Private India – Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson have worked magic together!

July 24, 2014
Author: Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson
Publisher: Random House India
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9780099586395
Rating: ★★★½☆
Read book reviews from other readers

Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson knead a fast-paced thriller-fiction with a generous helping of Bollywood-ish twists to deliver one of Patterson’s trademark mystery-action plots!

Move aside all you small time Indian detectives! India has got its own hi-tech detective agency! Private India is the Indian chapter of one of the world’s finest PI agencies, headed by Jack Morgan. Santosh Wagh is its Indian head. With a rather Dr. House-like character and a love for his drink, Mr. Wagh is a brilliant PI with a murky past. His aides are Nisha Gandhe – an Ex-cop turned PI and the attractive lass that every PI team needs, Mubeen the medical expert and Hari the unusual techie with a macho build. The story begins with the murder of a woman in a rather stagey fashion. But contrary to the cops’ initial belief, they later find out that the killer is on a killing spree. They need to find the killer not just to stop further killings but to save Mumbai from much larger threats!

What I liked

I haven’t read Mr. Patterson’s other books from the Private series though there was a time when all I read were his books – Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club were my favorites. As you read, you get the taste of Mr. Patterson’s distinctive style that is seen in his other work. Luckily, the murder scenes are not that graphic when compared to other James Patterson works – I was thankful for that! With a lot of red herrings thrown around the plot and ample cliffhangers, the plot works perfectly and will have you guessing till the very end.

The “Indianness” of the book has been handled well. The workings of the Indian Police and Judicial system has been meticulously researched. The authors take you on a wild ride through the various streets of Mumbai,  with its notorious side of gambling, prostitution, corruption, smuggling and Bollywood all making an appearance to give this book a distinctively “Mumbai” feel.

For Ashwin Sanghi, who previous works (such as Chanakya’s Chant and Krishna Key) were restricted to historical or mythological thrillers, this is new territory, and there is no doubt that he has come out of it victorious. He has added just the right dose of desi tadka to the international bestselling series, giving it an immediacy and appeal for Indian readers while retaining the spirit of the “Private series”.

What I didn’t

I am not sure how this co-authoring works, but the plot seems a little too Bollywood-ish. And there were a few things that seemed downright farfetched like a house that has thermostat in the sweltering hot Mumbai – huh? The whole motive for the killings seems fine, but I found the backstory a little weak. I know that both the authors are known more for the fast pace of their novels rather than the “literariness”, but I still felt they could have improved their narration at certain points, especially the character portrayals.

The verdict

Despite these minor flaws, the book kept me turning the pages. I finished it in just 2 days, it was that engaging. This book is an early sign of the evolution of Indian thriller fiction territory, and I hope it just gets better from here!

Read more on this work at ibnlive! For another quintessentially Indian detective from recent times, check out Inspector Virkar by Piyush Jha.

Vanathi Parthasarathi

Vanathi Parthasarathi

Writer at IndiaBookStore
Love to read and have been reading since 5. Amatuer photographer and experimental cook! One of the best things in the world, according to me, is the smell of the pages in a book!
Vanathi Parthasarathi

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  • Maniparna Sengupta Majumder July 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Thanks for the honest review…I think should go for this one…

    • IndiaBookStore July 29, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      Tell us your opinion after you read it!

    • Vanathi Parthasarathi October 17, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      Ddid you try it? What did you think?

  • Destination Infinity August 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    I want to read this book. Since Ashwin Sanghi is co-authoring it, i hoped there would be some historical event/happening related to India. I like Ashwin Sanghi’s historical research and presentation.

    • Vanathi Parthasarathi August 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      Do tell us if the review does it justice once you are done with the book 🙂

  • pooja August 8, 2014 at 11:31 PM

    great! looking forward to read it 🙂 thanks for the insights !

  • Bhavya N September 8, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about this one. Guess I will have to figure out for myself.

  • Sam Sharma September 8, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    I will go for this…

  • Sayantini Bhattacharya September 8, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    A lot of my friends are talking about this book. It made me curious about it too. I’d love to read this one. Thanks for the honest review 🙂

  • Vineeth September 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    nice review

  • Jumsumtak September 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    It was just other day, I was wondering that of all the spy and thriller novels based in the picturesque settings of europe, how great it would be to have one based out of the hustling bustling streets of India and here it is. So looking forward to read this one. 😀

  • Saptarshi Das September 8, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    One of my friends suggested it,I am eager to read this…

  • Smriti Prasad September 8, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Great review IBS 😀 Really gave a knowledgeable insight

  • Bhakti Khade Rangoonwala September 8, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Make me want to grab this book and read it in one go. It has certainly got me curious.

  • Ravi Raj September 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    will read it for sure…

  • Manjyot Singh September 8, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    After reading the review has made me even more curious about this book. Gonna read it for sure.

  • Sahib Khurana September 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Intriguing story is what i feel about this book after reading this review

  • Aditi Saha September 8, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Going to be one of the greatest best-seller of this year! Such an intriguing and engrossing plot!! And along with James Patterson, I’m sure Sanghi has created magic in Private India

  • Skie September 8, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    This will be a welcome change from all the college life books abound right now..

    • Vanathi Parthasarathi October 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      I have to agree with that!

  • Kavya Seetala September 8, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Sounds terrific.Want to read.

  • Sanjay Rajak September 8, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    yes, hardwork towards our passion never let us down..;)

  • Jeevan R September 8, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Wanna read this for sure.. 🙂

  • gow September 8, 2014 at 6:28 PM


  • Ekta Vaswani September 8, 2014 at 8:09 PM


  • Priyadarshi Das September 8, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    First Read The Book Thoroughly ,Then Review But Hope Its An Epic Piece

  • Neha September 8, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    Looks like a nice book.

    • Vanathi Parthasarathi October 17, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      If you are a James Patterson fan, his book is for you!

  • Pratikhya Alexis September 8, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    thanks for the honest and detailed review 🙂

    • Vanathi Parthasarathi October 17, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      My pleasure! 🙂

  • Santosh Panda September 8, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Thanks for the review.. Must pick this book !!

    • Vanathi Parthasarathi October 17, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      Glad to be of help! Did you try it?

  • PEEYUSH September 9, 2014 at 4:04 PM


  • Chandrashekar Ganesan September 9, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Good one, will pick it up

    • Vanathi Parthasarathi October 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      Did you read it? What did you think?

  • Rohith Iyer September 9, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    Go buy it

  • Suraj Saluja September 10, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Good One.

    • Vanathi Parthasarathi October 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Kashif Akhtar September 10, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Honestly speaking, it would be my first time reading any book of Ashwini Singh, however I would embrace it with much enthusiasm as I would have for my other collections.

    • Vanathi Parthasarathi October 17, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      Did you give it a try?

      • Kashif Akhtar October 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        Not yet.

        • Vanathi Parthasarathi October 27, 2014 at 1:58 PM

          Do try it and let us know what you feel 🙂

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