• Private
  • Private


3.7 1249
by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

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The police can't help you
Former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily—and his staff of investigators uses the world's

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The police can't help you
Former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily—and his staff of investigators uses the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.

The press will destroy you
Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multi-million dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of 18 schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home: his best friend's wife, Jack's former lover, has been killed. It nearly pushes him over the edge. Instead, Jack pushes back and devotes all of Private's resources to tracking down her killer.

Only one place to turn: Private
But Jack doesn't have to play by the rules. As he closes in on the killer and chooses between revenge and justice, Morgan has to navigate a workplace love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans. With a plot that moves at death-defying speeds, Private is James Patterson sleekest, most exciting thriller ever.

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Editorial Reviews

Former CIA agent Jack Morgan left the agency for greener fields, a lucrative investigation agency aptly named Private. With mass murders and NFL gambling scandals on his plate, Morgan is weighed down by work, but all these mysteries fade into the background when he learns of the slaying of his best friend's wife, an enthralling woman who was once his girlfriend. James Patterson's Private refuses to resolve into a by the numbers hunt for a killer, becoming instead one man's sometimes frantic, always fast-paced search for answers in a world nobody plays by the rules and expectations are usually wrong.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Private Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.50(d)

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Read an Excerpt


By Patterson, James

Little, Brown and Company

Copyright © 2010 Patterson, James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316096157




TO THE BEST OF my understandably shaky recollection, the first time I died it went something like this.

Mortar rounds were thumping all around me, releasing what sounded like a shower of razor blades. I was carrying Marine Corporal Danny Young over my shoulder, and I loved this guy. He was the toughest soldier I’d ever fought beside, funny as hell, and best of all, he was hopeful—his wife back in West Texas was pregnant with their fourth kid.

Now his blood bubbled down my flight suit, splashing on my boots like water from a drainpipe.

I ran across rocky ground in the dark, and I choked out to Danny, “I’ve got you; I’ve got you. Just stay with me, you hear me?

I lowered him to the ground a few yards away from the helicopter, and suddenly there was a concussive explosion, as though the ground had blown up around me. I felt a stunning hammer strike to my chest, and that was the end.

I died. I passed to the other side. I don’t even know how long I was gone.

Del Rio told me later that my heart had stopped.

I just remember swimming up to the light, and the pain, and the awful reek of aviation fuel.

My eyes flashed open and there was Del Rio in my face, his hands pressing down on my chest. He laughed when my eyes opened—and at the same time tears ran down his cheeks. He said, “Jack, you son of a bitch, you’re back.”

A dense curtain of oily black smoke rolled over us. Danny Young lay right there beside me, his legs splayed at weird angles, and behind Del Rio was the helicopter, burning bright white, getting ready to blow.

My buddies were still in there. My friends. Guys who had risked their lives for me.

I choked out a few words. “We’ve got to get them out of there.”

Del Rio tried his best to hold me down, but I used an elbow to swing at his jaw, and connected. He fell back and I got away from him, started running toward the fallen bird just as its magnesium skin caught fire.

There were Marines in there, and I had to get them out.

The fearsome chunk-a chunk-a chunk of fifty-caliber machine gun ammo hammered. Ordnance exploded inside the aircraft. Del Rio shouted, “Get down, asshole. Jack, get the hell down!”

I felt all of his hundred and ninety pounds as he tackled me to the ground, and the helicopter disappeared in white-hot flames. I wasn’t dead, but a lot of my friends were. I swear to God, I would have traded myself for them.

I guess that says a lot about me, and I’m not so sure that all of it is good. You’ll see, and you can be the judge.

Sit back; it’s a long story but a good one.


