Private Down Under: (Private 6) (Hardback)
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Short Description for Private Down Under P I Craig Gisto, head of the latest branch of Private, is enjoying the glamorous launch party with his new team when their celebrations are interrupted by the bloodied arrival of a boy with his eyes gouged out. The boy is the kidnapped son of one of Australia's richest men - but investigating his death isn't their only pressing case.
- Published: 23 May 2013
- Format: Hardback 368 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781846058905 ISBN 10: 1846058902
- Sales rank: 427,659
Reviews for Private Down Under
- Top review
Private Oz is the fourth novel in the Private series by James Patterson and is co-written by Michael White. Soon after Jack Morgan's 2nd in charge, Justine Smith arrives in Sydney for the grand opening of Private Sydney, a horribly mutilated Asian man stumbles into Private's party and dies of gunshot wounds. Ho Meng, the man's father, engages Private to investigate as he doesn't trust the Police: Private Sydney's first case. But soon, Private Sydney's boss Craig Gisto, has more to investigate: a string of women is disfigured, stabbed and left to die with a wad of fake banknotes intimately placed; a 26-year-old rock star is worried his manager is arranging for him to join Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and others in "Club 27"; and a businessman's wife is worried about his recent disappearance, considering the tenor of some of his business dealings.
I was interested to read this novel as I wanted to see just how well Patterson and White could portray Sydney and Australians. Certainly the location was Sydney: the streets, schools and various organisations attested to that. But these events could have happened anywhere: apart from the setting, there is very little Oz about this novel. Australians (and Brits) refer to their mothers as mum, not mom. Since before 1988, Australia has used Celsius instead of Fahrenheit to report temperature, kilometres instead of miles for distance, kilograms instead of pounds for weight. Down here we have the colour grey, not gray. Our paper money is notes, not bills. Mary's use of the f word is not typical of Australian women. And the list goes on: tire (tyre), sidewalk (footpath), gas station (petrol station), alley (lane, although they couldn't make up their minds about this and used both), cell phone (mobile), drugstore (pharmacy), windshield (windscreen), slot machines (poker machines), pissed with (pissed off with), ass (arse), w*p (wog), and college (Uni).
It's disappointing that an international best-selling author chooses to tailor his writing to only an American readership, assuming they are too stupid or lazy to work out that Australians use some words and systems different from what they do. To achieve a genuine Aussie feel, Patterson & White could have included a glossary for their international readers; failing that, the most basic find-and-replace word processing program could have ensured that the version published in Australia used metric and words like footpath, petrol station and mum. As with Private London (which lacked a true British feel) and the fiasco that was Cross Country (set on the African continent), this is a poor effort. My advice to Mr Patterson is to stick to where you know (USA) because you sure don't know Australia. I would have rated this higher except that I was so disgusted with the lack of Australian vernacular. by Marianne Vincent