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Private: Oz

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The world's most exclusive detective agency opens a new office - in Australia!With the best detectives in the business, cutting edge technology and offices around the globe, there is no investigation company quite like Private. Now, at a glittering launch party overlooking the iconic Opera House, Private Sydney throws open its doors . . .Craig Gisto and his newly formed te The world's most exclusive detective agency opens a new office - in Australia!With the best detectives in the business, cutting edge technology and offices around the globe, there is no investigation company quite like Private. Now, at a glittering launch party overlooking the iconic Opera House, Private Sydney throws open its doors . . .Craig Gisto and his newly formed team have barely raised their glasses, however, when a young Asian man, blood-soaked and bullet-ridden, staggers into the party, and what looks like a botched kidnapping turns out to be a whole lot more.Within days the agency's caseload is full. But it is a horrific murder in the wealthy Eastern Suburbs and the desperate search for a motive that stretches the team to the limit. Stacy Friel, friend of the Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police, isn't the killer's first victim - and as the bodies mount up she's clearly not the last . . .


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The world's most exclusive detective agency opens a new office - in Australia!With the best detectives in the business, cutting edge technology and offices around the globe, there is no investigation company quite like Private. Now, at a glittering launch party overlooking the iconic Opera House, Private Sydney throws open its doors . . .Craig Gisto and his newly formed te The world's most exclusive detective agency opens a new office - in Australia!With the best detectives in the business, cutting edge technology and offices around the globe, there is no investigation company quite like Private. Now, at a glittering launch party overlooking the iconic Opera House, Private Sydney throws open its doors . . .Craig Gisto and his newly formed team have barely raised their glasses, however, when a young Asian man, blood-soaked and bullet-ridden, staggers into the party, and what looks like a botched kidnapping turns out to be a whole lot more.Within days the agency's caseload is full. But it is a horrific murder in the wealthy Eastern Suburbs and the desperate search for a motive that stretches the team to the limit. Stacy Friel, friend of the Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police, isn't the killer's first victim - and as the bodies mount up she's clearly not the last . . .

30 review for Private: Oz

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will M.

