Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Book Review: MOST DANGEROUS PLACE by James Grippando
HARPER (HarperCollins Publishers) – @HarperCollins
[This review was originally posted in Patreon.]
AUTHOR: James Grippando – @James_Grippando
ISBN: 978-0-06-244055-6; hardcover (February 21, 2017)
368pp, B&W, $26.99 U.S.
Most Dangerous Place is the new novel from author and attorney James Grippando. It is also Grippando's 25th novel and the thirteenth novel featuring Grippando’s Miami-based, criminal defense attorney, Jack Swyteck. In Most Dangerous Place, Swyteck defends a woman accused of murdering the man who raped her.
As Most Dangerous Place begins, Jack and his wife, FBI Agent Andie Henning, with their two-year old daughter, Riley, are waiting at the International Terminal of Miami International Airport to meet a family arriving from Hong Kong. However, not long after Jack's high school buddy, Keith Ingraham, his wife, Isabelle “Isa” Bornelli, and their daughter, Melany, arrive, officers from Miami Dade Police Department arrest Isa. What's the charge against her?
Isa is being charged with the murder of Gabriel Sosa, a man who sexually assaulted Isa after she went on a date with him when she was in college. Jack immediately agrees to represent Isa, but soon discovers that he must separate truth from lies. That undertaking becomes more complicated when a second defense lawyer joins the case, the splashy Manuel “Manny” Espinosa, whose style does not jibe with Jack's. Jack must dig deep into the pasts of multiple colorful and shady characters, in a case that will take him from Florida State Prison to a legendary Miami nightclub and from the shiny side of Miami to one of the most dangerous places in Venezuela.
I read my first Jack Swyteck novel, Blood Money, a few years ago, and followed that up with Black Horizon. Now, the only James Grippando novels I really want to read are Swyteck novels. At this point, I have sold myself on the idea that I know Jack Swyteck as if he were a real person. I guess that successful bestselling authors who write book series have to compose their stories in such a way as to make readers gradually become attached to the characters.
However Grippando isn't just about churning out a series. When he is at his best, Grippando writes twisty thrillers that offer one surprise after another, even to the last page in some cases. The title, Most Dangerous Place, references the FBI factoid that the most dangerous place for a woman between the ages of 20 and 30 is in a relationship with a man. Well, Most Dangerous Place the novel makes the reader wonder who is really the victim and who is really the perpetrator. The line between innocence and guilt blurs, and the reader is forced to consider that cold-blooded revenge might actually be retribution, rightful and justified.
Once again, James Grippando proves that his legal thrillers deserve to be read as much as any other bestselling author's legal thrillers. John Grisham, I'm looking at you.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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