CBR #11 — Not Every McDonald’s Gets The McRib

Private Vegas by James Patterson

So James Patterson is my bulimia chunder — the large three topping pizza I shamefully consume and then barf up later.  If that’s a tacky and tasteless explanation, so are the books.  James Patterson is a franchise now, no longer a human being but a shiny faced Big Boy outside a restaurant that people frequent because it’s there and fast and easily digestible. I read most of Patterson’s series — Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, The Women’s Murder Club, even the atrocious NYPD Red — because it’s a half a day’s worth of pain.  Occasionally there are good moments, but I always feel a little worse for wear afterwards.

Well, now we have Private, Patterson’s latest scheme du jour, which is frustrating as fuck for anyone who wants to track them.  Essentially, Patterson created Private — an LA based private security/detective agency for the superrich and elite — that has offices all over the world.  This was so Patterson could farm out Private stories to other top selling authors in foreign markets.  They would each write a Private book, with the Jack Morgan character in common, and then the exploits of this foreign branch.  So we get Private: London which has two books — the second of which made me so angry I actually almost snapped my Kindle in half.  Private Berlin.  Private OZ (Australia).  Private India.  And there’s the ghost of a Private Rome somewhere I think.  I think, because they just sort of decide when a Private book happens.  And if it doesn’t sell well in it’s home country, it never gets printed in America.  Whether there will be a Private Japan, or a Private Rio, or if they continue to do sequels in the Private series, it remains to be seen.

Private Vegas purports to be a totally different Private, but it’s really the fourth? Private LA book.  The series is so difficult to track.  There was Private, Private LA, Private #1 Suspect, and now this one, which has one storyline that takes place in Vegas, and the rest in LA.  The LA strain of Private is the strongest of the series, and a fun counterpoint to all the rest of the Patterson series-es.

In this one, expensive cars are being blown up along the PCH, one of them Jack’s own car.  He thinks it’s tied to his buddy Rick Del Rio’s current case, where he’s been charged with killing his ex-girlfriend.  Also, there’s a bunch of wealthy people being black widowed. This all ends up tying together eventually, but like with most of Patterson’s books of late, the endings are a little lackluster and the ultimate ending is such a cheesy cliffhanger, I expected to hear the strains of sitcom music and have producer credits pop up in Comic Sans font.

But I can’t quit Patterson, and I’ll read every goddamn one of the books.


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