Private LA by James Patterson

Thom and Jennifer Harlow are Hollywood's celebrity power couple. Good looks, talent, kind hearts. . . the couple has it all. Paying forward their critical and financial success, the two sponsor schools in impoverished nations and even adopted three children from the countries they serve. As they near the completion of their magnum opus Saigon Falls, the entire Harlow family vanishes. No one in the Harlow's inner circle seems to have any idea as to the couple's whereabouts. Even worse, none of them want to threaten their employer's project by making the disappearance public. 

Enter Jack Morgan, owner and head of Private, a world-wide investigation firm. He is hired by the Harlow's lawyer to locate the couple. Jack learns that the Harlow's passion project, which they have written, directed, and star in, is so risky that most of the studios refused to invest in it. Despite the desire of the staff to maintain their client's pristine image, Jack's investigation begins to show cracks in the Harlow's picture perfect facade. Probes into the couple's well protected life bring revelations of financial troubles, fraud, and disturbing fetishes that all factor in to the shocking truth behind their disappearance. 

As if Jack's plate wasn't full enough, he is contracted by the city of Los Angeles to intervene in a very public terrorist attack. A group called 'No Prisoners' has leveled a full scale strike against the citizens of the city, sending residents into complete panic. Massacres occur at random locations as the Jack and the city seek to find the people responsible for the horrific acts. 

Whether you are a fan or not, there is no denying that James Patterson delivers tight, entertaining thrillers. Patterson and co-author Mark Sullivan continue the Private series of novels with the fast pace, interesting characters, and suspenseful twists that readers have come to expect. While the authors tell the reader that the Harlows are a great couple, they don't do much to actually establish sympathy for the family. Consequently, the mystery of the Harlow couple becomes overshadowed by the No Prisoners plot. Despite a few unexpected twists, both narratives come to predictable conclusions. Even so, it is Patterson's penchant for alluring protagonists and breakneck thrills that makes Private LA a gratifying experience. 

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and GoodReads

(2015, 2)

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