Excerpted from Private by Patterson, James Copyright © 2010 by Patterson, James. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Private v 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1249 reviews.
twinkletoes6303 More than 1 year ago
As one of the premier experts in creating tales of suspense and intrigue, Patterson, with Paetro, is continually on my reading list. This newest story takes its place among Patterson's long line of terrific mysteries, and I sincerely hope the Patterson/Paetro team brings us more of Jack Morgan. The story opens with a bit of Jack's background - we learn that he was in the military, that he saw combat, and that he died. Intrigue? Check. We also learn that Jack is sort of the black sheep of his family - his father was in prison, and his brother is the "bad twin. " Jack is smart; he's not afraid of hard work, and he puts everything he has - mind, body, soul, and finances - into building his private investigation company into a worldwide resource of the rich and famous. He's tough, but kind, and inspires the trust of both his clients and his employees. But we learn that Jack, despite the above, is not perfect. He has commitment issues, and a guilty secret that weighs on him.even though he can't remember the details. This story brings Jack enlightenment in several different ways - he learns uncomfortable truths about himself, his family and his friends, all while solving crimes and "whodunits" on several fronts. This book is a fast-paced page-turner, perfect for reading at the beach, by the pool, or on the road. I cannot wait for a sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good for a days read at the beach or a rainy day. It is entertaining at parts, but predictable all the way through. The characters are also boring and predictable every dramatic part is drawn out. In my opinion I would get it just to read something but not to read a true thriller like some of Patterson's other books.
Robynn More than 1 year ago
I found this plot to jump all over the place. There were too many sub-plots and I think that weakened this story. Not his best; not his worst. Just OK.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read a few reviews of this book and most are mad because it is not the entire book. It says PREVIEW. PART 1. That would lead me to believe that it is not the entire book. Basically, this is a chance to sample the book to see if you would be interested in purchasing it. Rate the book on the quality of the story, not the fact that you misunderstood that you were not getting the entire book.
jblickman More than 1 year ago
I have given up on most Patterson's novels years ago, the one exception are the ones written with Ms. Paetro. Actually I should say written By Ms. Paetro as I am sure Patterson's contribution is minimal. The books are written by Paetro and Patterson's name is added to the cover to generate sales. This is a disgusting practice, but don't mind it so much in this case as the book is actually pretty good, thanks to Paetro! I just don't understand why Ms. Paetro cannot be given full credit for her work? Are we all such mind numb idiots that we will only buy something from a big name (a big name who has written a lot of garbage in recent years). Jack Morgan has returned home from Afghanistan a war hero when he goes to visit his father in a California prison. Tom (Jack's Father) is serving a life term for murder and extortion. Tom wants his son to reopen his investigation business "Private" and gives him access to $15 million he has stashed away in an offshore account. In the years to come Jack builds the business into a world wide success with famous clients and a strong reputation. The story follows two plot lines one is the murder of an old friend's wife and the old friend is the number one suspect. The other involves one of Jack's investigators who has been called into a serial murder case by the LAPD. The killings are of school girls over the past two years and the police are desperate. This one hooked me from the beginning and never let go!
GiovanniG More than 1 year ago
Not a fancy title, but sometimes less is more, and in this case I think we get more. I am not going to be giving anyone a news flash that is a regular follower of my rants here @ The Scoop. I like James Patterson's work. I read almost all of his work from his graphic novels (see our archives), young adult (Daniel X), and just about all his regular material. I got excited when I saw that he had this new series coming out: Private. I really enjoyed this novel, I am not going to make any bones about it; I just really had a good time with it. Here is what the inside jacket had to say: "Former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily- and his staff of investigators use the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases." In the debut novel of the series the men and women of Private take on three different cases and juggle them and their private lives at the same time. The cases that others can't seem to crack: a serial murder case, a good friend's death, and a case brought to them by the NFL. Once I got into the first few pages of this novel I was total absorbed and immersed in it. I really couldn't put it down. The action is fast, the characters and the bonds they share are fascinating. The plotline and the precision of the execution of it are incredible. The cast of characters themselves was worth the read. I was locked into caring about them and what happened to them early on. At the novel's end, I was definitely wanting more. This is a series I am looking forward to following. James Patterson scores again with Private. The problem for me now is, I don't want less; I want more. What are you reading today? Check us out and become our friend on Facebook, Shelfari, Crimespace, and AuthorNation. Go to Goodreads and become our friend there and suggest books for us to read and post on. You can also follow us on Twitter, Book Blogs, Visual Book Shelf, Book Marketing Network, Linkedin, Pump Up Your Book Promotion and the Gelati's Scoop Facebook Fan Page; also look for our posts on Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Nobles, Target, Books A Million, Smashwords and the Bucks County Library System. Did you know you can shop directly on Amazon by clicking the Gelati's Store Tab on our blog? Thanks for stopping by today; we will see you tomorrow. Have a great day.