    I rarely give out 1 star ratings, but when I do, the book was really terrible. James Patterson is one of my favorite authors, so giving him a one star rating is not as easy as it looks like. This is his weakest novel so far, among those that I've read. What a shame to be part of the "Private series". I loved Private London, Berlin and L.A so much that the Private series was among my favorite crime series of all time. I still consider it as one of my favorites, but this book was just boring. Not o I rarely give out 1 star ratings, but when I do, the book was really terrible. James Patterson is one of my favorite authors, so giving him a one star rating is not as easy as it looks like. This is his weakest novel so far, among those that I've read. What a shame to be part of the "Private series". I loved Private London, Berlin and L.A so much that the Private series was among my favorite crime series of all time. I still consider it as one of my favorites, but this book was just boring. Not only was the plot predictable, but the characters were flat and undeveloped. Only Justine was fun to read, but she was already introduced early on in the series, so she's not really the main character here. Craig Gisto had a huge potential to be good in the beginning of the novel, but he ventured off a cliff throughout the novel. His ego was not as natural as the author wanted it to be. He seemed pretentious, for me. I checked other reviews to see if maybe I'm the only one who hated this, but I've seen a lot of 1 and 2 star ratings everywhere. Some reviews are a lot meaner than mine, but if Patterson's not among my favorites, I would've tortured this novel by writing a really hate filled review. After reading about 10 reviews, I was enlightened that this book was as accurate as shit. Apparently the author, Michael White, didn't do much research of Australia, even though he's Australian. I don't live in Australia, so I can't really comment on the inaccuracy, but just a heads up for the Aussies out there. 1 star. If only I could give a book 0/5 rating, this would receive it in an instant. If I were you I'd read something else of Patterson. He can tell a good story, but Private Down Under is not a good example of what he can really do.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Craig Gisto, originally from the UK and living in Australia for many years, opened the new Private office in the centre of Sydney. Within hours the cases were beginning to build – there was a killer of young women on the prowl. And in the meantime, one of the wealthy Asian identities of Sydney contacted Private – his son had been kidnapped. When his bullet riddled body turned up, the hunt was on. Private Oz is #7 in the Private series and this time set in Sydney, Australia. But to us Australians, Craig Gisto, originally from the UK and living in Australia for many years, opened the new Private office in the centre of Sydney. Within hours the cases were beginning to build – there was a killer of young women on the prowl. And in the meantime, one of the wealthy Asian identities of Sydney contacted Private – his son had been kidnapped. When his bullet riddled body turned up, the hunt was on. Private Oz is #7 in the Private series and this time set in Sydney, Australia. But to us Australians, the mistakes are glaringly obvious. Minor ones like spelling – we say Mum (not the US Mom) in Australia (and the UK for that matter, where Craig Gisto originated from) – and tyre/tire; footpath/sidewalk – the list goes on. But it’s the bigger errors that have tripped author James Patterson up. Fahrenheit when we do Celcius; miles when we do kilometers… Private Oz is a fast-paced thriller – which Mr Patterson does well – but his research leaves much to be desired in this instance. A shame he let himself and his reading public (especially the Aussies) down.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    Please Mr. Patterson. STOP IT. For the first time ever, I read other reviews to check that I wasn't being ridiculous. BUT if you are using a location as your ONLY new angle on the same old, same old please try get the location right. As many of my fellow Aussies have commented - seventy degrees in Sydney is just a very embarrassing (for you and your editor) editing issue. Today was a record breaking 44 degrees in Sydney - because we use Celsius. And cell phones, and kilometres, and Australian Ido Please Mr. Patterson. STOP IT. For the first time ever, I read other reviews to check that I wasn't being ridiculous. BUT if you are using a location as your ONLY new angle on the same old, same old please try get the location right. As many of my fellow Aussies have commented - seventy degrees in Sydney is just a very embarrassing (for you and your editor) editing issue. Today was a record breaking 44 degrees in Sydney - because we use Celsius. And cell phones, and kilometres, and Australian Idol is in the last quarter of the year....all little details you would have learnt if any of your team had done a little work. Also, I think ANYWHERE in the world, but certainly in Australia where serial killers don't come around as often as your novels, no woman would go for a jog by herself, same routine and time every day, when four other woman all from within a kilometer or so of her house have been brutally murdered over the last few weeks. And NO senior police officer Husband would allow her to do so either. So, Mr Patterson's fans,don't waste your time with this, it is unrealistic, repetitive of any others in this series, and a total dud. Why did I finish it? Other than the fact that it is so easy to read with such short chapters, Mr Patterson's earlier work has built him a reputation and I keep reading his novels HOPING that one day his ability will come back. Until it does I would beg him to keep these 'works' Private in every sense of the word.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    Private Oz is the fourth novel in the Private series by James Patterson and is co-written by Michael White. Soon after Jack Morgan’s 2nd in charge, Justine Smith arrives in Sydney for the grand opening of Private Sydney, a horribly mutilated Asian man stumbles into Private’s party and dies of gunshot wounds. Ho Meng, the man’s father, engages Private to investigate as he doesn’t trust the Police: Private Sydney’s first case. But soon, Private Sydney’s boss Craig Gisto, has more to investigate: a Private Oz is the fourth novel in the Private series by James Patterson and is co-written by Michael White. Soon after Jack Morgan’s 2nd in charge, Justine Smith arrives in Sydney for the grand opening of Private Sydney, a horribly mutilated Asian man stumbles into Private’s party and dies of gunshot wounds. Ho Meng, the man’s father, engages Private to investigate as he doesn’t trust the Police: Private Sydney’s first case. But soon, Private Sydney’s boss Craig Gisto, has more to investigate: a string of women is disfigured, stabbed and left to die with a wad of fake banknotes intimately placed; a 26-year-old rock star is worried his manager is arranging for him to join Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and others in “Club 27”; and a businessman’s wife is worried about his recent disappearance, considering the tenor of some of his business dealings. Of the characters, the majority are two-dimensional: the most interesting was the serial killer. None of the Private staff were interesting enough to want to read more of. The computer nerd was a stuttering stereotype. Again, Patterson features ultra-short chapters. I noticed the characters celebrated by toasting with Verve: I think they may have meant Veuve (Cliquot). I was interested to read this novel as I wanted to see just how well Patterson and White could portray Sydney and Australians. Certainly the location was Sydney: the streets, schools and various organisations attested to that. But these events could have happened anywhere: apart from the setting, there is very little Oz about this novel. Australians (and Brits) refer to their mothers as mum, not mom. Since before 1988, Australia has used Celsius instead of Fahrenheit to report temperature, kilometres instead of miles for distance, kilograms instead of pounds for weight. Down here we have the colour grey, not gray. Our paper money is notes, not bills. Mary’s use of the f word is not typical of Australian women. And the list goes on: tire (tyre), sidewalk (footpath), gas station (petrol station), alley (lane, although they couldn’t make up their minds about this and used both), cell phone (mobile), drugstore (pharmacy), windshield (windscreen), slot machines (poker machines), pissed with (pissed off with), ass (arse), wop (wog), and college (Uni). It’s disappointing that an international best-selling author chooses to tailor his writing to only an American readership, assuming they are too stupid or lazy to work out that Australians use some words and systems different from what they do. To achieve a genuine Aussie feel, Patterson & White could have included a glossary for their international readers; failing that, the most basic find-and-replace word processing program could have ensured that the version published in Australia used metric and words like footpath, petrol station and mum. As with Private London (which lacked a true British feel) and the fiasco that was Cross Country (set on the African continent), this is a poor effort. My advice to Mr Patterson is to stick to where you know (USA) because you sure don’t know Australia. I would have rated this higher except that I was so disgusted with the lack of Australian vernacular.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Turner

