Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Latest from James Grippando

Grippando's latest, Cane and Abe (a very clever title, as you will see when you read it), will be released January 20.  And, like his other 20 books, I liked it. I actually like his Jack Swytek books, which account for 11 of his 21, more than his stand-alones.  And the other 10 are, of course, stand-alones.  Did I like Cane and Abe?  I did.  Is he one of the authors on my B list?  He is.  This one is a very solid 2.5/4.  I think it was a 3/4 for 300 pages but faltered in the last 50.  The solved mystery didn't cut it for me.

So let's get to Goodreads' synopsis:

An explosive psychological thriller from New York Times bestselling author James Grippando in which Miami’s top prosecutor becomes a prime suspect when his wife’s disappearance may have a chilling connection to the vicious murders of beautiful women in the Florida Everglades
Unbelievable was the word for her. Samantha Vine was unbelievably beautiful. It was unbelievable that she’d married me. Even more unbelievable that she was gone . . . 
Samantha died too soon. Abe Beckham’s new wife, Angelina, feels like Samantha never left. Through it all, Abe has managed to remain a star prosecutor at the Miami State Attorney’s Office. But his personal life is a mess, and it’s about to get worse. 
When a woman’s body is discovered dumped in the Everglades, Abe is called upon to stay on top of the investigation. The FBI is tracking a killer in South Florida they call “Cutter” because his brutal methods harken back to Florida’s dark past, when machete-wielding men cut sugarcane by hand in the blazing sun.
But when the feds discover that Abe had a brief encounter with the victim after Samantha’s death, and when Angelina goes missing, the respected attorney finds himself in the hot seat. Suspicion surrounds him. His closest friends, family, professional colleagues, and the media no longer trust his motives. Was Angelina right? Was their marriage failing because he loved Samantha too much? Or was there another woman, and did Abe have a dark side that simply wanted his new but very unhappy wife gone?

As you can see, it's a pretty intricate plot.  That part was okay for me.  And I thought that most of the writing was pretty good.  Here are a couple of lines that stood out for me:

1.  Grippando is describing stacks of boxes in an attorney's office.  He says:  "It was leaning to the left, the legal aid version of the Tower of Pisa."
2.  "It was 3:00 in the afternoon, the geriatric version of happy hour..."
3.  When Abe and his wife, Angelina, are in her attorney's office, Abe asks her to leave with him.  "She looked at her lawyer, but she didn't move.  Winters had her under a sit-and-stay command worthy of the Westminster Kennel Club."

Pretty good stuff.  But then he's talking about his wife taking a 20-minute drive, and he says that she had "time aplenty" to do some plotting.  I think that's an odd construction. I'm probably just nitpicking.  But if it stands out to me, I imagine it will also stand out to others.

Do I recommend Cane and Abe?  Sure.  I recommend most books/authors from my B List.  Will I put Cane and Abe (or any other Grippando) on my table at Recycle?  That would be no.



  1. I've read one of his Swytek and liked it a lot so I'm not sure why I haven't pursued more of his work. It sounds like I should stick to the series, though.

  2. I don't know, Kathy. It could just be me. It seems like lots of people like his work. In fact, Under My Apple Tree (do you belong to that blog?) gave Woman with a Gun, by Phillip Margolin, a 5/5. Margolin is another one of my B Listers. I gave the same book a 2.5/4 - but liked it!

  3. I don't think I have read anything by this author. Glad to know you enjoy his series so much and that this stand alone is worth reading. Thanks for sharing. :)