Private Games, by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan (Century, RRP $38):
In this latest novel to feature Private International – the world’s most exclusive detective agency – the firm has been hired to provide security for the biggest sporting event of 2012: the Olympic Games in London.
Hundreds of Private’s agents are in London to protect the athletes and with the opening ceremony just hours away, London office boss Peter Knight is called to the scene of a brutal murder.
Sir Denton Marshall has been found decapitated is his garden, murdered along with his mistress.
But Sir Denton isn’t just a random victim: he is a high-ranking member of the Olympic Games organising committee. He was also engaged to Inspector Knight’s mother.
Then, when a newspaper reporter receives a letter from someone claiming responsibility for the murders, it becomes obvious that the murders weren’t simply a ruthless, random crime, but instead mark the start of what could well be a campaign of terror: the killer announces that he will restore the Olympics to their former glory and destroy all who have corrupted them with lies, cheating and greed.
I suppose it will come as no surprise to anyone when I say that this is a great read that moves along at a fast pace and keeps the intrigue at full throttle until the very end, because that is what James Patterson does.
I’m not sure how he manages to do it so often – looking at his rather long bibliography on Wikipedia, I reckon the man must write in his sleep – and so well, but I’m pleased he does, because his books are perfect holiday reading.
This latest one, fresh out in the bookshops as of yesterday, isn’t my No 1 favourite Patterson novel (that would be Beach Road with its uber-sneaky twist and co- written with Peter de Jonge), but it’s certainly in my top five.