    DNF A word to the wise…you just may want to skip this review… BUT, before you do, I have discovered that there's another Private book set in Australia titled Private Down Under, published in 2013, a year after Private Oz. From what I can see they are the same book. NAUGHTY! Now, where was I before I so rudely interrupted myself? I started reading this book as soon as I finished “Private” and what a huge difference and disappointment. It’s easy to see that the two books had different co-authors. “Pri DNF A word to the wise…you just may want to skip this review… BUT, before you do, I have discovered that there's another Private book set in Australia titled Private Down Under, published in 2013, a year after Private Oz. From what I can see they are the same book. NAUGHTY! Now, where was I before I so rudely interrupted myself? I started reading this book as soon as I finished “Private” and what a huge difference and disappointment. It’s easy to see that the two books had different co-authors. “Private” was written by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, and I really enjoyed it, but this collaboration between Patterson and Michael White sucks! Michael White is a British author who moved to Australia in 2002 and now resides in Perth. So…he’d been here for ten years when Private Oz was published. Really? Could have fooled me. After that length of time you would think that he’d know that: We measure distance in kilometres, not miles. We measure temperatures in Celsius, not Farenheit. “My car’s thermometer read 92 degrees.” Really? Wonder where he bought the car? We measure weight in kilograms, not pounds. We have mobile phones, not cell phones. We have petrol stations, not gas stations. We don’t say a “fifth” of bourbon. We don’t have drugstores. We have tyres on our vehicles, not tires. Every time we say dollar we don’t prefix it with Australian. We KNOW it’s an Australian dollar. We have fifty-dollar notes, not fifty-dollar bills. We don’t finish our sentences with “yeah?” There is no Sandville in the western suburbs of Sydney. We have the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Organization (ASIO) NOT the Australian Intelligence Agency. The Old Quarantine Station at Manly was only used to quarantine visitors suspected to be carrying contagious diseases such as Spanish Influenza, Smallpox or Bubonic Plague. Not ALL visitors to Australia were quarantined before being allowed into the country. And this gem from Amazon reviewer, Birdcage…”And as for our Customs not only allowing a bankrupted Yank with a criminal record into the country but giving him residency....we stopped importing convicts in the early eighteen hundreds.” This cracked me up! On the plus side: At least he got the “Maccas” right! That counts for something, I guess. And they called 000 for emergency, not 911. This story could have been set in any major city in the world. Writing a book but never spent much time in Sydney? Not a problem. Google Maps is a wonderful thing. Just throw some well-known street names, a few well-known suburbs and few famous locations like the Harbour Bride, the Opera House and Luna Park into the story and call it done. There’s no real sense of Sydney or Australia in this story. We’re told not shown. “We turned onto the Quay and I pointed out the sights to Justine. She was quiet, taking it all in, but not “oohing” and “ahhing” as some tourists might.” What sights? And this is just one example. As for the characters, they were so one-dimensional and bland that at times I forgot who was who. The multiple storylines of Chinese Triads, a female serial killer, a rock star, drugs, brothels and blackmail were unbelievable. And so, with only 68 pages to go I retired to vent my spleen.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    I don't know why I keep reading James Patterson's books. I think it is just a bad habit that I need to break. Thank God it is a very fast read!! Very little character development, story lines all over the place...just more James Patterson fluff!! In looking at many of the other reviews that readers have posted, I see that I'm not alone in thinking that JP has let his standards fall...A LOT!! I did get a chuckle seeing that other readers also noticed the fixation on vomiting!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Alycia

