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Former Marine pilot Jack Morgan runs Private, a prestigious investigation company. But the world's darkest secrets can only stay private for so long . . .

Private: it's where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily-and his staff of investigators uses the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.

Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multi-million dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of 18 schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home: his best friend's wife, Jack's former lover, has been killed. It nearly pushes him over the edge. Instead, Jack pushes back and devotes all of Private's resources to tracking down her killer.

But Jack doesn't have to play by the rules. As he closes in on the killer and chooses between revenge and justice, Morgan has to navigate a workplace love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607886907
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication date: 02/22/2011
Series: James Patterson's Private Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 6
Sales rank: 786,533
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.


Palm Beach, Florida

Date of Birth:

March 22, 1947

Place of Birth:

Newburgh, New York


B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971

Read an Excerpt


By Patterson, James

Little, Brown and Company

Copyright © 2010 Patterson, James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316096157




TO THE BEST OF my understandably shaky recollection, the first time I died it went something like this.

Mortar rounds were thumping all around me, releasing what sounded like a shower of razor blades. I was carrying Marine Corporal Danny Young over my shoulder, and I loved this guy. He was the toughest soldier I’d ever fought beside, funny as hell, and best of all, he was hopeful—his wife back in West Texas was pregnant with their fourth kid.

Now his blood bubbled down my flight suit, splashing on my boots like water from a drainpipe.

I ran across rocky ground in the dark, and I choked out to Danny, “I’ve got you; I’ve got you. Just stay with me, you hear me?

I lowered him to the ground a few yards away from the helicopter, and suddenly there was a concussive explosion, as though the ground had blown up around me. I felt a stunning hammer strike to my chest, and that was the end.

I died. I passed to the other side. I don’t even know how long I was gone.

Del Rio told me later that my heart had stopped.

I just remember swimming up to the light, and the pain, and the awful reek of aviation fuel.

My eyes flashed open and there was Del Rio in my face, his hands pressing down on my chest. He laughed when my eyes opened—and at the same time tears ran down his cheeks. He said, “Jack, you son of a bitch, you’re back.”

A dense curtain of oily black smoke rolled over us. Danny Young lay right there beside me, his legs splayed at weird angles, and behind Del Rio was the helicopter, burning bright white, getting ready to blow.

My buddies were still in there. My friends. Guys who had risked their lives for me.

I choked out a few words. “We’ve got to get them out of there.”

Del Rio tried his best to hold me down, but I used an elbow to swing at his jaw, and connected. He fell back and I got away from him, started running toward the fallen bird just as its magnesium skin caught fire.

There were Marines in there, and I had to get them out.

The fearsome chunk-a chunk-a chunk of fifty-caliber machine gun ammo hammered. Ordnance exploded inside the aircraft. Del Rio shouted, “Get down, asshole. Jack, get the hell down!”

I felt all of his hundred and ninety pounds as he tackled me to the ground, and the helicopter disappeared in white-hot flames. I wasn’t dead, but a lot of my friends were. I swear to God, I would have traded myself for them.

I guess that says a lot about me, and I’m not so sure that all of it is good. You’ll see, and you can be the judge.

Sit back; it’s a long story but a good one.


