Born to Run

( 29 )

Overview

When the U.S. Vice President dies unexpectedly during a hunting trip in the Everglades, the President selects his friend, former Florida governor Harry Swyteck, to fill the vacant position. Called to Washington to serve as his father's legal advisor, Jack Swyteck has mixed feelings about working so closely with the parent he's been at odds with in the past. Jack's duty, however, as a son and as an American, takes top priority.

But the vipers are restless in the D.C. snake pit. A...

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Born to Run (Jack Swyteck Series #8)

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Overview

When the U.S. Vice President dies unexpectedly during a hunting trip in the Everglades, the President selects his friend, former Florida governor Harry Swyteck, to fill the vacant position. Called to Washington to serve as his father's legal advisor, Jack Swyteck has mixed feelings about working so closely with the parent he's been at odds with in the past. Jack's duty, however, as a son and as an American, takes top priority.

But the vipers are restless in the D.C. snake pit. A fifty-year-old secret is unraveling, and a cover-up at the highest levels of government threatens to drag both Swytecks under. When hostages are taken, Jack must get to the root of the evil and quickly because suddenly no one is safe, and the presidency itself hangs in the balance.

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Editorial Reviews

USA Today
“[A] thrill-a-minute novel.”
Booklist
“Grippando ratchets up the action to a breakneck pace . . . stopping to liberally sprinkle the proceedings with snarky dialogue, pointed satire, and some touching father-son moments. Everything you expect in a Grippando novel and more.”
Romantic Times
“Grippando unveils his plot layer by layer, adding in colorful characters. Once you’re well and truly hooked, with the suspense drawn tight, it’s all blasted wide open. All you can do is hang on. When it’s over, the only question is, ‘When’s the next book out?’”
Lansing State Journal (MI)
“A top-notch thriller with many mesmerizing scenes . . . A distinctive, intriguing tale that could be ripped from tomorrow’s headlines.”
Madison County Herald (MS)
“A fast and formidable read . . . Adrenaline-fused.”
Sullivan County Register (NY)
“Grippando’s wise-guy dark comedy is a great strength of this series. . . . Sure-fire really is the word for him.”
Kingston Observer (MA)
“James Grippando is a dependable author who delivers a few hours of thrills every time. . . . You can always count on [him] to offer some time away from the humdrum.”
National Examiner
“From the Florida Everglades to Washington politics, the action is hot and heavy when the U.S. vice president ends up dead. [An] intense thriller.”
Newark Star Ledger
“Plenty of action and the suspense holds firm until the final pages.”
Contra Costa Times
“In this multilayered story with greater depth than a traditional potboiler, Grippando’s Swyteck fights a long-standing, but improved, feud with his father. . . . Their interpersonal relationship creates a wonderful platform which Grippando uses to insightfully wrestle with all kind of ethical and familial situations.”
Washington Post
“A veep with a bum ticker, a mishap on a hunting trip . . . In James Grippando’s Born to Run, it takes on Carl Hiaasen-esque proportions. . . . Grippando spins a fun 200-proof yarn.”
South Florida Sun Sentinel
“Grippando’s innovative spin puts Born to Run in its own category. . . . [He] shows how to shape a plot for maximum suspense.”
The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg)
"A complex plot that . . . doesn’t let up. . . . Grippando leads the reader into a twisted labyrinth in which everyone has something to hide, and something more to gain. Pick up Born to Run and you’ll have trouble putting it down."
The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg))
"A complex plot that . . . doesn’t let up. . . . Grippando leads the reader into a twisted labyrinth in which everyone has something to hide, and something more to gain. Pick up Born to Run and you’ll have trouble putting it down."
The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg
“A complex plot that . . . doesn’t let up. . . . Grippando leads the reader into a twisted labyrinth in which everyone has something to hide, and something more to gain. Pick up Born to Run and you’ll have trouble putting it down.”
Kevin Allman
Grippando spins a fun 200-proof yarn, with dialogue that's heavy on the testosterone
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

In this newest installment of the Jack Swyteck mysteries, the vice president dies during an alligator hunt in the Everglades, and Jack's father, the former governor of Florida picked by the president to fill the vacant v-p slot, brings Jack to Washington as his legal counsel. But Washington politics prove deadly, and soon Jack is investigating a mystery that has its roots 40 years in the past. Jonathan Davis brings considerable skill to his reading; with clear articulation and a keen sense of timing, he conveys the book's suspenseful plotting and nicely balances numerous characters of diverse ethnicities and genders. It is a fine performance that will keep listeners on the edge of their seats. A HarperCollins hardcover. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062088109
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 279,510
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

James Grippando

James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author. Blood Money is his twentieth novel, the tenth in his acclaimed series featuring Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck. James Grippando was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (The Pardon). He lives in South Florida with his wife, three children, two cats, and a golden retriever named Max, who has no idea he's a dog.

