Private Delhi
by James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi
Penguin

Private Delhi is the 13th and final instalment of James Patterson’s “Private” series. For the uninitiated, the “privates” are a hi-tech, ultra-covert, trans-global band of detectives lead by Jack Morgan, who sounds like a pirate and behaves like one, too. Private Delhi is not Patterson’s first visit to India. That honour went to, you’ve guessed it, Private India, a by-the-numbers serial killer thriller that gained both drama and novelty from Mumbai’s overwhelming mood and population. Returning this time are Santosh Wagh, de facto hero of part one, and Ashwin Sanghi, one of Patterson’s many collaborators. Traumatised by his experiences in Mumbai, Wagh is convinced by Morgan to crawl out of a bottle of scotch and try his luck in Delhi. There he discovers barrels full of human remains in one of the city’s more salubrious addresses, owned almost inevitably by the govern­ment itself. The joy, as always, in reading Patterson is being bludgeoned by the repetitiveness of his prose: “Jack Morgan enjoyed risk […] But not blind risk […] he liked risk with a little forethought. He liked calculated risk.”