Tag Archives: James Grippando

A Review of Gone Again by James Grippando

Gone Again (Jack Swyteck #12)

by James Grippando

Mr. Grippando completes the circle with Gone Again. Jack Swyteck is back where he started in the first book in the series, The Pardon. He is back at the Freedom Institute. He says that he isn’t joining the team, just renting an office, but he gets drawn back into a death row case, when the victim’s mother, Debra Burette, talks to him when everyone else is down at the Florida State Prison. She is convinced that the man who is scheduled to die for her daughter’s rape and murder shouldn’t be executed because she is sure that her daughter, Sashi, is alive.

This is just the beginning of a book that is full of twists and turns. Many of the people in this book have secrets, and just when you think that you have them figured out something else happens to change your mind. As the story progresses, layer after layer of lies are torn away, until you reach the truth, a truth that you never expected, and could not have anticipated.

I like the Jack Swyteck series. I read The Pardon a long time ago, and I’ve read another couple since then. I like the Freedom Institute members. I hope that Jack sticks around there. He is a good fit. You don’t need to read this series in order, since each of the books stand on their own; but once you read Gone Again, you probably will want to read some of the earlier books.

I give Gone Again 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up. If you like multilayered legal mysteries, I think you will really like Gone Again.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Gone Again by James GrippandoIn this electrifying and fast-paced tale of suspense from the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Cash Landing, Cane & Abe, and Black Horizon, Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck takes on his first death-row client since The Pardon in a case as twisty as it is shocking.

Sashi Burgette vanished three years ago on her way to school. The night after the teenager’s disappearance, ex-con Dylan Kyle was stopped for drunk driving. An article of Sashi’s clothing was found in his truck, and a police videotape of his drunken explanation under interrogation sealed his fate at trial. Now, just days from Kyle’s execution, Sashi’s mother visits Jack Swyteck, doing pro bono work at the Freedom Institute, and delivers shocking news: “Sashi called me.”

The police dismiss the call as a cruel hoax. The State Attorney refuses to consider the new evidence, insisting the case is closed. The governor has already signed the death warrant. An innocent man may be executed and time is running out—unless his lawyers can locate Sashi.

A man of principle who believes in justice, Jack jumps into the investigation. But the deeper he digs the more he discovers that nothing is what it appears to be. Not the victim. Not her alleged killer. And definitely not Sashi’s parents, whose grief ruptured their marriage, each openly blaming the other for what happened to their daughter.

As their gut-wrenching and hopelessly conflicting version of events unfolds in a Miami courtroom, it becomes clear there is something even more difficult to find than a long-missing girl . . .

The truth.

Book Details

Series: Jack Swyteck Novel
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper (March 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062368702
ISBN-13: 978-0062368706
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

About the Author

Monica Hopkins photography
Monica Hopkins photography

James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-four novels. He was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (The Pardon), and now serves as counsel at Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP. He lives in South Florida with his wife, three children, two cats, and a golden retriever named Max who has no idea that he’s a dog.

A Review of Cash Landing: A Novel by James Grippando

Cash Landing: A Novel

by James Grippando

Cash Landing feels like an Elmore Leonard crime caper gone wrong. It’s set in South Florida. A couple of guys get some inside info on how the can easily score a major theft of clean U.S. currency being brought back into the country. They figure that since it will be so easy that the best idea would be to have it be a family affair. So they make their plans, enlist the family, and are ready to go. From then on, things start to go wrong.

Mr. Grippando based Cash Landing on a real life heist that happened in Miami. The following is from jamesgrippando.com

THE TRUE STORY BEHIND CASH LANDING 

“It reads like a movie script . . . Only this was no blockbuster action film. It was a real-life crime drama straight from the streets of Miami.”

Those aren’t James Grippando’s words. They come straight from the FBI’s official website, the bureau’s own description of one of the biggest airport heists in history—$7.8 million in cash stolen by a band of amateur thieves. That real life caper is the inspiration for James Grippando’s twenty-fourth thriller, Cash Landing (HarperCollins Publishers June 2, 2015).