    I really enjoy the books in this series that are set outside of the United States. They’re so much more fun to read about, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of he dynamic of the Private main office. I loved learning about some new characters handling some incredibly intense cases in this book. It was fast paced from the beginning and kept you on the edge of your seat. I do have to say this, I really want one of Patterson’s characters to be described as ugly just once. I’m tired of reading about I really enjoy the books in this series that are set outside of the United States. They’re so much more fun to read about, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of he dynamic of the Private main office. I loved learning about some new characters handling some incredibly intense cases in this book. It was fast paced from the beginning and kept you on the edge of your seat. I do have to say this, I really want one of Patterson’s characters to be described as ugly just once. I’m tired of reading about these incredibly attractive people and their incredibly attractive partners. Let them be ordinary for once! Let them be smart and unattractive! They don’t all need to be perfect specimen all the time!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I really liked these characters and the crime plots. I already figured out that the Private novels in the international agencies can be hit or miss but this one was a hit. I hope for more Private novels from Oz and Berlin so far! The crazy killer crime plot was very intriguing to read. My quick and simple overall: entertaining and very quick pace.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Belinda Cantwell

    This was not one of favourites from this author....if your book is set in Australia, speak australian lingo and terms.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amanda McGill

    Not the best novel in the Private series. Private has opened an office in Sydney, Australia lead by Craig Gisto. Right away there have 3 cases to solve: 1. A very rich business man's son was kidnapped and killed by a gang. 2. Women in an exclusive neighbourhood are being targeted and killed. 3. A rock star is convinced that his manager is going to kill him. Story line number 2 was by far the most exciting. However, I didn't like that the killer was revealed pretty early on. The motive was interest Not the best novel in the Private series. Private has opened an office in Sydney, Australia lead by Craig Gisto. Right away there have 3 cases to solve: 1. A very rich business man's son was kidnapped and killed by a gang. 2. Women in an exclusive neighbourhood are being targeted and killed. 3. A rock star is convinced that his manager is going to kill him. Story line number 2 was by far the most exciting. However, I didn't like that the killer was revealed pretty early on. The motive was interesting that I never guessed. I didn't love the new Private office and I found that Craig and his team only found the killers due to advanced technologies instead of investigating and brain power. Not sure why Justine (from Private LA) was in this novel. The authors could of used her more instead of just being a background character. Overall, the story was a quick read with a semi ok mystery plot.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Monnie

    Hard to believe this is the fifth installment that I've read in Patterson's Private series, and nothing here has changed my opinion that this is the best series he and his various partners are serving up these days (this one is co-written with Michael White). It's also easy to read; I polished the whole thing off in one day of spare time (admittedly on a Saturday when college football games dominated the TV and I was able to keep one eye on my Kindle Fire and the other on the action). I'll also Hard to believe this is the fifth installment that I've read in Patterson's Private series, and nothing here has changed my opinion that this is the best series he and his various partners are serving up these days (this one is co-written with Michael White). It's also easy to read; I polished the whole thing off in one day of spare time (admittedly on a Saturday when college football games dominated the TV and I was able to keep one eye on my Kindle Fire and the other on the action). I'll also point out that the last 12% is a three-chapter preview of Burn, the next in his Michael Bennett series that I believe is scheduled for publication Sept. 29, 2014. For those who don't know, Private is a high-tech, highly successful investigation agency with offices all over the world (hence Private Berlin, Private L.A., etc. In this one, Craig Cristo has formed a new office in Sydney, Australia, with the help of the drop-dead gorgeous and highly experienced Justine, who also happens to be the main squeeze of Jack Morgan, founder/owner of Private. As they throw a big bash to kick off the opening, a young Asian man - complete with bullet holes and a few missing body parts - stumbles onto the scene (pretty much putting the kabosh on the party spirit). As it turns out, it may have been a kidnapping gone awry, and the man's father (who hates the police) believes it's related to the lucrative world of imported drugs and wants Private to do their thing. That gives the new company some serious business, but as if that weren't enough, a friend of the New South Wales Police Department, turns up brutally murdered. That investigation leads to the discovery that she's not the first - nor is she the last, since more murders start happening in fairly rapid succession. As with the others in the series, this one is relatively predictable and won't challenge anyone's gray matter - making it perfect for reading on the beach, by a cozy fire or, as in my case, cheering on "my" Ohio State University Buckeyes (and in any case, preferably with a glass of wine in hand).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Neilr

