Most Dangerous Place
James Grippando
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Buy *Most Dangerous Place: A Jack Swyteck Novel* by James Grippandoonline

Most Dangerous Place: A Jack Swyteck Novel
James Grippando
368 pages
February 2017
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Grippando has a knack for creating suspenseful thrillers. Most Dangerous Place is no exception, with a unique plot and plenty of unexpected twists. A protagonist with a faithful following, Jack Swyteck’s career as a Miami defense attorney is solid, both in representing clients and giving generously back to the community. Happily married and with a young daughter, Jack is on the way to the Miami/Dade Airport to meet old friend Keith Ingraham, a successful Hong Kong banker arriving at the airport with his beautiful wife, Isabelle, and their eight-year-old daughter, Melany. A rare surgery is Melany’s only hope for recovering the hearing loss she suffered as a child.

The two families are exchanging introductions when Keith’s wife is approached by two dark-suited men who place her under arrest. Jack intrudes on Isabelle’s behalf, following her to the courthouse, while Jack’s wife, Andie, takes the others home until the details are sorted out and Isabelle is hopefully released. At the police station, Jack learns about a cold case that has been reopened: the unsolved murder of Isabelle’s college ex-boyfriend. Isy is being charged with the murder of Gabriel Sosa. An ambitious prosecutor leapt on the opportunity to charge the unsuspecting woman arriving in the country for her daughter’s critical surgery. Fueled by an appetite for vengeance and what appears an airtight case, the prosecutor considers the arrival of the Ingrahams in Miami to be a happy coincidence.

Legal conundrums and tense courtroom scenes can be complicated, even tedious, but Grippando knows how to thread the human dynamics through the facts of such situations, whether courthouse or jail, from arrest to the behind-the-scenes conflicts that occur on both sides of the aisle. Jake understands the extent to which prosecutors will go to put away a criminal, especially one who has claimed the life of a young man. Completely out of her element, Isy is overwhelmed by the arrest, her incarceration certain to keep her from her daughter’s side during the operation. Though his client is clearly in shock, Jack suspects--even in their initial interview--that Isabelle is withholding information, something beyond the fact that she has never told Keith about the incident with the dead ex-boyfriend from her college days.

Returned to Miami after many years, Isy’s past collides with her present. A girl born in the slums of Venezuela, now far from the squalor of her childhood, finds everything threatened by evidence that may sever her from her family forever. When another lawyer, Manny Espinoza, injects himself into the case, Jack is forced to compromise and decide what case he wants to present with Manny’s input. No matter the secrets Isabelle is afraid to reveal, Jack patiently accommodates client, husband, and fellow lawyer, determined to untangle the conflicts and save Isabelle from a conviction.

Jack pursues every lead--even flies to Venezuela, unaware of the danger that pursues him--potentially the only one who can learn the truth of Sosa’s demise. The final act will eventually play out in the courtroom, where a jury weighs the facts presented to them, choosing guilt or innocence. Despite the unusual circumstances that have plagued the case, as well as Isabelle’s reluctance to reveal secrets buried long ago, Swyteck scrupulously defends his client without compromising his own values as an attorney as an anticipated reunion with an old friend become a tense drama with a family’s future at stake.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Luan Gaines, 2017

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