Excerpted from Private by Patterson, James Copyright © 2010 by Patterson, James. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Private 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 134 reviews.
metfan More than 1 year ago
Jack Morgan is up to his eyeballs in trouble.The mob is strong-arming him into recovering stolen pharmaceuticals for them.A local hotel owner hires him to investigate grisly murders in her buildings.Oh,and he's also being framed for the murder of his ex-lover.This is James Patterson at his best.A smart,fast-paced thrill ride loaded with nonstop action and a memorable hero.Great fun!
Leah-books More than 1 year ago
Great Thriller, enjoyed it. one of the better ones
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! Couldn't put it down! I love this series and the main character (Jack Morgan). Cannot wait for his next Private book Games, coming out in June!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was worth reading but the main character Jack, sleeps with almost every female that crosses his path which, to me, makes him unlikeable.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Jack Morgan has lived a complicated life and built a complex international security firm from his late father’s legacy. Private manages to make the problems go away with an elite group of people who are diverse enough to fill every required gap. Jack has never been more grateful for that than now as he stands accused of murdering an ex-lover. There is no conceivable way Jack would have murdered Colleen in his own way he loved her even though their future for them was unattainable. The only person who could have pulled this off is Jack’s demonic twin brother Tommy. Jack can’t believe Tommy would be this vindictive but Tommy is showing him what the drive for dominance can do. Their late father pitted the two of them against each other every day of their lives and he would be so proud to know that this looks to be a fight to the death. Jack has his team working on keeping the organization afloat while he works his way out of this corner. The leads are taking him deeper into a well he can’t find a way out of but hopefully someone will throw him a life line. James Patterson is the master at creating a story that makes the reader never want to put the book down. Mr. Patterson builds from a single idea into an explosion of surprise you never see coming.
Robynn More than 1 year ago
This book was a slow read and written poorly. It felt choppy at times and no characters were developed enough for us to relate to them. I wish I had my $$$$$$$ back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really love this book. My friend told me about James Patterson and this was the first book i pick up and a few more. Private really got me in and could not sop reading it when i first got. awesome book.
Twink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
James Patterson and Maxine Paetro have teamed up again for their 8th successful collaboration. Private is the first in a new series featuring former Marine Jack Morgan. Morgan inherited both money and his business from his incarcerated father. The name of the firm? Private.With money being no object, Morgan is able to hire the best in every field. Private's forensic labs are better than many law enforcement agencies. And discretion is the word at Private, as they cater to high profile cases.Private has three cases running at the same time in this initial outing. Jack's best friend's wife has been murdered. A look into her background uncovers she's not the woman her husband thought. The owner of an NFL team approaches the firm to investigate possible corruption at a crucial level. And last but not least, some sicko is killing young schoolgirls - 18 to date. The local police force agrees to let the Private firm assist them with this investigation. (This stretched believability a bit)I have been listening to all of Patterson's books now. I find that they're pretty good entertainment in audio format. Nothing to tax your brain, but a story that does keep you engaged while leaving your hands free. All the prerequisites for a classic Patterson are there - suspense, killers, a personal storyline, romance/sex and short chapters with cliffhanger endings. Although the name dropping was meant to let us know that Jack moves in certain circles, I found naming celebrities more than once simply gratuitous.I liked the Jack Morgan character and the book ended with an opening to a sequel, which I would listen to. The support team is an eclectic bunch, some with secrets of their own. I did have to laugh when one of Jack's love interests turned out to be a bonny colleen from Ireland. The same character with a different name appears in the Det. Michael Bennett series.Peter Hermann was the reader. He has an excellent speaking voice, clear and easily understood. His voice radiates emotions easily. And he did a passable job with that Irish colleen!All in all, a good listen. Patterson and Paetro's next collaboration - 10th Anniversary - a Women's Murder Club book is due out May 2/11
Justjenniferreading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A copy of this audiobook was provided for review by Hachette Book Group. I liked the characters in this one, although I didn't really connect with any of them. Jack was so confident and strong. He was the glue that seemed to hold a few different lives together. Yet he had his own "glue" so to speak. Each character had some "quirks" (for lack of a better word) that added to the team from Private's ability to solve their cases. There were so many characters, and since I was listening instead of reading, that I can't fully remember all of them. (Sadly I'm even having trouble remembering most of their names).I liked the story, and I think that this would make a good series. I kind of get the feeling though that maybe this is going to be a series and Patterson and Paetro wanted to introduce us to many characters in setting up for later books in the series. I could be totally wrong on this, but I get the feeling that this was a set up for a series...The narrator was pretty good also. Peter Hermann apparently has appeared in many shows that I watch (watched) but I can't place him in any of them, which helps add to the ability for me to connect to the book rather than the narrator. His voice is very good for reading, he's not monotone, but he's not "perky". He had different voices for each of the characters, and does a good job of relating the feelings of the characters through his voice.Overall I think this was a good book, but that it could have had a few less story lines. Like I said this had the feel of the start of a series and maybe some of the story lines could have been saved for later. I liked it and at the same time I was a little disappointed in it.