    I'll start off by saying that this book was given to me as a present and although I have read similar books this isn't one that I would have bought myself. This is the first of the Private series of books that I have read; you don't need to have read any of the previous ones to read this one although a couple of characters from prior books do get a mention here and there. Living in Sydney it was a bit of a Novelty at first to read a book set in Sydney but after a while it felt like the Author was I'll start off by saying that this book was given to me as a present and although I have read similar books this isn't one that I would have bought myself. This is the first of the Private series of books that I have read; you don't need to have read any of the previous ones to read this one although a couple of characters from prior books do get a mention here and there. Living in Sydney it was a bit of a Novelty at first to read a book set in Sydney but after a while it felt like the Author was just including as many place names as they could so ended up being a bit annoying. The author obviously did a lot of research on the local area and knows the names of wealthy suburbs & schools as well as trendy pubs etc. However there are quite a few mistakes such as Australian characters using Mom (instead of Mum), temperature in F not C. referring to a poorer suburb as 'the projects' & 'the ghetto' which we don’t do in Australia to name a few. The storyline is average, there are 4 unrelated cases that are being investigated, none of them have any twists or turns and the investigators seem to just stumble onto each clue along the way. On the plus side it is easy to read and is a page turner, I put that down to the fact that chapters are two and a half pages long on average so there’s a lot of half pages, also you go to put the book down then realise there only one or two pages till the end of the next chapter so decide to read that as well. If you're a fan of James Patterson or the Private series give it a go otherwise I'm sure there are far better books out there.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Blech. For the most part, I have actually enjoyed the Private books. This one, not so much. Some of it, I can pin down, other parts I can't. I hated how insincere it came across as an Australian book. As mentioned in a lot of reviews, the language was off. But also, it drove me nuts that the characters kept saying "Australian dollars"...guess what, they are in frickin Australia, I am pretty sure they would just say dollars. Then the characters. I get that you have to create a new slew of characte Blech. For the most part, I have actually enjoyed the Private books. This one, not so much. Some of it, I can pin down, other parts I can't. I hated how insincere it came across as an Australian book. As mentioned in a lot of reviews, the language was off. But also, it drove me nuts that the characters kept saying "Australian dollars"...guess what, they are in frickin Australia, I am pretty sure they would just say dollars. Then the characters. I get that you have to create a new slew of characters every time a new location gets opened, but come on. Do they all have to be gorgeous model/geniuses/rich/everything! Look at the nerds of the world, how many actually started out as models. We have to put up with enough of the ridiculously pretty people doing this stuff (in heels and designer clothes) on tv, I shouldn't have to put up with it in a book. And then the storylines were so far apart that the interest level couldn't even stay. Chinese Triads. Serial killer in affluent neighbourhood. Rock star. All a little much and trying way too hard. And then the weird out of place story with the main character and his cousin. They allude to the fact that the man's wife and child were killed, but his behaviour does not once reflect this throughout the story, constantly ogling his co-workers and being smarmy. Definitely the weak point in the Private books in my opinion.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    This is a really ordinary book, paper thin plot with next to no suspense, two dimensional characters, plus a weird obsession with people vomiting. It looks too like the Australian research consisted of Google Maps to get some suburbs and road names. As a note to the author: in Australia we speak in Celsius, kilometres and kilograms! We don't use cells, just mobile phones .. the list could choose on! Mind you, the lack of localisation meant we were spared the stereotypes normally put on Australia This is a really ordinary book, paper thin plot with next to no suspense, two dimensional characters, plus a weird obsession with people vomiting. It looks too like the Australian research consisted of Google Maps to get some suburbs and road names. As a note to the author: in Australia we speak in Celsius, kilometres and kilograms! We don't use cells, just mobile phones .. the list could choose on! Mind you, the lack of localisation meant we were spared the stereotypes normally put on Australians in US/UK books, so that's a good thing. Fans of Paterson may enjoy this, as its his usual style.

  15. 4 out of 5

    retronerd Steinkuehler

    Definitely writing a script for a movie and/or TV series: a very WEAK Castle plot (and some characters) comes to mind. Thankfully the chapters were Patterson's trademark - short. Made getting to the end a breeze. Not recommended even for light reading. Disappointing at best.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    What started off as such a great series has gone downhill fast. I said to myself after reading the last Private book, 'No more' but as an Aussie I thought it may redeam itself, as this book was based in Australia. Nope. Sorely disappointed.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Although James Patterson is a good author, this is likely his worst story. There's zero credibility when professionals literally behave like teen groupies. Best if this were "Buried Down Under," instead. 0 of 10 stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I've read the other Private books and don't remember them being this awful. Halfway through I decided to chuck it. No character development, I can't say I even know who's who. Just horrible writing, full of unrelated fluff that does nothing to move the plot. Don't waste your time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    Too predictable. Too gory for shock value only. Characters not well developed. Lots of plots which made me finish the book, but also left me not wanting to read any more Private books (And I've read others and enjoyed them - Private and Private London)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Montanasmith

    Not his best Private book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emmett Spain

