Title: The Pardon
Author: James Grippando
Length: 406 pages
Plot Basics: Jack Swyteck is a high-profile defense attorney, helping criminals avoid sentencing. His estranged father, Harry, is the law-and-order governor of the State of Florida, committed to enforcing the state’s death penalty when applicable. But after Jack defends – and wins a trial – for the notorious killer Eddy Goss, both Jack and Harry start receiving threatening messages. As they try to stay steps ahead of the blackmailer, Jack finds himself back at the defense table in a courtroom, but this time, as a defendant in a first-degree murder case. Jack knows he’s being framed, but it’s going to take reconciling with his father to catch another killer on the loose.
Banter Points: This is a great legal thriller read, reminiscent of early John Grisham books like The Firm and The Pelican Brief. Grippando makes both Jack and Harry believable characters instead of stock character-cut outs (the hotshot attorney, the governor only concerned with reelection). The plot has some interesting twists.
Bummer Points: This is one of Word Nerd’s recurring pet peeves in thrillers – the chapters written from the POV of the killer/bad guy. Word Nerd just doesn’t find this an effective technique. Most often for her, it doesn’t make the killer/bad guy any scarier, in fact, it breaks from the rising tension building for the main characters.
Word Nerd recommendation: Grippando’s got quite a list of titles out featuring Swyteck and Word Nerd’s excited to keep reading his back list based on his initial showing.