Top critical review
A good crime thriller, held back from being fabulous by a lazy editor.
on 24 February 2017
James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi team up again to dish another installment in the Private Series.
When two lascivious lovebirds, looking for a hidden patch on an abandoned garden to get into the act, accidentally fall into a basement structure, they open a hazardous Pandora’s Box. Huge barrels, lining the structure, were dissolving human remains in a nauseating solution and the count was, at first, eleven. The girl shrieks hysterically and runs down the road, drawing the attention of the neighbours and in turn, police, powerful businessmen and stuffed politicos in office. But there is one thread that connects these people and the incident: a sly, anonymous killer in balaclava, obsessed with vital organs.
Both the authors are known for spinning taut crime thrillers and this installment doesn’t disappoint much. Keeping the contemporary and pertinent theme of organ harvesting and medical tourism at centre, the story is weaved in short, succinct chapters, giving the reader the necessary kick to read this in one go. Sanghi brings a distinct flavour of Delhi, infusing his chapters with the aromas of Paranthewali Gali and Red Fort, the whispers on metro trains and trailing cars on a foggy Ring Road.
What was a little unpalatable though, was the desire to decode everything to the last bit, for the reader. Doing it in the penultimate or the final chapter is a mere must but to deploy this technique throughout the book was a little annoying, especially during the parts concerning investigation.
But the writing remains, overall, lean and insulated from complexities. A good companion for the weekend, by all means.