Grandpa More than 1 year ago
Like you fellow Patterson fans, I jumped on the chance to get a New Patterson book. I expected to be grabbed in the first chapter and taken on a screaming roller coaster ride to an unexpected ending. Well, I found myself on a horse and buggy going uphill until I realized that the only thing :Patterson" about this book, is his name on the cover and picture on the back. This book is written by Maxine Paetro, and she IS NOT even close to being the writer he is. What a scam. His last book "Trial" was also a let down. I guess he is fading out of book writing, much to the dismay of fans everywhere. How sad... 11 minutes ago...
kcdee More than 1 year ago
I liked it because it was something new....New characters and new ideas....I would like to read more of Jack Morgan and his has many places to take us..
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Jack Morgan is a war hero, owner of the prestigious Private Investigative firm Private, the designated good twin and the son of an abusive criminal who died the way he lived creating competition between his sons. Jack employs the best in their field of expertise to work at Private paying top dollar to those who show him the skill set and loyalty that Private has staked its reputation on for their high dollar clients that pay to get their dirty laundry clean. Jack needs the best right now because he has three high-profile cases going simultaneously and if the mob had their way it would be four, but Jack does have some morals. He instructs one group to work with the police to track down the serial killing team who has been targeting high school girls and taunting the police with cryptic clues. The killer leaves trophies for the police to find and is escalating the killings while at the same time making sure no two look alike - unlike most serial killers. Jack also takes on a job for his uncle, the NFL team owner who suspects that games are being thrown and the ruin on the NFL would be something the franchise could not recover from. But worst of all Jack is dealing with his best friends' wife savage murder and the more that he uncovers the worse the information becomes about her character and the life she was leading. He is a man up for the task as he showed his ability to lead and deal with the gruesome strategies during his time in Afghanistan which still haunts him everyday with recurring dreams and missing pieces. Being a helicopter pilot showed him how to get in control and make the hard decisions of who stays and who must go. Along with his business life Jack is struggling with his twin brother who is a borderline psychopath and full time obsessive gambler. He has to save him once again all the while questioning whether he is the one that has been calling him with death threats. Their father raised them to be pitted against one another and while Jack took the high ground his brother, Tom decided it was better to use your fists than your head. There is so much to sort out and so much damage done to personal relationships that Jack is always looking over his shoulder questioning himself with a "what if". It is impossible for James Patterson to write anything less than a masterpiece but with Jack Morgan you find complex yes, but compassion as well. He is complicated and moves past his childhood tragedies to build a life that runs like his business with honor and discretion. I hope this book moves into a series as I would be interested to see how the conflict between the brothers plays out since Cain and Able have nothing on these two. Mary Gramlich is The Reading Reviewer located at
bobkat More than 1 year ago
I don't know, I guess there is something wrong with me because I thought "Private" by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro was pretty good. Was it an edge of the seat, can't put down sort of book - no. It was a good story line centering on the business of a private investigation company. It had multiple story lines which makes sense since it is an investigation firm and would normally deal with more than one client. I didn't have a hard time keeping the stories straight and could follow them easily. I don't get hung up on the fact that Mr. Patterson wrote with another author. Does anyone really know what his relationship is with the other co-authors. I don't. I make my decision on the storyline. Does it hold my attention? Do I want to continue reading it? Is it well written? To me that is what matters most. I liked the book and look forward to my next Patterson book with or without a co-author.
Mamie77 More than 1 year ago
