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August 21, 2015

Book Review: Private India

Title: Private India
Authors: James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi
Publisher: Century (Random House)
Publication Date: August 28, 2014
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller


In Mumbai, seemingly unconnected people are dying, strangled in a chilling ritual and with strange objects carefully arranged with the corpses.

For Santosh Wagh, head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world's finest investigation agency, it's a race against time to stop the killer striking again.

In a city of over thirteen million, he'd have his work cut out at the best of times, but this case has him battling Mumbai's biggest gang lord and a godman who isn't all he seems.

And then he discovers there may be an even greater danger facing Private India. Hidden in the shadows is someone who could destroy the whole organisation - along with thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens...


A sociopath has went on a killing spree across the city of Mumbai. His/Her targets are – hold your breath – only women. Scratch that: high-profile renowned women. Plus, he/she leaves behind clues and props at the crime scene. Cue music and enters Mumbai’s finest private investigation agency: Private India. And with that its team of fine detectives investigators. The rest of the book is a cat-and-mouse chase between the killer and Private India as they try to solve the murders, possible terrorism and obviously- catch the killer. Duh!


You know how sometimes you have exceptionally high hopes about a book but ultimately it turns out to be pure rats? Private India was just that. Don’t take offence: the book was quite enjoyable. Entertaining too, if I may add. But the rest- I'm glad I survived it. Here’s a quickie (sans spoilers) why-

  • The first cliché: the head/boss of the Private India – Santosh Wagh – is an alcoholic who comes with a crazy past. He’s arrogant and a slightly toned-down version of Mr.Know-It-All. Alright.
  • The second cliché: Pretty much all the characters come with some wild past. By that I mean, something happened (read: accident, murder, rape etc) to someone closer to them. Oh, and all of them have had recurring dreams about it.
  • The third cliché: Illicit affairs. There always has to be atleast one crazy hush-hush affair. And steamy romances. And scandals. *facepalm*

Frankly, the thing I found most disturbing was how India was depicted. To an extent I found it demeaning and completely disrespectful. The rituals, the culture, the people – everything.

It was a too corrupt version of the reality. Too much corruption, too much politics, too many motives. Everything was a notch higher than it should be.

Also like I mentioned earlier: the killer is a sociopath. He/She dresses up the corpse with props after murdering them. Or rather strangling them. Always with a yellow scarf. Apparently, the whole thing does stand for something. So obviously, Santosh Wagh and his team is hell-bent on solving it and unmasking the killer.

There’s a lot of guessing game going on in the book. Lots of mystery, suspense and puzzle (not literally, ofcourse!). So that’s a good thing.

But all in all, the book is a quick-read. Easy words, short-crisp chapters. I'd say the book is slightly okay-ish than disappointing!

Have you read Private India?

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