Biography

Whether standing before the bench in a courtroom or penning one of his bestselling thrillers featuring defense attorney Jack Swyteck, James Grippando has a deep fascination with the law. He practiced as a trial lawyer for twelve years before shifting his career in a more literary direction. However, the decision was not the result of bitter disillusionment. "I actually liked practicing law," he explains on his web site. "I just wished I could do less of it. That may sound like a contradiction, but the problem with being a lawyer is that, if you get caught up in it, eventually you won't know anything about anything except what you happen to be working on at the moment."

As he contemplated leaving the law, Grippando set his sights on becoming a writer, a career shift not as drastic as one might imagine. "A trial lawyer is in many ways a story teller," he said in an essay in Mystery Scene magazine. "Still, I had no idea how to become a novelist... So, I set a couple of ground rules. First, I would do my writing on the sly, nights and weekends, while continuing to bill my obligatory two thousand hours a year. Second -- and this was by far the most important rule -- I was determined to keep it fun."

Both Grippando's legal expertise and his determination to "keep it fun" were readily apparent in his 1994 debut, The Pardon, a taut thriller that introduced Jack Swyteck, a brash young Miami criminal defense attorney who successfully defends an admitted killer -- only to find himself framed for his defendant's murder. Called "a bona fide blockbuster" by the Boston Herald, this well-plotted first novel marked Grippando as a writer to watch.

Despite the popularity of The Pardon, Grippando would not return Jack Swyteck to active duty for eight more years. His second novel, written while he was still practicing law, was a fast-paced crime thriller called The Informant. Shortly after it was published in 1996, he left his practice for full-time writing and published a string of well received stand-alones, including The Abduction, Under Cover of Darkness, and A King's Ransom.

Then, in 2002, Grippando revived Jack Swyteck, placing him at the center of Beyond Suspicion, a gripping courtroom drama involving an insurance scam and the Russian Mafia. Readers reacted so joyfully to Swyteck's return that the author has -- with very few exceptions -- kept attention focused on his beloved series protagonist. As the review journal Booklist put it : "Grippando, whose best thriller have been full of imagination and out-of-left-field surprises, looks like he's found a winner in the Swyteck series."

Good To Know

When he was a lawyer, one of Grippando's most prominent cases found him defending a group of chicken farmers against, according to his essay in Mystery Scene magazine, "the largest privately-held corporation in the world." The Wall Street Journal deemed the case "the catalyst for change in the $15 billion a year poultry industry."

Before becoming a writer, Grippando was on the fast track to becoming a partner at Steel Hector & Davis, the Miami law firm at which former Attorney General Janet Reno began her career.

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Grippando:

"In this world of revolving doors, I'm what you might call a professional anomaly. I've had the same publisher (HarperCollins) and agent (Richard Pine, along with his father Artie until his death) since the start of my career. I've also had the same editor (Carolyn Marino) since my second novel. I treasure these relationships. It is because of them that I am able to do what I love for a living."

"My first published novel was actually inspired by a near arrest in a case of total mistaken identity. One night in October 1992, tired of staring at a blank computer screen, I went for a walk before going to bed. I got about three blocks from my house when, seemingly out of nowhere, a police car pulled up onto the grassy part of the curb in front of me. A cop jumped out and demanded to know where I was going. I told him that I was just out for a walk, that I lived in the neighborhood. He didn't seem to believe me. "There's been a report of a peeping Tom," he said. "I need to check this out." I stood helplessly beside the squad car and listened as the officer called in on his radio for a description of the prowler."Under six feet tall," I heard the dispatcher say, "early to mid-thirties, brown hair, brown eyes, wearing blue shorts and a white t shirt." I panicked inside. I was completely innocent, but it was exactly me! "And a mustache," the dispatcher finally added. I sighed with relief. I had no mustache. The cop let me go.

