Book Review: Blood Money by James Grippando

blood money

Rating: 3 / 5

Florida attorney Jack Swyteck is back, this time having just defended Sydney Bennett.  Bennett was on trial for the murder of her daughter Emma.  Surprisingly, and against the tide of public opinion, Bennett was found not-guilty.  The night of her release from prison is unruly and chaotic, and in the midst, another women, Celeste Laramore, with a striking resemblance to Sydney is hurt, and in the hospital in a coma.  Laramore’s  parents reach out to Swyteck to file a lawsuit to help with the mounting medical costs.  It appears that Laramore was the victim of attempted strangulation, and soon, Swyteck, and those close to him are also in peril.

Right off the bat the books seems like a fictionalized version of the Casey Anthony case, right down to the not guilty verdict.  It didn’t take long to see, however, that Grippando was merely using the Casey Anthony case to set the scene; what happens after Bennett is released is where Grippando dives into his own storytelling.  I like Swyteck-his personality and sidekick, Theo Knight, are entertaining and comical.  I also liked the twists and turns in Blood Money, it kept me engaged and guessing right up to the end.  That being said, I was slightly disappointed with the ending.  I felt like it came out of the blue with no pretext given during the novel.

I also found the Andie Henning storyline unrealistic; I’m not an expert on FBI staffing and case management, but it seems to be a stretch to let Henning weave in and out of undercover assignments given the publicity surrounding Swyteck. I understand that her role gives the relationship an added dimension and complexity, but I felt that it was unbelievable and unnecessary. Overall though, I still like Jack Swyteck’s character, and although this installment wasn’t as good as his previous adventures, I am still willing to read future Swyteck adventures.

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