BOOK REVIEW: HEAR NO EVIL
What would you say is the definition of being stuck on the horns of a dilemma? Jack Swyteck, James Grippando's famous criminal attorney creation who has starred in a series of novels he's written, learns too well what it's like in Hear No Evil. It's a highly entertaining book full of the proverbial twists & turns that make for a great thriller. While it's a bit difficult to believe some of the familial relationships between certain characters, one tends to accept them despite the far fetched nature of them because Grippando writes so well and makes them flow, and become an integral part of the story.
The dilemma Jack is presented with is whether or not he should represent Lindsey Hart, who is accused of murdering her husband, who was a naval officer at the infamous Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba. She has a ten-year-old son, who--this is the first of the improbable relationships--it turns out is the biological son of Jack. He is a divorcee, but before he married his ex-wife, his girlfriend at the time became pregnant by him and didn't tell him about it. She put the baby up for adoption, and Lindsay Hart and her husband, Oscar Pintado, were the couple who adopted the boy. The boy's deafness plays an important part in the novel's plot, as he was in the very next room when his father was murdered, but couldn't hear the gunshot that killed him.
Jack has to decide if he will take the case or not. If he does, and gets Lindsey off, and she is actually guilty, he will be condemning his son to living with a murderer. But, if he doesn't take the case and another lawyer does, and doesn't succeed in getting the charges dismissed, and Lindsey is innocent, the boy will have lost the only mom and dad he's ever known. He ultimately, of course, decides to take the case (there wouldn't be many pages in the book if he didn't), but he faces an uphill battle trying to get Lindsey freed.
This rather strange relationship I fairly easily accepted, because it's pretty interesting, and makes sure that Jack definitely has a personal stake in the case. When we learn, through a trip Jack and another lawyer on the case, Sofia Suarez make to Guantanamo Bay to interview perspective witnesses, that Oscar's supposed best friend was sleeping with Lindsey, this also is a strange relationship, but adds to the novel's spice quotient.
A plot should have lots of complications, side issues to be dealt with to add to the interest level, and Hear No Evil has enough complications to keep anyone riveted. I thought even when I read that Jack's mother had been a pregnant with a half-brother he hadn't known about before she left Cuba that this gave yet another added dimension to the tale. But having the U.S. Prosecuting Attorney, Hector Torres, whom Jack is pitted against in the trial, be the father of Jack's half- brother I thought was a bit much.
But, like I mentioned, the novel is so engrossing that one tends to forgive some of its more twisted twists, accept them, and enjoy the wild ride. James Grippando is a very gifted writer who creates fully realized, three dimensional characters that will make you relate to them. Hear No Evil is the first Grippando book I've ever read, but it won't be the last--the novel is so good, it makes one want to run out and buy all of his other books. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves great thriller/mystery books.
REVIEWED BY DOUGLAS R. COBB
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