But as I walked home, I could only think of how close I'd come to disaster. Even though I was innocent, my arrest would have been a media event, and forever I would have been labeled as "the peeping Tom lawyer." It was almost 2 a.m. by the time I returned home, but I decided that I needed to write about this. I took the feeling of being wrongly accused to the most dramatic extreme I could think of. I wrote about a man hours away from execution for a crime he may not have committed. What I wrote that night became the opening scene of The Pardon."

"My first editor on everything I write is my wife, Tiffany, who was an English Lit major."

"I can't underestimate the impact Miami -- the city in which I live -- has had on my writing. Miami evokes all the right buzz words -- smart and sexy, young and beautiful -- but it also has a self-destructive quality that triggers the kind of fascination we have with a reckless youth. It is blessed with natural beauty, but it's threatened by developers. It has the gift of cultural diversity, but is plagued by ethnic tension. Its nightlife is unrivaled, but the threat of violence is never far enough away. There's glitz, there's money, there's the see-and-be-seen -- and then there are neighborhoods that seem straight out of the third world. You often hear it said that truth is stranger than fiction, and nowhere is that more true than in south Florida. Where else could the United States Attorney lose his job after losing a big case, getting drunk, and biting a stripper? But it's where I live, it's where I practiced law, and it will always be an inspiration to my writing.

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    1. Hometown:
      Coral Gables, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 27, 1958
    2. Place of Birth:
      Waukegan, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A. with High Honors, University of Florida, 1980; J.D. with Honors, University of Florida, 1982
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Born to Run LP
A Novel of Suspense

Chapter One

The Italians called him the Greek. The Greeks called him the Sicilian. He was from Nicosia. It was a funny coincidence that the largest city in his native Cyprus shared a name with a city in Sicily—the birthplace of his bride.

"Sofia," he whispered in the darkness.

His wife of eleven months lay sleeping beneath a clingy cotton sheet, the gentle curve of her hip a silhouette in the shadows of night. A late-summer heat wave had sent them to bed naked, and like true newlyweds, they'd made the best of it. Cyprus was the mythological birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who couldn't have held a candle to Sofia. She was a classic Italian beauty, a strong and passionate woman with dark hair, captivating eyes, and flawless olive skin. The Greek felt lucky to have her, and he marveled that she loved him enough to leave her family and run all the way to Cyprus with him.

He only wished he could stop running.

"Sofia, did you hear that?"

Her head didn't move from the pillow.

The Greek slowly slid out of bed, crossed the room in silence, and went to the open window. The lace curtains were motionless in the warm night air. He crooked his finger and parted the panels just enough to check the quiet street from his second-story apartment.

The cloak of night could hide centuries of decay, and Nicosia was beautiful in the moonlight. Flanked by the Pentadaktylos, the five-finger mountain, Nicosia was one of the oldest cities in the world, the geographic heart of an island paradise in the eastern Mediterranean. Behind thick sandstone walls, Cypriots haddefended themselves from a host of invaders and occupiers dating back at least to the Byzantine Empire. The mid-twentieth century had proved to be another violent chapter, with five years of armed struggle finally bringing an end to more than eighty years of British rule. The Greek had taken no stake in that fight—which was why real Greeks called him the Sicilian (or worse)—but he'd grown accustomed to noisy nights, even gunshots.

It was purely instinct, but tonight the Greek felt another type of raid coming—one that had absolutely nothing to do with Greeks, Turks, or any of the country's traditional ethnic divisions. He stood quietly at the lone window in their one-room apartment and listened. He was certain that he had heard something, and it took more than a cat on the roof to wake him from sleep after sex.

He walked around to the other side of the bed and sat on the edge of the lumpy mattress.

"Sofia, wake up."

She grumbled and propped herself up on one elbow. Even at 3:00 A.M. she was beautiful, but she immediately sensed his concern.

"What is it?" she said.

He didn't answer. He sat and listened for that noise again. There it was—a thumping that came from the first floor of their building.

"They're coming!" he said in an urgent whisper. He sprang from the bed and quickly pulled on his underwear.

"Who's coming?" said Sofia.

He pulled on his pants. The thumping noise was louder, like a herd of stallions charging up the stairs.

"It's me they want, not you."

"Who? Who?"

"Listen to me. Don't tell them I was here. Just say—tell them I left you."