The earlier James Patterson books were great. I have read every one of them, but since he began "writing" with other authors, the quality of the writing has deteriorated. Based on reading several books of Patterson's written with the other authors - doesn't seem to matter which one - each book is obviously written by recipe. All chapters are no more than 4 -5 pages in length, each chapter has one thing happen such as the introduction of a character or some "significant event." The books are boring, shallow, and without suspense. It is an overt attempt to sell books using James Patterson's name, but without any entertainment or care about the quality of the story. I don't even consider any of his books anymore. So sad...I as once an avid reader of his.
LadyBoiler More than 1 year ago
I've read most of the Alex Cross Series by James Patterson. Jack and Jill was my favorite. I've also read most of the Woman's Murder Club Series. 1st To Die was my favorite in that series. I've also read Swimsuit and The Quickie, as a "stand alone" and both were excellent novels. Private was a good read. As usual, there was good depth of character (Jack) which can actually make you care for the characters. The plot was somewhat original, off beat, thrilling and there were some interesting twists and turns. I also love Patterson's writing style. His writing style and short chapters make his novels an easy read.
Beth Campbell More than 1 year ago
Not Patterson's best work. I was a bit disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the Alex Cross mysteries. They were interesting complex plots with interesting, exciting characters. Patterson cared about Alex Cross. We cared about Alex Cross. His new books are written as though from an assembly line to get to the cash counter. Four chapters into this book, I said "Well, here's another one." I'm not going to finish it, it isn't worth putting my time into it. There are too many very well written books on the market today.
ebbydee More than 1 year ago
I am a bit new at using my Nook, however I am 100% sure that I did not buy " Private ". I was at my local B & N store trying to read. The associates were trying to help, but the store Wi-Fi was not working. I did finally read a few pages in said book, but made no purchase. This not the first time I couldn't read in the store, and not the first time I was charged with a book or mag. or paper I did not buy. Please do not make me regret I got a Nook instead of a Kindle!!!! As for the book I've never meet a Patterson I didn't love.
alterlisa More than 1 year ago
While admittedly I've been a little disappointed in the last few Patterson books I've read and while this wasn't one of those that I rambled on and on about how great or how crappy it was to my friends, I did enjoy it. It was a good read just not awesome. It wasn't one of those that you read from start to finish in one seating but I did enjoy the fast paced action and the multiple cases going on, though they did seem to wrap up rather effortlessly. Not much in the way of a twisted surprise ending either. I try not to get hung up on the fact that it is a JAMES PATTERSON book but admittedly I do enjoy his older Alex Cross books, that weren't co-authored much better. I've been wanting to read his Women's Murder Club series but as I loved the TV show and these are co-authored books, I thought I'd leave it till the show fades a bit more from my memory. Once reading a series I kinda have a picture in my mind of the characters and don't want to mess with the Lindsey Boxer image. Alex Cross will always be Morgan Freeman to me which probably ramps up the expectations on any of the books in this series. That said, one thing about Patterson, he sells a hella of a lot of books, so I'll continue to pick them up used on a swap site rather than buying new at over $20 a pop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a James Patterson junkie, but was so glad to get to the end of this book. It was a struggle to finish this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cardboard characters and plot - the rich, handsome war hero that cannot commit to love - the beautiful women that cannot resist wanting him - the evil, evil murders that must be stopped. Without Patterson's name, this book would never have been published. Avoid it unless you are in the tenth grade or aspire to it.
FantasyLvr More than 1 year ago
This is my first James Patterson book and I think this is an "ok" read. I do plan on reading some of his other works because I don't think this is his best novel. I did find that this story was an easy read as far as the descriptions and conversations. However, I think there were too many plots going on. There were the clients and their cases, but you also had the main characters' drama and plots from the co-worker he is in love with, to the other co-worker he is sleeping with, to his brother and HIS problems,to the mafia and all of those characters, and then to his past which keeps creeping up to haunt him. This book had so many characters in it that it made it hard to really get into any of them so I think the character development was a little disappointing. Also, I found it predictable to a degree. There were no major twists. Overall, I would recommend it for a rainy day read.
Tammy01 More than 1 year ago
Another great one by James Patterson. He still has the ability to draw me into the story, and make me want to keep reading. A friend of mine that knows how much I love Patterson, reccomended a new author, Fred Waltz, I absolutely loved his book Unconditional. If you are a Patterson fan, then you will love Unconditional too.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was an interesting story. I did have a hard time getting into it but by the end, I was ready to go to the next book!