Who were the real life crooks?   The “mastermind,” Karls Monzon, teamed up with his uncle, an ex-con; his cocaine- addicted brother in law; and an insider who worked for Brinks Security, Onelio Diaz. Diaz was Monzon’s neighbor and friend since childhood, and he drove one of the armored trucks that regularly shuttled millions of dollars in cash from Miami International Airport to the Federal Reserve Branch just four miles from the airport.

How much cash are we talking about? Every week a 747 leaves Frankfurt and lands at MIA with anywhere from $80 million to $100 million in U.S. dollars in the cargo belly. German banks don’t need all those fifty- and hundred-dollar bills, and much of Miami’s economy runs on cash.

How did this rag-tag group pull off the heist? The cash is shipped in 38-pound bags, each holding almost $2 million in bricks of bills. The bags have to be opened to clear customs in a warehouse at MIA. Diaz, the security guard, told Monzon about the security failings inside the warehouse: The bills lay exposed; the security cameras didn’t work; the guards removed their guns before entering the building; and most alluring of all, the warehouse’s enormous bay doors led directly onto the street, which meant that any getaway vehicle could bypass the perimeter fence and the airport gatehouse. For an even cut of the haul, Diaz signaled to Monzon when it was time to strike. The gang drove up to the loading dock in a pickup, covered their faces with bandanas, brandished a handgun, and hurried to grab as many bags of cash as they could carry. They dropped one of the forty-pound bags their way out, but they still managed to speed away with Monzon’s cokehead brother-in-law at the wheel and $7.8 million in the bed of the pickup.

How did they get caught? They started flashing money—especially Monzon’s brother-in-law, who loved strippers even more than cocaine. He started buying dancers $40,000 Rolex watches.   An unidentified informant tipped off law enforcement, and the FBI got a wiretap on Monzon’s cellphone. But the FBI was only half their problem. A rival gang kidnapped Monzon’s brother-in-law and demanded a hefty ransom—all of which the FBI was monitoring by wiretap. When it appeared that Monzon’s brother-in-law was in imminent danger, the FBI swooped in. They arrested Monzon, his wife, and Diaz. After a high speed chase, another group of agents nabbed the kidnappers and Monzon’s brother-in-law.

Where are they now?   Federal prison. Monzon, Diaz and the rest of his gang got long prison sentences. The kidnappers got even longer ones—35 years.

Was the money recovered? Only about a million dollars was recovered. The rest? Only the gang knows.

How did you find out about it? The federal judge who presided at the trial is a friend. He’s been on the bench for years, and he told me that this was the wildest case he’d ever seen—and, mind you, he sits in Miami, where “bizarre” is an everyday occurrence. He said, “James, you’ve got to write a book about this.”

How did you turn this true crime story into a work of fiction?
I considered writing it as nonfiction, but the best sources weren’t available. Monzon and his gang are up for parole soon, and I can’t blame them for not wanting to talk to me. You may recall that the movie Goodfellas, which was based on the real life airport heist at JFK in 1978, was made possible by the book “Wise Guys” written by the mob informant Henry Hill.   To this day, the FBI has not identified the informant who tipped off the FBI about Monzon and his gang. In the end, Cash Landing just works better as fiction. It’s a face paced and compelling story that allowed me to further develop one of my favorite characters, FBI Agent Andie Henning, who has appeared in nine of my previous novels.

 Cash Landing is a well written caper novel, with believable characters that do stupid things once they get their hands on huge amounts of untraceable cash. It’s fun to see the extremes that people go to when they think that they are rich.

I give Cash Landing 4 1/2 Stars, and a Big Thumbs Up!

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Cash LandingThe New York Times bestselling author of Cane and Abe and Black Horizon blends Goodfellas and Elmore Leonard in this wild, suspenseful caper inspired by actual events, in which a band of amateur thieves pulls off one of the biggest airport heists in history with deadly consequences.

Every week, a hundred million dollars in cash arrives at Miami International Airport, shipped by German banks to the Federal Reserve. A select group of trusted workers moves the bags through Customs and loads them into armored trucks.