He kissed her before she could protest.

The loud bang on the door was definitely not a knock. Someone had put a shoulder into it. They were busting their way in. The Greek couldn't find his shoes or his shirt, and there was no time to grab anything—except his gun in the top dresser drawer. He dived through the open window and out onto the balcony as the chain lock ripped from the frame and the apartment door crashed open.

He heard his wife scream.

"Sofia!" he shouted—which accomplished nothing, except to give himself away.

"Out the window!" a man yelled from inside the apartment.

The Greek could only run for it. He grabbed the rain gutter and pulled himself up to the second-story roof. His first step loosened an old barrel tile, and it crashed onto the street below. As he regained his footing, the Greek glanced back to see the lead man climbing up onto the roof behind him.

He was wearing a police uniform.

The Greek didn't hesitate to shoot, the sound of Sofia's scream replaying in his mind. The return gunfire told him that he'd missed—and the bullet ripped through his hand. He cried out in pain and dismay as his revolver flew from his grasp, slid down the roof, and landed in the gutter. Another shot shattered the clay roofing tiles at his feet.

The Greek kept running.

The slope of the roof changed from pitched to flat. He gained speed and jumped across the alley—the canyon between buildings—and landed on the neighbor's roof. A quick glance over his shoulder didn't slow him down a bit. Two—no, three—men in uniform were in pursuit. The Greek ran faster, his heart pounding in his chest. Beat after beat, the blood pumped from his wounded hand, leaving a crimson trail across the rooftops. He couldn't stop running. At any moment, he expected a bullet in the back. They were close enough to take him out.

He leaped across another alley, and this time it took his breath away. The ground had gone from two stories to four stories below him. The buildings on his street had the same roofline, but they were built on the slope of a hill, each one of increasing height.

Too high to jump.

He raced across the rooftop, but the footfalls behind him grew louder. His hand didn't hurt—too much adrenaline to feel pain—but the loss of blood was making him dizzy. No way could he outrun these guys. He had to find a safe place to jump down and hide. The roof pitched upward, however, and the only way down from here was through the men with the guns. He climbed even higher, all the way to the crest, where the roof flattened into a wide expanse. It was a big building, like a warehouse. No, a hotel. The Mykonos Hotel—the last building on the block. No rooftop beyond it. No more alleys to jump.

Born to Run LP
A Novel of Suspense
. Copyright (c) by James Grippando . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 16, 2010

    This is a good read

    James Grippando knows how to write a novel. This one is a thriller from start to finish.

    The characters are believable and not too much larger than life. They manage to get caught up in all kinds of problems which are trying to be solved but do not get solved until the very end.

    You will not figure out the answer to this mystery before the author tells you about it.

    It is another good read about the lawyer Swyteck.

    J. Robert Ewbank, author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Born to Run

    I recently read this book and found it hard to put it down. I like seeing the progression in the characters. It seemed that Mr. Grippando's writing had matured from some of the previous books I'd read. I look forward to seeing more of the father/son relationship being explored in future books. Until then, I'd recommend this book for people that like to be entertained by a good story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    One of my very favorite authors and he does it again with a supurb thriller.

    Loved everyone of the Grippando's novels and read them all. Fast moving plots and characters you want more of. Can't put his books down and can't wait for the next one to come out. Continue Jack Swytect character and these action packed thrillers and write faster Mr. Grippando.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is an exciting action-packed legal thriller

    In his fifties, Vice President Phil Grayson loved hunting so he went to a private land to shoot alligators while officially looking into the reported threat of pythons destroying the adjacent Everglades. Instead he dies when a humongous gator tips the boat and he falls into water filled with alligators and pythons.<BR/><BR/>President Keys informs former Florida Governor Harry Swyteck that he is on the final list to replace Grayson if he is interested. Harry says yes and asks his son Jack to serve as his chief lawyer; Jack reluctantly agrees as he prefers to remain in Florida but will go to DC. However, Jack hears rumors that Grayson¿s death was not a freak accident, but a homicide. He investigates finding ties back to an incident in 1960 Cypress and a cover-up in 2008 Florida and Washington.<BR/><BR/>This is an exciting action-packed legal thriller that grips the audience once the Veep dies and never slows down as Jack begins to unravel a murder conspiracy. The story line is action, action, and more action that has readers caught up with all that is happening. Fans will relish Jack¿s latest tale that also strains his improved relationship with his dad and his significant other.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    Review

    I cannot get enough of this character and look forward to more..I love this character .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2013

    O th TTT

    Ok im here what do u wnt

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    Jennykit

    Bye till Fool's day, sorry.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Jennykit

    Hey Zivakit. You on?6:53p.m.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Zivakit

    Hey jennykit. Me and micakit thought you quit. How was ur Easter? 6:51

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2012

    Great book for the times!

