Sunday, January 22, 2017

James Grippando's 24th Novel - and 13th Jack Swyteck

James Grippando has just written his 24th novel.  It's called Most Dangerous Places.   And it hits the bookstores in February.  Since I have given up most of my series, why, you ask, do I still read Jack Swyteck?  Is it because I love him so much?  Not really.  Is it because I lost a bet? Nope.  How about because I'm a sucker for legal mysteries?  I like them...but that's not it either.  The reason?  It's because I get the ARC from the publisher, HarperCollins, every year.  I know.  It's a bit of a copout.  But I call 'em like I see 'em.

I do enjoy the series, however.  This is #13, and I always look forward to seeing what's the latest with Jack, his abuela. Andie, and Theo.  Here's the synopsis for this one:

According to the FBI, the most dangerous place for a woman between the ages of twenty and thirty is in a relationship with a man.  Those statistics become all too personal when Jack Swyteck takes on a new client tied to his past.
It begins at the airport, where Jack is waiting to meet his old high school buddy, Keith Ingraham, a high-powered banker based in Hong Kong, coming to Miami for his young daughter's surgery.  But their long-awaited reunion is abruptly derailed when the police arrest Keith's wife, Isabelle, in the terminal, accusing her of conspiring to kill the man who raped her in college. Jack quickly agrees to represent Isa, but soon discovers that to see justice done, he must separate truth from lies - an undertaking that proves more complicated than the seasoned attorney expects.

It turns out that this novel is based on the true story of a woman who was the victim of sexual assault, and who was sent to prison because her attacker ended up dead.  Most Dangerous Places shows us, from the inside, what it's like to be held responsible for the death of the person who raped you.  I don't pretend to know how that must feel.  Like most everything else, you can't really know about something unless you experience it.  And sexual assault is certainly not anything I (or my loved ones) have ever experienced.  This book, at least, gives us a sense of it.

Many years ago (Feb. 13, 2011, to be exact), I posted a blog about B-Listers.  These are authors that I like to read, but that are a full cut below the Silva's, Archers, Folletts, and Eislers.  Grippando was and is firmly on that list.  I give this one a 2.75/4.  That may not seem very high, but it's fine.  And as long as H/C keeps sending me ARCs, I will keep reading his books (that's big of me, right?)

There's not that much to say about this book.  It's the usual combination of murder, courtroom, and humor.  Grippando adds a very good character with the state's prosecutor, Sylvia.  Her back and forth with Jack is good theater.  And I always like when the "bad guy" is not really a bad guy.  That's especially true about Sylvia.  She's a pretty nuanced protagonist.

If you have never read Swyteck, you can start here.  Then you can decide if you want to read the earlier ones.  Like most series, each book is a standalone.  That's it.