- Publisher: CENTURY
- Format: Hardback | 368 pages
- Dimensions: 162mm x 236mm x 36mm | 580g
- Publication date: 23 May 2013
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1846058902
- ISBN 13: 9781846058905
- Sales rank: 719,481
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. The rock star Micky Stevens is convinced someone's trying to kill him, and believes Private are the only ones who can help. As if that wasn't enough, someone is murdering the wealthy wives of the Eastern Suburbs, in the most brutal way imaginable. And if they don't catch the killer soon, the next victim could be someone close to Private.
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JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past decade - the Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Detective Michael Bennett novels - and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers. He lives in Florida with his wife and son. James is passionate about encouraging children to read. Inspired by his own son who was a reluctant reader, he also writes a range of books specifically for young readers. James is a founding partner of Booktrust's Children's Reading Fund in the UK. In 2010, he was voted Author of the Year at the Children's Choice Book Awards in New York.
By Marianne Vincent 14 Oct 2012
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.
"Fast-paced and thoroughly well researched ... this novel is sure to keep fans entertained and the author at number one in the bestseller lists" Manchester Evening News