Books, Reviews, Thrillers

REVIEW: The Games/Private Rio by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan


I am not a fan of Private Series but this book, Private Rio or famously known as The Games has forced me to rethink my paradigm about the series. In past, I have accused James Patterson and his co-authored books being not upto the mark once, or may be more but Private Rio or The Games, if you prefer, definitely raises the bar of my expectations from him and his works.

If you are familiar with Patterson’s style of writing you can rightly expect the chapters being short in format and plot be fast paced to create a sense of thrill among its readers. The idea behind this genre is all about the reader to keep guessing of what will happen next. The novel starts with a prelude though without any mention that takes the reader back in 2014 when FIFA World Cup was held in Brazil where Jack Morgan head of the renowned investigation service PRIVATE is in charge of security of that event. Two years after, Rio is hosting Olympics and Jack Morgan’s Private is again the head of security along with support of Rio’s Police. One thing, I like to compliment the authors on using the real time frame, the FIFA World Cup & the Rio Olympics. It clearly shows a sense of connecting to the reader, a very realistic approach and they have chosen the right moment to release the book.

The Patterson’s famous trick of running two plots in parallel which I can see has become quite the usual with books in the thriller genre over the years and works well. The good thing about the book is how those two plots co-relate and form the complete story. While reading it is easy to visualise the series of events and the characters though some events related to a helicopter seems quite superficial to me and gives an illusion of Hollywood movies. The book contain some amount of action in-between and the geography of Rio described is quite graphical.

The theme constitutes a number elements like poverty, corruption and intimidation through terrorism. I think these elements are well suited and well covered as part of the whole plot. The surprising element, of course awaits, for its readers which is narrated maturely. The plot is fast paced and there is no doubt you can’t finish this book in one sitting. The characterisation of the overall novel is good and the supporting characters are enjoyable especially that of Dr. Castro’s. It helps in development of a proper suspense novel. I am quite disappointed with the characterisation of Jack Morgan though, the protagonist. I clearly feel that some realistic focus should have been given to his character.

Private Rio is co-authored by Mark Sullivan who has 13 books under his name with similar sense of thriller genre, all solo. In Private series, this is his fifth title along with James Patterson and it certainly shows the writers have presently found a way to handle characters.

I think the PRIVATE series is gaining some fan following since this is the 11th book in this series and it clearly demands some serious characterisation. You don’t go writing eleven books without people reading it. At the same time I do not expect from writers by getting highly involve in this matter due the fear of disturbing the fast pace of plots but it can be done and we seen this in other novels written by different writers.

If you are looking for some thing to read in a shorter period of time, quickly, something that can take your mind off your surroundings this book is for you. If you are a fan of James Patterson’s writing or fast paced novels you should consider reading this book.

4 out of 5

Pages: 400

Publisher: Little Brown and Company

Release Date: June 27, 2017 (order now)

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