Finally last evening it reached my hands. Private India by Ashwin Sanghi, I then find out with this being the narrative of the India operations of Private Inc. The cover appeared very tourist Bombay-ish unlike the usual, vibrant mysterious covers of Ashwin Sanghi’s book.
Title Private India
Authors Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson.
Publisher Random House India.
The story opens with the death of a Thai Surgeon, and is followed by nine seemingly unrelated murders. The onus of solving this rests on Private India’s chief Santosh Wagh a man whose loyalty oscillates between Jack Morgan the boss of Private international and Johnnie Walker.
Santosh Wagh’s team is made up of Hari Padhi a cyber forensic expert, Muben Yusuf a medical forensic man, and Nisha an ex-cop and on field investigating personal.
One interesting take was that the musing of the murderer is in first person. Ashwin Sanghi does make a faint presence felt with the underlying theme of the Navadurga—not the standard form but the Tantric version. Though an incomplete reference to the Thugee cult is used as a red herring.
Somewhere in the 13th chapter is a blatant clue, and in the 20th chapter a blatant red herring. The killer leaving behind clues that tie up to the navaratri navadurga is very shallow and not really convincing.
The plot and characters are pretty predictable. The shady politician manifests as Nalin D’Souza. The cop and underworld nexus, the busy husband whose wife has an affair with his best friend. The said wife toys with the wedding ring, though a more authentic presentation would be toying with the mangalsutra since many Indian women find rings a bother and tend ot do away with them. Of course a Don who is patriotic.
There is also a very insipid attempt to look into the psyche of the killer, abandoned child, abused childhood and revenge motif that is not very convincing either.
There were some interesting quotes like “one woman’s hobby could be another woman’s hubby.” And “there are always second chances—both for metal and men”
The book lacks the usual depth of Ashwin Sanghi’s knowledge of Indian history and rituals or the raciness of his writing or even the rawness of his language. The climax was bit of a letdown and too many loose ends were left unattended to.
The book is too slow-paced to be an James Patterson Private series. Too uninformed to be Ashwin Sanghi, yet it is a good read, for a long journey.
I have just one question… Where Are You Ashwin Sanghi? I Don’t Feel Your Presence In The Book! This is not just my question… As I walked into Crosswords I heard two other readers discussing that they felt let down, They wanted more of the Thughee and Navadurga.
About The Authors.
Ashwin Sanghi is a Mumbai based entrepreneur by profession but writes historical fiction in the thriller genre. He has had his education in Mumbai and holds a master’s degree from Yale. He is currently working on his PhD. Website.http://www.sanghi.in.
James Patterson– http://www.jamespatterson.co.uk/
This book was a complimentary copy sent for reviewing by blogadda.com