Book Review: 'Private India'

Title: Private India
Authors: Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson
Publisher: Arrow Books
Pages: 448
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Story and Style:
Private India is a suspense thriller set in the heart of Mumbai. A series of murders during the Navratri festival, has the detectives at Private India on their feet. Santosh Wagh, the agency’s India bureau head, looks into the case as he deals with his personal losses and constantly tries to make the right choices. Will he able to join the dots and catch the murderer before further loss of innocent lives? 

I could draw some distinctive similarities between the style of Private India and Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. I particularly liked the antagonist's parts of the story when the narrative switches to a first person- a clever technique to hide the major plot giveaway, something that a third person narrative would have spoiled. 

The chapters are short and crisp but numbering over a hundred. At some points I did wish that a little more description of the scene or situation and a little more carrying on of the suspense could have worked better. Most of the time, things seemed to jump out on to the reader's face all of a sudden, when the reader would actually be wanting to be a little more intrigued than get an answer immediately. 

The font size of the text could have been decreased a bit. Nevertheless, it gave me the feeling of having read a lot, going by the number of pages finished, when actually the story hadn't progressed much. In fact the story progressed fast throughout the narrative, or so at least it seemed.

The suspense has been well preserved. And the moment it is revealed, the reader is bound to be taken aback. Also, the clever way in which the chapters have been ended, make sure that you continue reading the book, unable to put it aside.

I haven't read any of Ashwin Sanghi's or James Patterson's books. And I am curious to know how two people from two corners of the world can collaborate to write a piece of fiction effectively without having any differences in the writing style throughout the story, the way it is in Private India. Something commendable.

It felt good to read a good crime fiction based in an Indian city and with Indian characters. The references to places in Mumbai and recent historical events made the story look real, although a little more descriptive narrative of the city surroundings and the environment rather than just having names of various places sprouting here and there, could have made it more interesting for the Indian reader.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Getting the book: 
Last Sunday on my return from Mumbai I had a package waiting for me at home. I knew what it was. A book for review that I had been waiting for from blogadda. The book had arrived 4 days ago, and unavoidable circumstances led me to start reading the book a further two days later.  

What initially surprised and made me happy was opening the book package. A letter personally addressed to me by the CEO of blogadda, along with a QR code studded bookmark celebrating blogging. It felt personal and I felt a responsibility in return for the gesture. I ought to read this book immediately and review it. 

Opening the book also revealed another important thing- it was author signed, something we all, as readers, prize to possess. 

My author-signed copy of the book

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

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  1. The review seems incomplete. A little more is expected. I read Sanghi's Chanakya's Chant. It has a story line comparing politics in Chanakya's time with the modern day. Interesting reading. The parallel stories run side by side with each alternate chapter dedicated to past and present. The similarities are awesome. You need to read that book.

    1. I wrote the review the way I thought it seemed appropriate to me. Probably a little more of the storyline could have been incorporated.
      Will read Chanakya's Chant, the way you describe it seems interesting.


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