Thursday, 31 July 2014

Brajesh's Review : Private India

If I pick up an Ashwin Sanghi, I want to be sucked into the complex, multilayered world of symbols, rituals and mysteries. If I pick up a pure thriller, I like to be entertained like Lee Child. Unfortunately this collaboration between a historical fiction writer & symbologist (Ashwin Sanghi) and a thriller master (James Patterson), falls somewhere in-between.

This collaborative writing effort between the two authors, where one writes a part and then the other builds and writes some more and then it all comes together in final editing, is an interesting experiment and never compromises the fluidity of the narrative. Where the experiment failed is giving depth to the story, both from a point of view of a thriller and a historical fiction.

While Ashwin Sanghi ensures a few mandatory symbols and rituals in the story-line, these are fairly elementary and remain incidental to the main story line. The Mumbai showcased in the book is clichéd with the presence of Dharavi criminals, Colaba’s page 3 parties, Bollywood-Underworld Nexus, Local Train chases and equally clichéd Mumbai landmarks like Haji Ali Durgah, Mahim Church, VT Station, Muhammad Ali Road and Arthur Road Jail.

The story is a serial killer’s revenge saga with a liberal dose of sex, action, murder, terrorism and corruption.

Legendary James Patterson has built the “Private Series” as a franchise where he uses protagonist Jack Morgan’s US based PI service as the anchor. The franchise expands into India through the character of a troubled cop Santosh, who leads the India practice of Private.

This model is flexible to extend the Private franchise to newer countries and the inner jacket gives us a peak into a few such titles like Private London, Private Berlin, Private Down Under and Private L.A.

I was also introduced to the legend of James Patterson through the list of his published works printed at the end of the novel. This listed over 100 titles of his. I have attached a picture of these to give you an idea of how prolific James Patterson has been. It only clicked to me, once Kim started rattling off all the James Patterson - Alex Cross movies (mostly starring Morgan Freeman) that we have watched.

Unfortunately “Private India” was a disappointment for me and I will be careful in choosing my next James Patterson.

Rating : 3 / 5

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