grippandojames goneagain

James Grippando’s skill with suspenseful plots reached another level in his gripping Gone Again, published in 2016.

In this 13th novel about Miami attorney Jack Swyteck, Grippando led the reader on a twisting tale of grief, obsession, and the disintegration of a family—as I wrote in my review of Gone Again.

“In a career highlighted by a number of superb novels, Gone Again ranks at the top of Grippando’s work,” I wrote.

I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed Gone Again.

Gone Again has been awarded the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

The award was selected by a panel including Deborah Johnson, winner of the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and author of The Secret of Magic; Cassandra King, author of The Same Sweet Girls Guide to Life; Don Noble, host of Alabama Public Radio's book review series as well as host of Bookmark, which airs on Alabama Public Television; and Han Nolan, author of Dancing on the Edge.

In the press release announcing the award, Han Nolan remarked, “It best exemplifies Harper Lee's desire for a work of fiction that illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change. Jack Swyteck is a lawyer's lawyer. He works within the system, relentlessly searching for the truth as he races against time to defend a death row inmate.”

Don Noble added, “If I am ever in legal trouble, there is no lawyer I would rather have than Grippando's Jack Swyteck,” he said. "The man is dedicated to social justice, resourceful and tireless."

Needless to say, Grippando is thrilled. “This is pretty amazing ... and the autographed copy of To Kill a Mockingbird has me over the moon.”

The 2017 prize will be awarded at The University of Alabama School of Law on September 14.

Meanwhile, the best congratulations for Grippando would be to pick up a copy of Gone Again.

In Gone Again, Jack takes on Debra Burgette as a client for Miami’s Freedom Institute. Deborah’s daughter teenage daughter Sashi was murdered about five years before. Ex-con Dylan Reeves is on death row, awaiting execution.

But Debra’s tale isn’t what Jack expects. She wants to stop the execution because Debra maintains that Sashi is still alive.

In my review, I wrote, “Debra’s fanaticism is realistically portrayed and while it is easy to understand her motives Grippando also shows the destructive nature of her fixation. Grippando also gracefully weaves in Jack’s pending fatherhood and his loving relationship with his pregnant wife, Andie, a FBI agent, without losing the story’s suspense.”