Book Review: Private India by Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson

There are not alot of Indian authors that I feel create the kind of anticipation around a new book release for me like Ashwin Sanghi does. I have read all his work, most of which I loved so when I saw that he had collaborated with James Patterson who is a best-selling author and the brains behind critically acclaimed “Private” Series, I just knew I had to get a copy.

Private India starts with a series of murder that catches the attention of one of Santosh Wagh, an ex-police officer and alcoholic with a troubled past who is now leading one of the top investigative firms in India- Private India. While Santosh is sceptical to look into these killings, his boss Jack Morgan decides that it will be good for Private to get involved so Santosh is pushed to investigate the matter with his colleagues Nisha, Mubeen and Hari.

The plot has a good pace and the fact that each chapter ends with a cliff-hanger keeps the reader engaged. Language is uncomplicated but there were a lot of grammatical errors which could have been avoided with better editing. You can see the Sanghi effect in the story during the multiple mythological citations in the book but the plot seemed a little stretched at a lot of places. Also, even though a lot of characters were introduced and we were given a peek into their pasts, their stories were left hanging which left me a little puzzled.

The highlight of the book however was the description of various landmarks in Mumbai such as the Film City, Dharavi, Taj, the Mumbai suburban trains etc. Each place was described in a lot of detail and managed to do complete justice to the city that never sleeps.

The authors did manage to give us an interesting end which was not predictable but again there were a lot of details associated with the killer which made it very challenging to understand the climax. Overall, I did have a lot of expectation from Private India but there were a lot of loose ends and the character development could have been considerably better.