    As someone who had never read any James Patterson, but had read about James Patterson and his sausage factory of creative pursuits, I had to see what all the fuss was about, and so I made the fateful decision to start here. An odd choice, you might think, given it's the seventh book in a series, but there were two compelling reasons for my particular selection: 1. It was three dollars at my local Vinnies; and 2. It's set in Sydney, and I live in Sydney, so I figured it would be fun to read how my As someone who had never read any James Patterson, but had read about James Patterson and his sausage factory of creative pursuits, I had to see what all the fuss was about, and so I made the fateful decision to start here. An odd choice, you might think, given it's the seventh book in a series, but there were two compelling reasons for my particular selection: 1. It was three dollars at my local Vinnies; and 2. It's set in Sydney, and I live in Sydney, so I figured it would be fun to read how my home city is written by the number one selling thriller author in the world. Spoiler Alert on Point 2: BAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDLLLLLYYYYY. The factual errors here are freaking legion, people. From the fact that people refer to temperature using the Fahrenheit scale (we use Celsius here in good old Oz), to the references to miles and yards as measures of distance (Aussies use the metric system), to the bastardisation of geography (the Western Suburbs does not possess any ghettos, I'm afraid), to straight making up suburbs (there's no such place as Sandsville!). But by far the most egregious offence comes when our lead character goes into a bar and orders a Fosters. A FOSTERS! Why not throw another shrimp on the barbie whilst you're at it?? For the unaware, Fosters is a beer marketed to Americans, as a beer that Australians drink. We most emphatically do not drink that putrid golden anus water. Yes, you can find it in some parts of Australia, for the cashed up tourists and the cash poor locals, but where you will not find it, is in any pub in my beloved Sydney. As someone who has sampled a vast number of Sydney's drinking establishments, and who is friends with people who've sampled the remainder, I can state that with some authority. At first, I let these issues slide. I figured that Patterson was pitching this at an American audience, and that informed his (and his co-writer's) choices. (His co-writer is British, by the way, and lives in Australia, though you'd never know it from the issues listed above.) I let the making up of suburbs go, as well, along with the flourishes of adding ghettos to the West. James Patterson has made very clear in interviews I've seen from him that he doesn't "write reality". So on I pushed, accepting the man's creative choices, whilst not particularly enjoying them. But then there was the Fosters incident. Unforgivable! If the character had a condition that destroyed all his taste buds and obliterated his gag reflex, then MAYBE. (One last note on this: To me, James Patterson and Michael White are like the kids who didn't study for a test and bullshitted their way through it. Which wouldn't be a problem, except that they got someone to publish said test for a sizable advance and fee, then foisted it upon an unsuspecting populace who trust the Patterson brand, and who want to see what the fuss is about.) Moving on now, to another dimension. The first dimension. I'll call it the "ONE DIMENSION". It's important, because it's where every single character in this book lives. The characters in this book are so paper thin, when they turn sideways, they disappear. Here are a few choice passages to describe main characters and supporting players: "She was a cool contrast ... beautiful and brilliant. The only nerd who could grace the centrefold of Playboy." "Lower North Shore Yummy Mummy, maybe Eastern Suburbs, but a little too cool." "She had a narrow waist, flat tummy, firm boobs." Following this description, where the character is "considering" her own naked body, she says to no one: "Gotta be some benefits to eating nothing and having no bambini, I guess." I'll spare you further examples. How's the prose? About what you'd expect. Short, to the point, expressed in a manner that's designed to appeal to people who don't read a lot. Nothing wrong with that--not everyone wants dense or elegant prose. That said, the whole thing felt rushed, like they published the second draft. Formatting errors abounded ... my wife picked up the book and within one minute she had found three errors. Without trying. But the story? That was at least something, right? No. Just ... no. This, more than any other factor, is what earned Private Oz a single star from me. The execution was horrendous. Finding out the killer's motive after it's all said and done, with an exposition dump of "Oh, by the way, here's why she did it?" Several story-lines which share nothing in common, come together in no satisfying manner, and resolve in ways that were as anticlimactic as finding out that the cool jumping castle you were promised for your birthday has arrived, but it's got a hole in it so big that you'll never get to pump it up and jump, jump, jump for joy like you had been looking forward to doing for weeks? Look no further, friend. This book has got all those disappointments and more besides. In a word? Rubbish. The entire book, from start to end. Rubbish. In conclusion, I want to be clear that I'm not a Patterson hater ... I wish him all the very best with what he does. I know his creative method is offensive to some, but not to me. People are free to create art in whatever way makes them happy, suits their purpose, or that they think will sell. I'm in no position to look down on anyone else's method for creating the product or art. I am, however, in a position to look down on this lazy, dull, poorly executed, poorly plotted, badly written piece of junk that reads like the first effort from a particularly earnest crime writer trying their hand at the genre, with typos and all. Don't read this. Ever. For any reason. I'm going to go and have a Fosters now to calm my jangled nerves. But oh wait, I can't. Know why? BECAUSE I LIVE IN SYDNEY!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rob Cook

