The car was waiting for me at LAX. Aldo was out at the curb, holding a sign reading, “Welcome Home Mr. Morgan.”
I shook Aldo’s hand, threw my bags into the trunk, and slid onto the cushy leather seat in the back. I’d done six cities in three days, the return leg from Stockholm turning into a twenty-five-hour journey through airline hell to home.
I was wiped out. And that was an understatement.
“Your packet, Jack,” Aldo said, handing a folder over the divider. The cover was marked “Private,” the name of my private investigation firm. Our main office was in LA, and we had branches in six countries with clients all over the map who demanded and paid well for services not available through public means.
I had worried lately that we were growing too big too fast, that if big was the enemy of good, great didn’t stand a chance. And most of all, I wanted Private to be great.
I tucked the folder from Accounting into my briefcase and as the car surfed into the fast lane, I took out my BlackBerry. Unread messages ran into triple digits, so I chose selectively as I thumbed through the list.
The first e-mail was from Viviana, the stunner who’d sat next to me from London to New York. She sold 3-D teleconferencing equipment, not exactly must-have technology, but it was definitely interesting.
There was a text from Paolo, my security chief in Rome, saying, “Our deadbeat client is now just dead. Details to follow.” I mentally kissed a two-hundred-thousand-euro fee good-bye and moved to texts from the home team.
Justine Smith, my confidante and number two at Private, wrote, “We’ve got some catching up to do, bud. I’ve left the porch light on.” I smiled, thinking that as much as I wanted to see her, I wanted to shower and hit the rack even more.
I sent Justine a reply, then opened a text from Rick Del Rio. “Noccia wants to see you pronto, that prick.”
The text was like a gut punch.
Carmine Noccia was the scion of the major Mob family by that name, capo of the
Las Vegas branch, and my accidental buddy because of a deal I’d had to make with him six months before. If I never saw Carmine Noccia again, it would be way too soon.
I typed a four-letter reply, sent it to Del Rio, and put my phone back into my pocket as the car turned into my driveway. I collected my bags and watched Aldo back out, making sure he didn’t get T-boned on Pacific Coast Highway.
I swiped my electronic key fob across the reader and went through the gate, pressed my finger to the biometric pad, and entered my home sweet home.
For a half second, I thought I smelled roses, but I chalked it up to the delight of standing again in my own house.
I started stripping in the living room and by the time I’d reached the bathroom, I was down to my boxers, which I kicked off outside the shower stall.
Excerpted from the book PRIVATE: #1 SUSPECT by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY. All rights reserved.
According to Guinness World Records™ James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than anyone else…ever. In his new white-knuckle thrill ride, the Edgar® Award-winning author is at his unstoppable best as he pays a return visit to former Marine Jack Morgan, whose investigation firm, Private, has become the go-to place for clients in need of discretion almost as much as results. But as Private: #1 Suspect opens, Jack is the one under investigation after the body of his former lover somehow winds up in his bed. Now the cops’ prime suspect, it’s not easy for Jack to give them the slip when the mob strong-arms him into recovering thirty million bucks in stolen pharmaceuticals. And, having fallen victim to the persuasive powers of a beautiful hotel chain manager, he’s committed to figuring out who’s behind a string of murders on her properties. As if things couldn’t get worse, suddenly one of Jack’s most trusted operatives is threatening to leave. The only thing that’s become crystal clear is that someone with a lot of muscle is trying to destroy everything Jack has worked for, which is totally unacceptable for a tough ex-Marine for whom losing is never an option….
Hardcover Book : 432 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Usa ( January 02, 2012 )
Item #: 13-492195
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.97inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I am an avid Patterson fan and have read almost all his books. This one is not as exciting or well developed as some of his others but still I liked it. Compared to a lot of the other books on the market today, this one is a lot better than most. I have to agree with other reviewers who think his books are better when he is the sole author.
I just couldn't get into this book. I read about 100 pages and gave up. I agree with Steve. Patterson needs to start writing his own books or just quit! I hate I wasted my money.
Haven't read this one, but no wonder he has more than anyone else - he doesn't write half of them. The "with or and whomever" under his name, does the research and writing. It's his name that sells the books. I'm not charmed by it in the least. I'm surprised more people don't realize it. Pretty obvious.
Reviewer: delcina s