Authors: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 978-0-316-09615-7

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James Patterson’s newest protagonist, former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan, returns home to Los Angeles from his tour in Afghanistan and—surprisingly—inherits a failing private investigations company from his abusive father.

Five years after his father’s violent death Jack has the company operating in topnotch shape, specializing in the latest high tech gadgetry, and serving wealthy clients on a steadily growing basis.

In Private Jack and his team of skilled investigators and technicians are running three cases. Jack is searching for a former lover’s killer, an old lover who is now his best friend’s wife. Psychologist, turned private investigator, Justine Smith is the primary agent working on the serial killings of thirteen schoolgirls. Assisted by Rick Del Rio and Emilio Cruz, Jack is probing into the possibility of NFL games being fixed.

There’s a slate of familiar villains in Private—mobsters, assassins, serial killers. And there’s a new breed of villains, gamers, who with the advanced technology of spy-bots, take the violence of their virtual world outside the realm of their Internet games and bring it into the real world with fatal results.

Of course, to complicate matters, along with battling the Bad Guys, Jack has troubles of his own, so to speak. His identical twin brother Tom who has been competing with Jack all their lives, is in rehab for gambling addiction. Jack is conflicted because of waning love for his present girlfriend and is casting his eye in the direction of his previous lover. And nightly, Jack is haunted by a recurring nightmare in which he fails to save the lives of his Marine comrades after their helicopter is shot down.

As a final straw that just might crush the camel, Jack is often awakened from his nightmare by a mysterious phone caller who announces in a mechanical voice, “You’re dead, Jack.”

Yet Jack and his group persevere, leads are discovered, witnesses are tracked down, and eventually conflicts are resolved.

In the final pages—Patterson is given to Epilogues—all the loose ends are tied up. Collateral baddies are served their comeuppances. Wrinkled romances are ironed out. And, since it seems that Private is likely to be the first in a new series, the foundation is laid for future conflicts, not the least of which is an unexpected challenge to Private Investigations’ supremacy.

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