    I had never read the author before, but after "Born to Run" I will certainly read another one. The story line was good and it kept you guessing about the ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This fast-paced yarn about a secret that the President is willing to kill to keep quiet is fun.

    It has been a long time since I read a novel by James Grippando. Well, before his Jack-Swyteck series. He's a good solid writer from here in Florida...but he seemed to be repeating himself. So I took a break. Chalk this re-visit up to the "separation is good" side of the ledger. As you know, a political thriller can almost never fail to engage me -- and this fast-paced yarn about a secret that the President is willing to kill to keep quiet is fun.

    Grippando keeps the secret long enough to be a surprise at the end but the cost in growing incredulity is pretty high. From fleeing the Russian mob to Jack's dad being considered for VP while Jack worries that his dad might also be the murderer of the former VP -- all requires a good embrace of your gullible side. Yet, it works! Have fun.

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  • Posted April 3, 2009

    Very good book!

    This is the first book I've read by this author. It was interesting and the style of writing is great. Easy to read and kept my interest at every intriguing turn. Highly recommend to anyone who loves a good mystery.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2009

    Another Grippando Favorite

    Another great Swyteck adventure! Keeps your interest throughout the book and is a nice quick and easy read. Can't wait for the next release!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2009

    Great Mystery

    When I read the synopsis of the book and the cover page wasn't sure I wanted to read it; but I have enjoyed Grippando's other books so went ahead and bought it. Was not disappointed had a lot of twists and turns and kept me interested right to the end. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Keeps your attention

    This is my first time reading a James Grippando book and I look forward to reading more. There are touches of humor interspered to even out the suspense but you are always focused on knowing what really happened 46 years ago. There are lots of twists and turns so you can't always be sure you've got the ending figured out (always a plus when reading action adventures).

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  • Posted December 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A COMPLEX, COMPELLING THRILLER

    "Run" is indeed the operative word in this intense page-turner by top flight thriller writer James Grippando. Although born in Cyprus a man is called the Greek, and he is running from enemies who would take pleasure in killing him, preferably slowly. The current president of the United States ran for his office, won it, and will do anything to keep it. How the two intersect is sizzling reading. <BR/><BR/>A former trial lawyer himself Grippando has imbued his stalwart series lead, Jack Swyteck, with all the on-target attributes that make Swyteck one of the most believable protagonists in print. Add some very human characteristics and you have a likable, affecting character with whom readers identify. Those who wait for another Jack Swyteck adventure will be both pleased and surprised with what they find in Born To Run. <BR/><BR/>Grippando opens with a grabber - the Greek has been married to Sofia for but 11 months when their apartment was broken into by Sicilian thugs. The Greek fled, running through alleys, and to a rooftop six stories up with nowhere else to turn. He was caught and thrown, "He didn't hear himself scream, or the Sicilians laughing, as his body collided with the cobblestone below." <BR/><BR/>Skip to the Florida Everglades some 46 years later where Vice-President Phil Grayson is hunting alligators. But, he tumbled from his boat, "...headfirst into the marsh." As he sank into the muck, the pain became too much. "His body became stiff and unresponsive. His only choice it seemed, was to respect nature, to become one with black water, to be the third and weakest leg in a bizarre and deadly triangle. One angry gator. Untold pythons." <BR/><BR/>Harry Swyteck, Jack's father and a two-time Florida governor, is asked to be the new Vice-President. Looking ahead to his confirmation hearings he asks Jack to be his lawyer. Not about to turn his Dad down, Jack accepts only to find that Washington, D.C. is not all like the Miami playing field with which he's so familiar. It's darker and deadlier than he could have ever imagined. <BR/><BR/>Grippando has pulled out all the stops in Born To Run, and in an election year at that. It's a complex, complete thriller that races to a humdinger of a conclusion. <BR/><BR/>- Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews

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