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Book Review: Got The Look by James Grippando

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I admit it. I’m a serial reader. I love books that bring you back again and again to your favorite people. Being one of those readers who loses herself in a book and becomes ‘friends’ with the characters I’m spending my time with, I always find it hard to let go of a story and say goodbye when the book is finished. I have at times delayed the finish of a really good book so I could avoid doing that.

Then I discovered I don’t always have to.

I can read John Lescroart (Dismas Hardy) or James Patterson (Alex Cross) and even Stephen White (Alan Gregory). I love them all and in pure voyeuristic fashion, I pick up the latest book to see what they’re up to now. And I don’t even watch soaps – imagine that.

So, this brings me to my latest read, James Grippando's Got The Look, which presents the latest episode in the life of hot shot Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck. In Got The Look, Swyteck falls in love with the woman of his dreams: a gorgeous and obviously wealthy lady named Mia Salazar. Not all is perfect in paradise as he quickly discovers Mia is married to someone else.

Being the class act that he is, assurances of the marriage being loveless and evidence of abuse notwithstanding, he terminates the relationship. But when Mia is kidnapped a few weeks later, however, Swyteck is abruptly and reluctantly drawn back into her life and into the investigation by Mia's husband and, more significantly, by FBI agent Andie Henning.

The kidnapper's modus operandi is to take someone and then send a note to the spouse stating "Pay me what she's worth." If the husband gets the dollar amount right, then his wife is released unharmed; but get it wrong and she is killed.

All this is further complicated by the fact that the FBI believes Mia may have a remote tie to her kidnapper. Swyteck is torn between following the FBI's plan and making up one of his own along the way, leading to some fast thinking by Swyteck's former client and permanent best friend, ex-con Theo Knight, who is there to assist him.

Between Theo, Mia, the Wrong Number Kidnapper, and a complex, intriguing and original plot with more than the expected number of twists and turns, you easily get wrapped up with everyone involved and tend to forget about Swyteck even when he is front and center. Someone else more interesting is always around to hold your interest.

I love how Grippando has the ability to set a scene so beautifully that at times I was living Mia’s terror so significantly, I had to set the book down and occupy myself with something else for awhile. Even though Got The Look slows the pace at times, you need that. Grippando is a true storyteller, a skill he has displayed over the course of his 10 previous novels, all of which I’ve read and enjoyed.

With summer approaching, I would highly recommend this one for those hot summer afternoons.

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  • This article has been selected for syndication to Advance.net, which is affiliated with newspapers around the United States. Nice work!