Books - Fiction

Private India (Book Review)

Private India is a Thriller written by Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson. I have read two more books written by Ashwin Sanghi and liked them very much for the depth of historical information presented in them. But this one is more like a regular mystery/thriller.

The story is good, book is unputdownabble, and the serial killer is unguessable. But why every thriller wants to feature a serial killer (that too someone who leaves clues to the cops after every murder) is beyond me. Think of something new guys!

The basic story is this: There are a number of murders committed by a serial killer in Mumbai and a private detective agency by the name “Private India” takes up the investigation of the case from cops. (Can this actually happen in India? Not sure.) The killer keeps murdering women (selectively) and leaves behind some cues for the detectives to work on. Will they be able to catch the killer before they target a member of their own team? Will Private be able to stop a terrorist bomb blast in Mumbai?

As you would have guessed, the answer to both the above questions is ‘Yes’. I am not breaking any suspense as that’s how every thriller/mystery ends, and if you’ve read even a few of them – you can easily guess it. I wish some author surprises us, there.

The pace of the book is somewhat slow initially, but the last 150 pages or so (450 total) moved very quickly, for me. In some places, I felt, the authors need not have given away hints, esp. regarding character motivations. For example, the Inspector having a secret understanding with the Don, might have been conveyed right at the end, in order to increase the surprise factor. Just my view.

Since it’s a story set in India and Indian elements (like Goddess Durga and Navaratri festival) are used extensively, we were able to connect with the story. I guess Indian readers are tired of reading about New Yorks and LAs in every thriller. At least I am!

I just wish there was more Ashwin Sanghi touch to this book. I really miss the interesting historical/mythological information that he gave in abundance in his previous two books (1, 2). I am yet to read Rosabal line, but will read it soon.

The orange and blue theme of the book cover is decent and the large font size of the words inside is a big plus. Small font size in books is one reason why we prefer eBooks/Kindle – I hope other publishers will also print books with larger font, like this. The price of the book is close to 350 – maybe a bit high?

Altogether, this is a good book and definitely worth reading once. I was not able to guess the killer until the very end and finished reading within 2 days – the mark of a good book!

  • You can buy this book from Flipkart or Amazon.in in India. (Disclaimer: These are affiliate links and I may get a small commission if you buy the product after clicking on these links. Your price will not increase.)

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