Book Review: Private India by Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson
I am a fan of fiction novels and have read a lot many so far by many famous authors. However after Shaurya’s arrival my reading has been dominated by health and parenting books :). Hence reading Private India was much-needed change for me. I had read Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi earlier and wasn’t impressed much by it. To me, it looked like a failed attempt to mimic Dan Brown with a novel full of many loopholes. But partnership with James Patterson drew me towards reading Private India with high expectations as I liked reading a few Patterson novels. Albeit this added attraction, the story of loophole still stays with Sanghi’s writing.
The story starts with a mysterious murder of a Thai plastic surgeon in Mumbai and Santosh Wagh who heads Indian branch of Private India, an agency founded by an ex-CIA Jack Morgen get involved with the investigation. Then the story continues with series of murders each day in the similar ways. Though the overall suspense is maintained well in the novel and it succeeds to surprise the readers, it also has plenty of unnecessary ‘khichadi’ of bollywood masaala, serial killer, terrorism and gangsters. Ideally they could’ve done away with the terrorism and the gangster bit, because it seemed as if it was forced into the story only to entertain the character of Jack Morgen, which din’t have much role otherwise.
Due to the unnecessary mixture of various angles in the book, it does get boring halfway through. Many of the characters too are not handled well. The serial killer wants to murder 9 women for the hatred of women but I felt that the singer was killed only to reach the killer’s favorite number 9 :). One of the character Hari Padhi, a member of Private India team and also a possible suspect later, talks to a mysterious woman with husky voice on the phone and the writers have totally forgotten to reveal as to who she was! The chronology of the events in the novel doesn’t reveal anything more to the reader than what’s known to its characters, so I also felt that the lead characters are not shown intelligent enough to catch even some of the obvious clues!
On the brighter side, novel is pretty fast paced despite it’s irrelevant sub-plots so I could simply finish it in 3 days time! But in my honest opinion, go for it only if you have some extra time to kill without any better choice.