usual so many different characters coming from so many varying perspectives that add wonderfully to the overall plot of the story and plenty of murders to keep readers racing through the short trademark chapters that Patterson presents.

As always it is wonderful to see Cross’ scenes with his family. They really add a personal touch to proceedings and remind us of the risks Cross is taking in his pursuit of justice for others. It’s also wonderful to see the progression of their lives with each book.


Very enjoyable and captivating. Perfect reading for sitting down with a nice cup of tea.


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Private Royals By James Patterson With Rees Jones Review!

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Private Royals (2016) by James Patterson with Rees Jones is a wonderful short read if you’d like something to read but haven’t much reading time available.


This book is part of the BookShots series that presents the reader with “Stories at the speed of life” and this is a great little read. Patterson has written with various authors many of these lightening fast reads that could be read in 1-3 sittings and this is the first one of his BookShots I’ve read.


This political thriller is very slickly written. The fact that this book is shorter than many of Patterson’s books does not stop it from being suspenseful and engaging so kudos to Patterson and Jones for that. This book is set in London where Jack Morgan is going to see Peter Knight and the investigation agency team called Private. The Trooping the Colour parade is due to take place for the Queen’s 90th birthday the next day and while at a party the night prior to this, Morgan gets a call from the Duke of Aldershot who tells him that his daughter Abbie has been took hostage and asks him and the team for help in finding her before she is murdered. Morgan is on a deadline where he must locate Abbie before 11 a.m. the following morning, who has a £30 million ransom hanging over her, or Abbie will die. We get much background on Abbie who is a royal wild child who is usually in the papers for undesirable reasons related to drugs and alcohol.


This book is stunningly crafted. It is very entertaining and deals with many issues like corruption in high circles and public image versus private image. There is also some educational information about royal ceremonies and how they are put together. It is very addictive with fast-paced chapters and would definitely encourage me to read more of the BookShots series in the future. Though I have read many Patterson books, Jack Morgan was new to me as I haven’t read any of the Private stories as of yet. This is a great introduction to the Private series. Morgan is yet again another interesting sleuth and this is action-packed, weaved together wonderfully and has many twists and turns in the tale.


An excellent read.


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