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A Death in Live Oak: A Jack Swyteck Novel

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About the Book

James Grippando delivers his most explosive and riveting suspense novel yet: a powerful and timely story of race, politics, injustice, and murder as shocking and incendiary as today's headlines, in which Jack Swyteck defends a white college student charged with a heinous racial crime - the first lynching in Florida in more than a half century.

When the body of Jamal Cousin, president of the preeminent black fraternity at Florida's flagship university, is discovered hog-tied in the stygian swamps of the Suwannee River Valley, the death sets off a firestorm that threatens to rage out of control as a fellow student, Mark Towson, the president of a prominent white fraternity, is accused of the crime.

Contending with rising political tensions, racial unrest, and a sensational media, Towson's defense attorney, Jack Swyteck, fears the worst. The evidence against his client - which includes a threatening text message referencing "strange fruit" on the river - seems overwhelming. Then Jack gets a break that could turn the case. Jamal's gruesome murder bears disturbing similarities to another lynching that occurred back in the Jim Crow days of 1944. Are the chilling parallels purely coincidental? With a community in chaos and a young man's life in jeopardy, Jack will use every resource to find out.

As he navigates each twist and turn of the search, Jack becomes increasingly convinced that his client may himself be the victim of a criminal plan more sinister than the case presented by the state attorney. Risking his own reputation, this principled man who has devoted his life to the law plunges headfirst into the darkest recesses of the South's past - and its murky present - to uncover answers.

For Jack, it's about the truth. Traversing time, from the days of strict segregation to the present, he'll find it - no matter what the cost - and bring much-needed justice to Suwannee County.

About the Author

James Grippando
track author

The first thing you should know about bestselling author James Grippando is that he is no longer clueless--so says his wife, Tiffany, after "A James Grippando Novel" was a clue for #38 Across in the New York Times crossword puzzle.

James is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels of suspense, including twelve in the popular series featuring Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck. His latest, "Gone Again," will be followed by the 13th novel in the Jack Swyteck seriew, "Most Dangerous Place" (Feb. 2017) . His first novella "The Penny Jumper" was published in October 2016. His novels are enjoyed worldwide in 28 languages.

James's first job out of law school plunged him headlong into death penalty cases. That experience was an inspiration for his 1994 debut novel, The Pardon, a legal thriller that critics heralded as a "bona fide blockbuster." Beyond Suspicion (2002) was the long-awaited sequel to that first novel, and it launched an exciting series that features Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck and his irreverent sidekick, Theo Knight. James's writings also include "Leapholes" for young adults and numerous short stories.

As a trial lawyer, James was an avid writer. His numerous scholarly articles appeared in some of nation's top law reviews, and they are frequently cited with approval by the courts. His trial practice ranged from complex corporate litigation to class actions on behalf of chicken farmers. As a frequent volunteer in Florida's guardian ad litem program, he helped provide legal representation to neglected children in family court proceedings. He was a faculty member with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Nova Southeast University. He was named by Florida Trend Magazine as one of Florida's emerging leaders, and in 2006 he received the Distinguished Author Award from Scranton University. His alma mater is the University of Florida, where he graduated second in his undergraduate class and earned his law degree with honors.

He now serves Of Counsel to David Boies' law firm, Boies Schiller & Flexner, LLP, where he specializes in entertainment and intellectual property law, representing clients who have won more than 30 Tony Awards.

He lives in south Florida with his wife, three children, two cats and a golden retriever named Max who has no idea he's a dog. Visit his website at www.jamesgrippando.com




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Bottom Line:
 3.5 / 5 - Good
 
Reviewed by: Brian McCulloh

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