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FICTION/Grippando, James
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New York : HarperCollins Publishers 2004.
1st ed
Physical Description
310 p.
Main Author
James Grippando, 1958- (-)
Review by Booklist Review

The latest Jack Swyteck mystery finds the Miami defense lawyer in unfamiliar territory. When a woman asks him to defend her against the charge of murdering her husband, Jack is initially reluctant: the victim is a U.S. naval officer; the crime took place at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay; and Jack has almost no experience with military courtroom procedures. But the woman has a very persuasive reason for Jack to take the case (all right, it's a little far-fetched, but it works), and soon Jack finds himself fighting for his client's life in an arena that is brand new to him. Grippando, a former Florida trial lawyer, started his writing career with a Swyteck novel ( The Pardon in 1994) and then rested the lawyer hero for eight years while producing a string of stand-alone thrillers. This fourth Swyteck novel is a tight, smartly constructed mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The military overtones should appeal to fans of the television series Navy NCIS and JAG. --David Pitt Copyright 2004 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Miami lawyer Jack Swyteck is in for one hell of a roller coaster ride in this lapel-grabbing thriller, Grippando's ninth (Last to Die; etc.). Lindsey Hart, about to be charged with the murder of her husband, Marine Capt. Oscar Pintado, comes to Jack because she believes he is her last, best chance and also the biological father of her adopted son. Stunned, Jack thinks he recognizes the picture of the 10-year-old she shows him ("he knew those dark eyes, that Roman nose"), but he still isn't sure whether he should take the case. What if he doesn't and she's innocent? She could be convicted. But if she's guilty and he takes the case and wins it he doesn't want to see the child raised by a murderer. Thanks to Grippando's devious mind, that's just the beginning. Plot twists, doled out with perfect timing, include the story of the murder victim, who's the son of a rich and powerful anti-Castro activist; the prosecutor's connection to Swyteck's family; and the testimony of the defense's prime witness, who is a private in Castro's army the murder took place on the U.S. military base at Guant namo Bay, Cuba. It's manipulative Lindsey, however, who proves to be the book's most unpredictable element. This character-driven, intricately plotted thriller will keep readers guessing up to the end. Agent, Richard Pine. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck agrees to defend a woman accused of killing her naval officer husband, though he thinks that she is being less than forthcoming. An eight-city author tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

The defense of a military wife on a murder charge places Jack Swyteck in opposition to both the US Navy and the Cuban government--and disturbs ghosts from his own past. Recent widow Lindsey Hart implores the Miami defense attorney to defend her against charges that she murdered her husband, Oscar Pintado, an officer stationed at the naval base in Guantanamo Bay. With no experience in the military justice system and little knowledge of Cuba (even though he's half-Cuban), Jack (Last to Die, 2003, etc.) is loath to accept the case. Lindsey, however, has an ace up her sleeve: Jack is the biological father of her adopted son Brian, who is deaf. Jack has known nothing of the boy until now. He takes the daunting case, teaming up with Lindsey's civil attorney, Sofia Suarez, with whom he has considerable sexual sparks. Meanwhile, Oscar's wealthy father, Alejandro, an influential stateside figure in the anti-Castro movement, has sworn to secure Lindsey's conviction, both to get custody of Brian and to prevent Lindsey from getting her hands on Oscar's sizable inheritance (also the purported motive for the killing). The circumstantial evidence against her is considerable, and the Navy throws up many roadblocks, like reassigning most potential witnesses so they're out of Jack's reach. Jack stays away from Brian but uses some of his time in Cuba probing his deceased mother's early years, uncovering secrets surprising to him and painful to his grandmother Abuela. The trial dominates the last half of the story, with Jack facing off against flashy media celeb Hector Torres. Pivotal witness Lieutenant Dumont Johnson may or may not have been involved in an affair with Lindsey and/or be an accomplice. Drugs, an exploding car, a secret pregnancy, and a hidden past identity all figure prominently. In his ninth Swyteck thriller, Grippando introduces more plot threads than he can weave or develop smoothly, but he keeps his tale moving. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.