    Even for a Patterson this book was fairly rushed. The lead character doesn't get a proper introduction at the very beginning (aside from reading the back cover) and the 'glamorous launch party' receives hardly any detail as a body is found straightaway. I initially thought I had missed something! As usual with the Private series, this book has multiple cases (I think 4 or 5? I lost count) and again some of these could have been culled to flesh out other aspects of the book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Giusti

    This series continues to get better with each book, Intense and makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens next.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Simone Perren

    This book is part of the Private series which you all know I love a lot. James Patterson has different authors writing alongside him for each of the Private books and for this one, Michael White is the chosen author. I must say I found it quite refreshing to read a Private book which I felt was quite different to the others in the series. However, my previous comment to my Dad is still correct: James Patterson never writes a book where just one person is killed! There is always some kind of seri This book is part of the Private series which you all know I love a lot. James Patterson has different authors writing alongside him for each of the Private books and for this one, Michael White is the chosen author. I must say I found it quite refreshing to read a Private book which I felt was quite different to the others in the series. However, my previous comment to my Dad is still correct: James Patterson never writes a book where just one person is killed! There is always some kind of serial killer or multiple murder involved. I personally enjoy this element but it could be slightly repetitive. In this book, also known as Private Oz, a new branch has been set up in Australia by the fantastic Craig Gisto and Jack's former partner/romantic interest, Justine. I find this combination to work really well and Justine has become more and more endearing to me throughout the series. Gisto is a wonderful lead character and I couldn't help but continue reading. This book is also very 'unputdownable' as the chapters are characteristically short and you always just want to read one more chapter to find out what happens next. The pace is also incredibly fast and although this book is nearly 400 pages long, it doesn't feel that way. I read this book so quickly because I just wanted to find out 'whodunnit'? The first of the two main stories is that of a young Asian man who runs into the launch party of Private Sydney covered in bullets and blood. There is much back and forth with this story and it wasn't my favourite of the two. The young man's father is a very wealthy man who has some extreme trust issues with the police and so refuses to have the police investigate his son's potential kidnapping. Private therefore is his only option and as it happened at their launch party, who better to find out what happened? I found the father to be quite an interesting character but also surprisingly irritating. It just didn't ring true in his reactions but by the end I could understand his motives. The second of the main plots was the most interesting one in my opinion. Housewives across the wealthy Eastern suburbs are being found dead in very violent and odd circumstances. The most suspenseful part of this story is that Justine's sister is one of the potential victims as she lives in the area. This part of the book was extremely well written and I really needed to keep reading to find out who it was. The twist on the typical serial killer was well thought out and actually made me think so I would say a job well done. Overall, not my favourite in the series, but a refreshing change all the same.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Private Down Under takes us on a multiple murder mystery investigation, by the new Australian team of Private Sidney Detective Agency. An Asian man is gruesomely murdered with links to a highly organized drug ring. Nothing like getting thrown right into the deep end on opening day, but Private is up for the task. There is a serial killer on the loose and the victims are hitting close to home with the Private staff, the clock is ticking down before one of their own is targeted. The story is written Private Down Under takes us on a multiple murder mystery investigation, by the new Australian team of Private Sidney Detective Agency. An Asian man is gruesomely murdered with links to a highly organized drug ring. Nothing like getting thrown right into the deep end on opening day, but Private is up for the task. There is a serial killer on the loose and the victims are hitting close to home with the Private staff, the clock is ticking down before one of their own is targeted. The story is written by multiple perspectives, including the victims last moments, the murders and the investigators. Private Down Under is an entertaining, suspense filled, thriller, mystery. Gruesome and grizzly descriptions gives this blood drenched novel the feeling of an episode of CSI. I can't but be impressed by the tactile vibe of being part of the investigation, but I'm not a fan of such horrific details in real life circumstances. This would be a perfect read for life mirroring, suspense thriller fans. I received this ARC copy ofPrivate Down Under from Grand Central Publishing in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication August 26, 2014. Written by: James Paterson and Michael White Series: Private Sequence in Series: 6 Paperback: 384 pages Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Publication Date: August 26, 2014 Rating: 4 Stars ISBN-10: 1455529788 ISBN-13: 978-1455529780 Genre: Mystery | Suspense Find this book on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Reviewed for: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  26. 4 out of 5

