Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Private Oz by James Patterson and Michael White

Private Oz is one of the latest installments in the dynamic and multinational Private series from James Patterson and co-authors.  Set in Australia (hence the Oz part of the title), this is the first book that has been set relatively close to home for New Zealand readers, a little icing on the cake for an already interesting and addictive series.

The main storyline is high impact, and keeps up the tension throughout the novel, and while some of the subplots are a little distracting at times, it does make for a well rounded read and a firm introduction to the team working at Private - from the forensic expert through to the receptionist.  The cast are interesting and well developed, bringing their own skills and history to the cases they are working on - which makes for a better read than some of the other books in the series.  At times the stories seem a little jumbled, like they tried to fit too much into the book, but it evens out across the novel and comes to a rather satisfying conclusion.

There is one little bug bear however - this book was set in Australia, and the edition I read was published in Australia so it would have been nice if the measurements had been in "Australian".  At this end of the world we ....

Use kilograms as a measurement of weight (not pounds)
Use degrees Celsius as a temperament measurement (not degrees Fahrenheit)
Use kilometres an hour as a speed measurement (not miles per hour)
And we enter a building on the ground floor (not the first floor)

Apart from these little bug bears this was a thoroughly good read devoured in an afternoon.  James Patterson is a very (very) active author who produces copious amounts of books each year, usually with co-authors, but what a lot of people don't know is that he is also involved with literacy programmes and writes books for teenagers and children to encourage them to develop a love of reading from a young age.  A great author who will hopefully be writing for many years to come.

If you enjoyed Private Oz you may also enjoy the rest of the series and pretty much anything else by James Patterson including: Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, Kill me if you can by James Patterson and Marshall Karp, and Step on a crack by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.

~ Reviewed by Elspeth Sweetman

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