Sep 4, 2014

Book review: Private India

Title: Private India
Authors: Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson
Genre: Crime Fiction

What can one expect when two acclaimed authors join hands? A masterpiece that is filled with the best of both their skills. With Private India, James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi have given us a brilliant story that does not disappoint.

The Plot

A serial killer is on the loose in Mumbai and it is upto Private India, an investigation agency, to try and prevent the murders and nab the culprit.  
Apparently unconnected women are killed, strangled with a yellow cloth. Strange objects are placed with the corpses and these puzzle the investigators. As the bodies begin to pile up in quick succession, it is a race against time before the case is cracked.
But it does not end there. Yet another danger is imminent and this time, the lives of thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens are at stake...

 What I liked about the book
  • It is unputdownable. I couldn't stop reading and finished the book in less than seven hours! James Patterson's touch is evident in the racy narration.
  • An interesting plot with juicy twists and turns.
  • Fascinating references from history and mythology that have been woven into the plot. It is Ashwin Sanghi at work here!
  • A visit to Mumbai from the comfort of my home. The setting added to the experience of reading and I witnessed the city in all its splendour and its little quirks too. Ashwin's knowledge about Mumbai crops up here.
  • A flawed protagonist. When the protagonist has to battle some inner demons in addition to solving a murder mystery, it becomes refreshing to read as we empathize with him.
  • A strong female character, on par with the male lead of the story, who is courageous and determined.

What I disliked about the book
  • Typical characterization of policemen, goons, politicians and a pseudo godman. These characters lend a masala flavour to the plot.
  • Poor editing. Grammar errors and puns could have been avoided.
  • The sub-plot about a terrorist attack is not devised appealingly and fizzles out without any boom.
  • A subtle clue that made me guess the identity of the killer quite early in the book. This spoiled the suspense a little, but I was kept going due to certain unsolved puzzles regarding the murders.


A page turning plot, peppered with tidbits from mythology and history, makes Private India a sure winner. Except for some minor glitches, it is a great book.
Rating: 4/5
Highly Recommended

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!


1. BlogAdda sent me an autographed copy of the book. Yippeee!
2. I haven't read the other works of Patterson or Sanghi. But I'm soon going to read them.
3. Three out of four books that I received from BlogAdda are crime fiction. Guess I have a penchant for this genre :)


Unknown said...

Deepika, nicely written. Since I am living in mumbai it makes me wanna read the book all the more. I was actually waiting to buy this book. Reading your post makes me want to buy it soon. Glad you got it from blogadda. Last time I subscribed, I couldn't get a copy :(

Deepz said...

Thanks a lot Cynthia! People living in Mumbai can surely relate to the sights and sounds of Mumbai as describe in the book. You must read it if pdossible. Also, keep checking the blogadda book reviews programme frequently.Apply as soon as you hear about it. The chances of being selected are high when they have a lot of copies to give away.. :)

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