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Gone Again: A Jack Swyteck Novel


Gone Again: A Jack Swyteck Novel

If you are not already reading James Grippando and his top-notch legal thriller series featuring Miami trial attorney Jack Swyteck, then you have been missing out. His writing often calls to mind the early work of John Grisham and Scott Turow --- particularly in his depiction of courtroom drama and interplay. GONE AGAIN marks the 13th entry in the series and offers enough twists, turns and red herrings to keep it reading like a fine murder mystery. Essentially, this is a murder mystery --- or, more to the point, a mystery about a murder that may have never happened.

Sashi was the adopted daughter of Debra and Gavin Burgette. She came as a package deal as the Burgettes were initially interested in a young Russian orphan named Alexander, and they ended up giving a home to both him and his older teen sister. Sashi was a troubled young woman who often found herself in hot water at both school and home. As she got older, her indiscretions became far more serious, and the internet was the outlet she used to communicate with nefarious, older men.

"GONE AGAIN revives the legal thriller genre yet again and hopefully will earn Grippando some much-deserved new followers."

One man she finds and later meets up with is Dylan Reeves. It turns out that Sashi allegedly disappeared on the way to school one morning. During a DUI stop, Reeves was pulled over the next night and an article of her clothing was found in his vehicle. There was a speedy trial, and the jury found the above-referenced evidence enough to convict him to a death sentence.

Now, in the present, Reeves finds himself just days away from execution. He has reached out to the Freedom Institute of Miami where Swyteck does pro bono work. Swyteck and his colleagues are seeking to obtain a stay of execution in the case. The reason behind this has nothing to do with cruel and unusual punishment or other anti-death penalty pleas but something far more interesting. It turns out that the now-divorced Burgettes have brought to light a startling development. Debra insists she has been receiving phone calls from the not-deceased Sashi, which have come on Sashi's birthday. Although no voice has been heard, Debra insists her daughter is alive.

This suspicion seems more than enough reason for Swyteck not only to fight for the stay of execution and Reeves’ release, but also for local law enforcement and the FBI to reopen Sashi’s missing person case. Of course, the prosecutor for the State insists that these phone calls are a hoax and there is no evidence to either free Reeves or waste time on a new investigation into Sashi's whereabouts.

The hard-nosed Judge Frederick is swayed to allow the case to proceed, and witnesses are called forth to discuss all the evidence --- or lack thereof --- pertaining to Sashi's whereabouts. It is here where GONE AGAIN is most effective as Grippando mixes in both flashback chapters about the Burgettes and the blistering courtroom hijinks.

What transpires next will have readers glued to their chairs. The action within and outside the court twists and turns with new revelations around every corner. The reasons behind the Burgettes’ divorce, in addition to the testimony of their oldest daughter, Aquinnah, prove to be eye-opening. Enough new evidence and suspects emerge, and the surprises Grippando has in store will catch even the most astute mystery fan off guard.

GONE AGAIN revives the legal thriller genre yet again and hopefully will earn Grippando some much-deserved new followers. Buckle up for a wild ride in the hot Miami sun, leave the top down and enjoy the breeze!

Reviewed by Ray Palen on March 11, 2016

Gone Again: A Jack Swyteck Novel
by James Grippando

  • Publication Date: December 27, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper
  • ISBN-10: 0062368710
  • ISBN-13: 9780062368713