Ruban Betancourt has always played by the rules. But the bank taking his house and his restaurant business going bust has driven him over the edge. He and his wife deserve more than life has handed them, and he’s come up with a ballsy scheme to get it. With the help of an airport insider, he, his coke-head brother-in-law, Jeffrey, and two ex-cons surprise the guards loading the armored trucks and speed off with $7.4 million in the bed of a pickup truck.

Investigating the heist, FBI agent Andie Henning, newly transferred to Miami from Seattle, knows the best way to catch the thieves is to follow the money. Jeffrey’s drug addiction is as conspicuous as the Rolex watches he buys for dancers at the Gold Rush strip club. One of the ex-cons, Pinky Perez, makes no secret of his plan to own a swinger’s club—which will allow him carte blanche with his patrons’ wives. Levelheaded Ruban is desperately trying to lay low and hold things together.

But Agent Henning isn’t the only one on their trail, and in the mob-meets-Miami fashion, these accidental thieves suddenly find themselves way in over their heads . . . and sinking fast.

Book Details

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Harper (June 2, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062295454
ISBN-13: 978-0062295453
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author

James GrippandoJames Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense. Cash Landing is his twenty-third novel. James Grippando was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (The Pardon), and he now serves as counsel to Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP. 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.

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A Review of Cane and Abe by James Grippando

Cane and Abe

by James Grippando

This was a strange book. It was well written, and the characters were believable and well-developed. I just didn’t really like any of them. I didn’t connect, nor feel any empathy with them. I didn’t really care what happened to most of them. There was a mystery and some plot twists, but that didn’t really draw me in either. I kept reading because I hoped that something would develop to make it all worth while. After I finished the book, I thought “Well that ended with quite a twist”, but it wasn’t until I reflected upon the ending that I decided that it ended perfectly. Everybody gets theirs.

I know that this review doesn’t really give you much, but I can’t reveal the ending, and that is the whole point of the book. Cane and Abe nearly feels like an extended short story. The twist at the end justifies the whole thing.

Most people will probably like the story more than I did. It isn’t like these people in the book are disgusting perverts, or ruthless gangsters, or anything like that. I just didn’t connect, so the story didn’t connect. But I did love the ending.

I give Cane and Abe 3 1/2 Stars out of 5.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Cane and Abe 2A spellbinding novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author James Grippando, in which Miami’s top prosecutor becomes a prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance, which may have a chilling connection to the woman he can’t forget.

Unbelievable was the word for her. Samantha Vine was unbelievably beautiful. It was unbelievable that she’d married me. Even more unbelievable that she was gone . . .

Samantha died too soon. Abe Beckham’s new wife has helped him through the loss, but some say it was a step back to marry Angelina, a love from Abe’s past. Abe doesn’t want to hear it, and through the ups and downs, he’s even managed to remain a star prosecutor at the Miami State Attorney’s Office.

Then everything goes wrong.  A woman’s body is discovered dumped in the Everglades, and Abe is called upon to monitor the investigation. The FBI is tracking a killer in South Florida they call “Cutter” because his brutal methods harken back to Florida’s dark past, when machete-wielding men cut sugarcane by hand in the blazing sun.

But when the feds discover that Abe had a brief encounter with the victim after Samantha’s death, and when Angelina goes missing, the respected attorney finds himself under fire. Suspicion surrounds him. His closest friends, family, professional colleagues, and the media no longer trust his motives. Was Angelina right? Was their marriage not what they’d hoped for because he loved Samantha too much? Or was there another woman . . . and a husband with a dark side who simply wanted his new wife gone?

Book Details

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Harper (January 20, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006229539X
ISBN-13: 978-0062295392
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author

James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense. Cane and Abe is his twenty-second novel. Grippando was a trial lawyer for twelve years before his 1994 debut novel, The Pardon, and he now serves as counsel to Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP. He lives in South Florida with his wife, three children, two cats, and a golden retriever named Max who has no idea that he’s a dog.

The book description and details are from Amazon. Cane and Abe