GlennBell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book is well written and keeps the reader's interest. I personally did not like the murder cases and brutality of the characters. The main character seems screwed up (mentally), sexually (relationships), and his friend Del Rio is a murderer who is also messed up. I find it hard to believe that private investigators could get away with using the criminal methodology to catch criminals. Furthermore, the criminal cases are pretty revolting. I frankly am not interesting in reading about such items in my spare time (it seems sick to me).
Booklovingmommy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jack Morgan has returned home from Afghanistan after being shot down from his helicopter. Upon his return, his father, who is in jail, requests that Jack reopens his investigative firm, Private. Jack builds up the investigative firm into a successful and elite firm that caters to the creme de la crop of Los Angeles. As he is getting ready to escort one of his clients into an awards ceremony, he receives a call from his best friend. He rushes over to find his friend's wife, Shelby, also Jack's good friend, shot to death. He promises his friend he will track down Shelby's killer. As if that isn't enough, his employees are wrapped up in a serial killer case and his uncle asks him to take on a case for the NFL. I usually really like James Patterson books, mainly his Alex Cross and Women's Murder Club series. However, even now I can't actually tell you if I loved Private or not. It was certainly entertaining and was a quick and easy read with it's short chapters but it just didn't grab me like his other series did. Having three cases, not to mention the flashbacks from Afghanistan and troubles with his brother kept it from every getting stale. Maybe I just have to get used to new characters? I do hope to see a couple more, seeing as the Private Investigation Firm has offices located around the world. It would be fun to read about cases in England, Rome and other foreign countries. All in all, I would recommend this book as it is entertaining and a fast and easy read.
SonicQuack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Following the detective agency Private is certainly a blast. Crammed in to one book are several stories which aren't all interconnected, some of which have personal ties to the team in an effort to flesh out the characters as the chapters pass at breakneck speed. It's the variance in content which makes Private so much fun, although somewhat superficial as a result. Patterson is clearly setting up the agency for further exploits and that's no bad thing. Private mixes up all of Patterson's previous characters (albeit under new names) in to one team - how bad can that be?
tina1969 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From fantastic fiction.Former Marine and CIA agent Jack Morgan inherits his father's renowned security and detective business--along with a case load that tests him to the breaking point. Getting to the bottom of an NFL gambling scandal and an unsolved LAPD investigation into 18 school girl slayings would be enough. On top of all that, Morgan takes on solving the horrific murder of his best friend's wife. As Morgan fights the urge to exact brutal revenge on that killer, he has to navigate a workplace imbroglio that could blow the roof off his elite agency. And it's an especially explosive situation . . . because the love affair is his own.I think I am becoming anti James Patterson. The reason being that his books don¿t do much for me anymore. They all seem to be the same. The main character is Jack Morgan but there is nothing to define him from other main men. He could be Alex Cross or Michael Bennet. I feel bad thinking like this about his books because JP is one of my favourite authors but for me he has lost his spark. Maybe it is because he is churning out books all the time ? If you have never read any of his books dear reader don¿t be put off with my review as they are very good, pacy thrillers, just lately for me they have lost their sparkle.
TomWheaton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
another typical fast-read page-turner. Even though there were 3 storylines going through the book, it was easy to follow each one to the end. I think that this will become the first in a series.
scoutlee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jack Morgan inherits Private Investigations after his father dies. Private Investigations is an agency that specializes in solving crimes that baffle the police. Jack is strictly professional and has an unlimited source of connections to get the job done.His best friend¿s wife has been murdered. Teen age girls are being killed. The NFL is trying to keep a gambling scandal from going public. Not only is Jack dealing with these cases, he¿s also fighting his personal demons. And his twin brother is back into his life.Private is a quick read. Jack is a likable protagonist and his employees round out the thriller as secondary characters. Patterson fans will like this first installment of his new series. Private, London is due out next year.
CMash on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Private by James Patterson and Maxine PaetroPublished by Little, Brown and CompanyISBN 978-0-316-09615-7At the request of The Hachette Book Group, a HC was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion. Synopsis (from book's jacket): THE POLICE CAN'T HELP YOU Former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily-and his staff of investigators use the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases. THE PRESS WILL DESTROY YOU Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multimillion-dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of thirteen schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home: his best friend's wife, Jack's former lover has been killed. It nearly pushes him over the edge. Instead, Jack pushes back and devotes all of Private's resources to tracking down her killer.ONLY ONE PLACE TO TURN: PRIVATE But Jack doesn't have to play by the rules. As he closes in on the killer and chooses between revenge and justice, Jack has to navigate a workplace love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans. My Thoughts and Opinion: Here I sit wondering what can I say about this book and only 3 words come to mind: Pure James Patterson!!! I have been a big fan of Mr. Patterson's books for years and have not yet read one that I didn't like. It contained all the elements that the author does best. Short chapters for that "read just one more chapter moment" and you find yourself 10 chapters forward. Pulls you in with the first page and doesn't let you go until the very last page. Nonstop action whereas it is a "page turner" and a "can't put down type of book". Twists and turns you don't see coming. The main character, Jack Morgan, was believable and likeable and am hoping that there will be future books related to this character. My Rating: 5
