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Jack Morgan receives an offer he cannot refuse ....
When the head of the world's foremost investigation agency is invited to meet Princess Caroline, third in line to the British throne, he boards his Gulfstream jet and flies straight to London.
The Princess needs Morgan's skills, and his discretion. Sophie Edwards, a close friend of the royal, has gone missing. She must be found before the media become aware of it.
Morgan knows there is more to this case than he is being told. But what is the Princess hiding?
The more I read in the Private series, the more I realise just how easily these stories would translate to the big screen. Not only do they transport the reader to a new exotic destination each time, but they are divided into short chapters which follow the traditional dramatic scene restrictions that confine each episode to a single time and place. This book is no exception; it consists of short, pithy chapters that lead on without delay to the next "scene". Although it would appear that this style should help the reader to stop at an appropriate point and take a break, in practice I found myself wanting to read just one more because I wanted to find out what came next!
I like a fast-paced novel at the best of times, but this is faster than most. Patterson and Rees have minimised all unnecessary description, relying on action and dialogue to fill in most of the details. I did not get bogged down with detail but still finished the last page convinced that I understood a great deal about each of the main protagonists and where they were coming from. I read the book at one sitting (because I could not bear to put it down!) so I felt I got the most out of it. There is already one family member who wants to read it as well on my recommendation.
I like the way the British royal family is included as it makes the background more credible. The authors have cleverly included the fictitious Caroline as third in line to the throne; although in the past there have been several Carolines in the Royal Family, none has been as close to the succession as this one. However, the inclusion of real places (like the Tower of London) and the non-specific references to other members of the Royal family tend to make the story more authentic. Caroline's exact relationship to the monarchy is never explained although, given her age and her status as third in line to the throne, it might be assumed that she is a sibling of William and Harry. At the end of the day it does not really matter. It is, after all, just a good yarn!
What makes the book appealing on another level is the opulent lifestyle enjoyed by many of the characters. The Private firm appears to have unlimited funds - private helicopters, jet planes, access to five-star accommodation - and because of this, its clients are also well-heeled. For the majority of us, this luxury is well beyond reach, but it is fun to enter that world and enjoy it vicariously. Just as long as we make sure to dodge the bullets and other little delights that, in the world of fiction at any rate, go hand in hand with the luxury!
I would certainly recommend this book to the reader who has a few hours to spare (because it is so difficult to put down!) and who likes a story with plenty of action and adventure. And although I will not read it again, at least in the near future, I will be looking out for more titles in the Private series myself.
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