Jack Morgan’s Private firm investigates four cases in Private: #1 Suspect; this is at least one case (if not two) too many. Every time James Patterson and Maxine Paetro finally got around to discussing one of the cases other than the primary one, I had to remind myself exactly who the players were. The main case is pretty good: Jack Morgan is suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend who was found dead in his bed. Given his resources, it shouldn’t be too hard for Jack to prove his innocence; but unfortunately for Jack, an identical twin complicates matters. The authors should have left the focus here, but instead pad out the novel with a few other cases. The case introduced shortly after Jack finds Colleen’s body involves men found dead in their hotel rooms after contacting an escort service. This case could have been another standout, but it was neglected for so long after its introduction that I lost interest. And then there was the case that got so little attention that I actually had to page through the book in order to get the details right for this review. Three mobsters are killed while transporting prescription drugs. This storyline added nothing. Finally, there’s a case that seems thrown in simply to add a little glamour. Jack isn’t even involved in this one! Two of his employees are hired to keep an eye on an actor who seems to have a penchant for underage girls though he says he doesn’t remember sleeping with them. With the exception of the mob drug case, each one receives a decent ending; unfortunately, the pacing kept me from becoming invested in any of the secondary cases, so I didn’t really care when they were finally solved.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Little, Brown and Company.