    Book Addict Shaun

    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 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.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    This book is the perfect beach book. Private Down Under will feel very familiar if you have read any of the previous books in the Private series. They say that this book is set in Australia, but other than a few city names and a couple of meters and Centigrade degree temperatures thrown in, you wouldn’t know it. The story could have been set in Chicago or Miami with very few changes. All of these Private books pretend that the locations matter, but they never do. This story is like all the rest. This book is the perfect beach book. Private Down Under will feel very familiar if you have read any of the previous books in the Private series. They say that this book is set in Australia, but other than a few city names and a couple of meters and Centigrade degree temperatures thrown in, you wouldn’t know it. The story could have been set in Chicago or Miami with very few changes. All of these Private books pretend that the locations matter, but they never do. This story is like all the rest. Private (the detective agency) swoops into town and gets a heavy-handed partnership with the local police. They have more resources and higher paid and better trained help, so they do most of the detecting. There is some sort of conflict with someone in the local police, but everything works out and good always prevails. This book is light entertainment, very predictable, and formulaic, but enjoyable. Kind of like going to see one of the summer blockbuster movies. You have fun and don’t need to worry that there will be any heavy work involved. Do I recommend this book? Sure, why not. It will be a good Labor Day Weekend read. You will be able to sit by the pool, sip a cool drink, and finish it in a few hours. It will make your weekend better, because you won’t need to strain your brain. I give Private Down Under 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. I recommend it as a light, fun, entertaining book. Grab the paperback, read it, then give it to someone else to read. You won’t need to keep it on your library bookshelves forever. I received this book for free from NetGalley and the publisher, Grand Central Publishing, in return for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    David Savage

    Private is a very successful private investigations agency run by Jack Morgan in L.A. Private Down Under sees the opening of the Sydney, Australia branch. At the launch party a dead man crashes the party who has been shot and had his eyes gorged out, this is the start of a very busy first week for Craig Gitso and his team of investigators. While trying to find the killer of the man that looks to be a kidnapping gone horribly wrong involving the Triads they also take on cases involving a missing b Private is a very successful private investigations agency run by Jack Morgan in L.A. Private Down Under sees the opening of the Sydney, Australia branch. At the launch party a dead man crashes the party who has been shot and had his eyes gorged out, this is the start of a very busy first week for Craig Gitso and his team of investigators. While trying to find the killer of the man that looks to be a kidnapping gone horribly wrong involving the Triads they also take on cases involving a missing businessman who seems to be involved with gangsters, a rock star who thinks his manager is trying to kill him but also the murder of 4 wealthy women that looks like a serial killer is on the loose. Overall, Private Down Under is a great thrill ride. The ever familiar Patterson style of short chapters and fast paced action right from the first page does not let up making it a quick read although it is about 340 pages long. It contains kidnap, blackmail, murder and intrigue and is written in such a way that you can’t put the book down as you just want to read “one” more chapter to see what happens next. Never a dull moment and a great thrilling and exciting read. If you haven’t read Patterson before you are in for a treat and you won't have to had read the previous books in the series to follow the story. I highly recommend it and can’t wait for the next one! Rating: 5/5

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ambs ❤❤

    Another Private installment, another city and branch, another lead character, still same great momentum. I've realized with all the changes, we can keep the same backbone but tell completely new stories with new people, solving different crimes, which seems to stave off boredom. I enjoyed the fact that there are multiple cases to solve, and that not every interaction is a romantic one. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator had a perfect Australian accent, which complimented the locale very Another Private installment, another city and branch, another lead character, still same great momentum. I've realized with all the changes, we can keep the same backbone but tell completely new stories with new people, solving different crimes, which seems to stave off boredom. I enjoyed the fact that there are multiple cases to solve, and that not every interaction is a romantic one. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator had a perfect Australian accent, which complimented the locale very nicely. With that being said, one of the main characters was described so perfectly as Rebel Wilson. Hopefully that won't ruin anyone's experience reading this book. I liked the cast of characters, they were slightly flawed, but not to the point of disbelief. They worked well together. I'd recommend this book if you like any of the other Private books, or if you are a fan of James Patterson.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I have not really gotten into the Private series, but I read it because a friend wanted the book. I have to agree with some other reviewers here. It was set "down under" but nothing was really put into print that made it seem that way. It could have been any city, anywhere. Sure, there were a couple of mentions of cities there, but that really didn't do it for me. There were several grisly crimes that the Private team had to investigate and solve. There was a lot of vomiting going on.

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