lv_jsmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Oh blah! I used to LOVE James Patterson novels and would rush out and buy them as soon as possible but I must say I am so happy that this was a loan from the library! I kept reading the story feeling like I was waiting for it to get going only to realize I was more that half through and this was probably as good as it was going to get. I didn't think that there were any real big reveals throughout the book and nothing about it surprised me in the least. The characters didn't interest me and didn't feel very real. I continue to read all the Patterson books as they come out-fingers crossed the next one is waaaaaay better!
Booklady123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Private by James PattersonWhen reading reviews, particularly on Amazon, I¿ve noticed a lot of complaints about how the Patterson books are written. As a reader, what I care about is the end result. I want a good story. Sometimes, Patterson¿s formula works and sometimes it doesn¿t. I enjoy The Women¿s Murder Club series and the Alex Cross series (though I must admit, I¿m behind on both series.) So far I¿ve enjoyed the books written with (or some might say by) Maxine Paetro.I found Private to be a good story. At first I was a little distracted by the different mysteries going on at the same time. However, once it occurred to me that a detective agency the size of Private would be involved with multiple cases, I found that I rather liked the bouncing between the cases. Private is a quick read. I found it to be a good example of what I think goes on in a large detective agency. I could be wrong, but who cares. I enjoyed the book and there are really only two reasons for reading a book ¿ entertainment and/or information. Will this book win any awards? Probably not. Do I feel as though I wasted my time reading it? No. If you want a quick read, this is the book for you. If you care more about how the book is written than the end result, then find another book and another author.
readafew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro is about Jack Morgan owner and operator of Private; a private investigation firm for the rich and powerful. Jack was a military chopper pilot whose father died in prison shortly after giving him the Private firm and a large chunk of change to make it happen the right way this time. We come into the picture when Jack finds out a friend of his was murdered. Next there has been a serial killer on the loose killing high school girls and has started increasing his pace. At the same time Jack's uncle, who owns a piece of a football team, thinks someone is fixing games for illegal betting but he doesn't know who, how or if it's just imaginary. It's rather amazing Jack ever has time to sleep.This was an average James Patterson book, though with more than average quirky characters. Jacks team seemed to be based off the TV crime dramas like NCIS or Criminal Minds. Like the TV shows, we jump in and only get the highlights for a bunch of these characters which we expect to be filled in more in later 'episodes'. We are given just enough for each so you want to know a little more. Jack has a top notch team, there's Justine, his ex-girlfriend, Del Rio, his ex-Marine, ex-Con buddy, Emilio Cruz the Ex-cop, Dr. Seymour 'Sci' Kloppenberg the forensic criminalist with an online video girlfriend 'Kit Kat' and last but not least Maureen Roth 'Mo-bot' , the middle aged, tattooed computer guru.Overall it was a decent, fast paced book with a lot going on, like most Patterson books, partially to disguise the plot holes. If you like James Patterson you will be more than happy to add this one to your 'To Be Read' pile. Great light easy read.
jo-jo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was another action packed audiobook that Patterson offers to us that actually puts us on the trail of a few mysteries that Jack is trying to solve. The 'easy on the eyes' Jack Morgan runs Private, a private investigation agency that caters to the stars, but finds himself needing to confront his personal demons before he can move on in his own life.Jack has never forgiven himself for an event that happened in Afganistan and it has seemed to torment him every day of his life. Because of this memory he put up an emotional wall that won't allow him to live his life to the fullest. Once Jack realizes how he has been living, he becomes frustrated at how he has treated those that really care about him.Jack helps to reveal an NFL scandal that is operated by the mafia and while investingating this case, he finds information that is mafia related to another case. This book is packed with action, suspense and romance as Jack solves not only these cases, but also helps to catch the serial killer that is murdering the school girls.Although I loved the quick-paced action that this book kept feeding me, I found myself wanting to know more about Jack's character. More than anything I wanted him to be able to forgive himself for what happened in Afganistan so he could move on with his life and deal with his family issues. This was a great audiobook that was read by Peter Hermann and if you are a Patterson fan I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
dools46 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
not a bad book, but was a bit confusing at times
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Private was an interesting audio experience. I can now say that I have tried - and don't like - audiobooks with music. It's one thing to have a few seconds between chapters when no one is talking, but music with the talking is just too hard to listen to. The story of Private is an exciting and very busy one though. Private investigator Jack Morgan takes on three different very high profile cases throughout the book, which I think was a little much (unless they all intersected, which they don't). I feel like the case of the dead teenagers and the murder of his friend's wife should have been separate stories as they were both very complicated and I hated bouncing away from either one of them. It made the book a little confusing with all the information and clues being found and discussed. I also really didn't like Jack. He has some legitimate issues of PTSD that he's not actually dealing with. But he also treats the women in his life like crap with a fear of commitment and need for "freedom" that I just wasn't buying into. The worst part was that these women were very intelligent and still fell for it. Unfortunately, I don't see myself continuing this series with a lead character that I just don't like.
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