cover image Most Dangerous Place: A Jack Swyteck Novel

Most Dangerous Place: A Jack Swyteck Novel

James Grippando. Harper, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-244055-6

In bestseller Grippando’s competent 13th Jack Swyteck novel (after 2016’s Gone Again), the Florida lawyer comes to the aid of Isabelle “Isa” Bornelli, an old friend’s wife, who’s arrested on arrival at the Miami airport from Hong Kong for the murder of a man who raped her while she was a college student a dozen years earlier. Isa’s apparent inability to provide a straightforward account of what happened back then raises the tension as Swyteck and co-counsel Manny Espinoza plot her defense. Isa, a well-drawn, complex character, has a tortured family history, which becomes clear when her estranged father interjects himself into the case, serving as something of a soapbox for exploring the complicated, often chauvinistic assumptions made about sex crimes. The legal procedures ring true, but when Swyteck operates outside the courtroom, the action takes a melodramatic turn and eventually leads to a violent resolution that’s both convoluted and predictable. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Feb.)