Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: Private Berlin by James Patterson

Private Berlin by James Patterson
Little, Brown and Company
January 2013
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Source: Personal copy

First line: At ten o'clock on a moonless September evening, Chris Schneider slipped toward a long-abandoned building on the eastern outskirts of Berlin, his mind whirling with dark images and old vows.

From the inside cover: Private Berlin has the extraordinary pace and international sophistication that has powered The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Patterson's #1 bestseller The Postcard Killers.


Chris Schneider is a superstar agent at Private Berlin, Germany headquarters for the world's most powerful investigation firm. He keeps his methods secret as he tackles Private's most high-profile cases-and when Chris suddenly disappears, he becomes Private Berlin's most dangerous investigation yet.

Mattie Engel is another top agent at Private Berlin, gorgeous and ruthlessly determined-and she's also Chris's ex. Mattie throws herself headfirst into finding Chris, following leads to the three people Chris was investigating when he vanished: a billionaire suspected of cheating on his wife, a soccer star accused of throwing games, and a nightclub owner with ties to the Russian mob. Any one of them would surely want Chris gone-and one of them is evil enough to want him dead.

Mattie's chase takes her into Berlin's most guarded, hidden, and treacherous places, revealing secrets from Chris's past that she'd never dreamed of in the time they were lovers. On the brink of a terrifying discovery, Mattie holds on to her belief in Chris-in the face of a horror that could force all of Europe to the edge of destruction and chaos.

James Patterson has taken the European thriller to a masterful new level with Private Berlin, an adrenaline-charged, spectacularly violent and sexy novel with unforgettable characters of dark and complex depths. Private Berlin proves why Patterson is truly the world's #1 bestselling author.

My thoughts: This is the latest in James Patterson's Private series and I love how in this series, we get to go to all different locations around the world. In this case, we meet the Berlin staff of the Private enterprise where they are searching for one of their own.

It seems that Chris has a private past that no one knows about, not even his ex-fiance and current coworker, Maddie. When he goes missing, Maddie is all over it and Jack Morgan, owner of the Private enterprise, heads to Germany to offer his help. As the team starts investigating Chris's disappearance, they look into his current cases, trying to decide if they are related to why he went missing. 

Maddie is the star of this novel, teaming up with bomb specialist Tom Burkhart. They find themselves drawn into a mystery surrounding a serial murderer who uses a slaughterhouse to get rid of bodies, and determine that the answers might just lie with the mysterious past of six orphans. Can Maddie and the team figure out who this Invisible Man is before more victims pile up?

The action in this book is non-stop and the suspense is quite intense. My only complaint about the book is that I am not familiar with Germany at all and had a hard time determining if the places mentioned where nearby or far from each other. That and trying to keep the characters straight kept me paying extra close attention and constantly flipping back to earlier pages. This didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book, though, and I loved that Jack Morgan was part of the story. It seems that he always makes some type of cameo in all the books, whether they are set in the US, where the main Private office is, or elsewhere in the world.

I can't wait to what office and team we get to know next. I did see that there's a Private Oz book out there that is set in Australia, but I can't seem to find a place to buy it...hopefully it will be available soon somewhere! I think this is like the Private London book that was at first only published in the country where the book was set and then, at a later date, made available everywhere...hoping that's the case!

Books in the Other Private Offices series:

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