Most Dangerous Place: A Jack Swyteck Novel by James Grippando


Reviewed by Allen Hott

Most Dangerous PlaceFrom a fairly simple easy beginning this one grows into a tremendous legal battle and finger pointing plus repetitive denials.

Jack Swytek, the legal whiz, is picking up his friend Keith Ingraham at the Miami airport. Along with Keith making the flight from Hong Kong is Isa Bornelli (his wife) and their young daughter. The daughter is the reason for the return as she has some very difficult surgery to be performed which is to help her recapture some amount of hearing since she was born with none.

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However right from the get-go the story line switches from the daughter to the mother as two police officers stop the group as they are leaving the terminal. They place Isa under arrest for the murder of Gabriel Sosa. This murder had taken place many years ago when Isa was in college but even when it had first worked its way up into the Judicial system Isa was never in the States. She lived with Keith who worked as a high powered banker in Hong Kong but they traveled all over the world with his job. So Isa had never been back to the states for any period of time. This time however the Miami-Dade Police Department knew of her arrival (don’t you wonder how??) and they put her into custody.

Swytek immediately goes to work but quickly finds that although he and Keith are friends Isa brings in another attorney. Seems kind of redundant but off they go. It seems that Isa was raped (or claimed to be or maybe someone else claimed that she was) by Sosa who was found brutally murdered. There seems to be questions as to whether it was rape or consensual sex but as the story rolls along even other things get involved.

As an example was Isa the murderer or was she even there at the time of the murder? Or did a friend of Isa’s named David Kaval do the task? Or was it even someone else? Lots of doubts and lots of finger pointing even to the point that it gets Isa’s father involved even though she and he have not been on speaking terms for many, many years.

Swytek has to figure out how this all works out because it gets even more intriguing. Because he discovers another girl seems to somehow been involved and this other girl who is from South America.

Now this new girl who was a friend of Isa’s for years and has been back and forth between her home country and the U.S. is also somehow involved with not only Isa’s father but other Spanish speaking folks who seem to have appeared along the way in the process of the murder or sometime thereafter.

Grippando has built quite a story and it seems to unravel more and more as you get closer to the end. However even then the situation stays pretty murky and leaves the reader not only shaking his head but wondering if he should go back and start over. Quite an entanglement that I guess only Swytek could solve! Interesting never the less!