Whenever I finish a James Patterson novel I am left with one of two things: a sense of relief that the book is over, or enjoyment at having finished a great book. There is no in between for me with this author, I either hate his books or I enjoy them. And I did quite enjoy this despite its many flaws. For a start the book is meant to be set in Australia but, apart from the name dropping of places and buildings in Sydney this book was very American. There was no local dialect, and not once did I feel the setting of this book. I'm assuming that Private Berlin will be the same when it is released and Private London was definitely the same. A very American book despite the fact it was set in London.
That said I do like the premise for 'Private', despite wondering how realistic it could be and whether it could ever happen in the real world. But this is why I like Patterson. There are plenty of generic crime fiction authors out there who churn out the same old rubbish, and despite the fact that Patterson seems to have a new book out every other month he always comes up with these ridiculous OTT storylines and that's one of the things I like about him. That, and the short chapters. The thing with the Private books is there always seems to be more than one case going on at any one time, which is to be expected because of the nature of the business but in other Private books it has been difficult and at times annoying to follow the different storylines but here they weren't too hard to follow.
The characters could have just been pulled from other Private novels, there was no originality, I didn't really feel anything for the characters like I would with Lindsey and Co from the Women's Murder Club and I didn't invest much into the other characters in the book who weren't the main characters. Another thing with Private is that many of the characters die and/or have lost loved ones in the past, it's like working for Private is cursed and you will end up dead one day.
Overall for a Patterson novel it was an enjoyable acceptable read and an easy way to pass a few hours but as always when I read one of his books I just end up wondering 'Why?!' when I've finished.