South Florida is a fascinating place, and Miami is a fascinating city. It is often called the capital of Latin America, and with good reason: the Spanish-speaking population continues to grow, salsa dominates the airwaves, and a visit into Little Havana is a cultural experience like few others in America. There is little surprise, I think, in why so many novels are now set in this American Rivera, with its heady mix of drugs, money, and often opposing cultures. No place in America offers as diverse an experience; few other places seem so beautiful and yet deadly beneath the surface, a Venus fly-trap disguised as a tourist destination. It makes excellent fodder for amused writers, be it Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen, or even Dave Barry.
James Grippando is no late-comer to the Miami binge: Hear No Evil is his ninth book, and features Miami criminal attorney Jack Swyteck in what promises to be his most explosive case ever. Lindsey Hart is a beautiful woman with a problem: she is about to be charged with her husband's murder, and she wants Swyteck to represent her. As a criminal lawyer, Jack isn't adverse to taking her case, until he learns that the crime occurred at Guantanamo Bay, the American military base on Cuban soil. As Jack puts it, he has "absolutely no experience" in military cases, and whoever defends Lindsey should "know how to work his way through military red tape."
Lindsey doesn't agree. She wants Jack, and she says she has a reason: her son, the son she and her now-deceased husband adopted some ten years ago, is actually Jack's biological son, a son he didn't know he had. She wants Jack to represent her because she knows he will do his best to prevent the fearsome prospect of the young boy's mother ending up in jail: "And if you don't help me find the man who killed him, his mother could go to jail for the rest of her life."