Got the Look (Jack Swyteck Series #5)

Got the Look (Jack Swyteck Series #5)

4.0 17
by James Grippando

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Jack Swyteck’s new girlfriend,Mia, is keeping secrets from thelove-struck Miami attorney,not the least of which is a wealthy and powerful husband. Then Miais kidnapped by a manipulativeabductor who makes a chilling ransom request, “Pay me what she’s worth.” Now Jack’s the one underthe gun, since Mia’s spouse has decided his

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Jack Swyteck’s new girlfriend,Mia, is keeping secrets from thelove-struck Miami attorney,not the least of which is a wealthy and powerful husband. Then Miais kidnapped by a manipulativeabductor who makes a chilling ransom request, “Pay me what she’s worth.” Now Jack’s the one underthe gun, since Mia’s spouse has decided his unfaithful wife is worth nothing. Time is of the essence, and if Jack picks the wrong number,Mia could end up like thekidnapper’s other victims: dead.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Attorney Jack Swyteck and his jazz musician sidekick Theo Knight josh, joke and kid, but unfortunately the case they're working-the kidnapping of Jack's girlfriend by a sadistic murderer-doesn't lend itself to humor. The disconnect of monkeyshines versus the grim, detailed torture of a helpless woman cripples this thinly plotted, disappointing thriller set in Grippando's familiar South Florida. The girlfriend in question, the gorgeous Mia Salazar, turns out to be (unknown to Jack) married. After she's been seized, her betrayed husband makes it clear that he has no interest in paying any significant ransom. This duty then falls to Jack, who, working with FBI agent Andie Henning (reprised from Under Cover of Darkness), frantically tries to find Mia. Though Jack and Andie are the proverbial oil and water, the results of this pairing are entirely predictable. And when the kidnapper is finally revealed, his identity is as unbelievable as the tortured reasoning that attempts to connect the many disparate plot elements. The chase scene at the end lends some much-needed firepower, but it's too little too late for anyone but the most diehard Grippando fan. (On sale Jan. 3) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
What is the price of a human life? That is the central question confronting Florida lawyer Jack Swyteck as he grapples with kidnapping and treachery. He's just beginning to believe that new girlfriend Mia Salazar might be the one when he discovers she's married. Jack dumps her and, while licking his wounds, finds out that she is the latest victim of a serial kidnapper. Or has her husband killed her and faked the entire incident? Jack must use all of his instincts to uncover the truth, even if he doesn't like the answers. Fans of legal thrillers will devour this novel; first-time readers of former trial lawyer Grippando (Hear No Evil) and the Swyteck series will not feel left out. Jack is a wonderful character, and the main mystery is both puzzling and shocking. For all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/05.]-Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Coral Gables lawyer Jack Swyteck celebrates his tenth appearance by getting involved with a lady who's so hot that she can't possibly be anything but trouble. Wealthy Venezuelan-born businessman Ernesto Salazar can have whatever he wants. When his wife Mia is kidnapped by someone who demands only that he "pay what she's worth"-the last victim was left to die when her husband's guess of $1,000,000 turned out to be too low-he has the option of delivering the ransom himself or having the FBI take care of it. Or he can thumb his nose at the demand because his cheating wife is literally worthless. Instead, Salazar finds a more intriguing choice for the role of bagman: Jack, who's become Mia's lover. It doesn't speak very highly for Jack that he's somehow managed to survive nine big cases (Hear No Evil, 2004, etc.) without being able to tell that the lovely he's been carrying on a torrid romance with is married. But now he has bigger problems. One is how to behave when he's caught between an abductor who's shown no compunction about killing and a victim's husband who's just as clever and ruthless. Another is what to do when Salazar comes up short on the ransom and the kidnapper battens on Jack as Mia's last hope. A third is how he's going to match wits with Andie Henning, an FBI negotiator who's fled her own problems in Seattle, and extricate himself from a climactic, and eventually anticlimactic, sequence that seems to go on longer than Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe. The book on Grippando-that he sacrifices character, logic and plausibility to storytelling drive-has never been more accurate. Not one in a hundred of this tale's big target audience will ever read it twice.
Barbara Taylor Bradford
“Every woman will read Got the Look. . . and wonder.”
James Patterson
“If you haven’t read James Grippando, start with Got the Look....Grippando is really good.”
Steve Berry
“Grippando is a major talent and here he’s strutting his considerable stuff.”
Romantic Times
“Never-ending suspense, romance and deceit form the backbone of this expertly plotted novel.”
“Grippando has a great feel for pacing and writes highly effective, gripping action scenes.”
Miami Herald
Got the Look features a remarkably rich premise, an unrelenting pace, solid characterizations and surprising but logical twists.”
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“Realistic characters worth caring about and tense chase scenes add to Got the Look‘s intriguing tale.”
San Jose Mercury News
“If you go with Grippando, you’ll get a plot you won’t soon forget.”
Orlando Sentinel
“Stunning revelations and a powerhouse ending.”

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Jack Swyteck Series, #5
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Read an Excerpt

Got the Look LP

By James Grippando

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 James Grippando
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060878932

Chapter One

The sun never shines beneath the Devil's Ear.

FBI Special Agent Andie Henning must have heard that warning a dozen times on her way to Ginnie Springs, Florida. The Devil's Ear was one of the more spectacular openings to the watery underworld of the north Florida aquifer, a dark and dangerous limestone labyrinth of interconnecting caves and caverns that discharged 7.7 billion gallons of crystal clear drinking water every day.

"How much farther?" Andie shouted over the roar of the single outboard engine. The boat was at full throttle, throwing a V-shaped wake against the inky black riverbanks. The Santa Fe was a relatively shallow river, better suited to canoes and kayaks than to large motorboats. Only an experienced driver could head downstream at this speed, especially in the dead of night. Somewhere in the darkness were egrets and alligators, but at midnight the forest slept. The tall cypress trees were mere silhouettes, their moss-clad limbs barely visible against the starlit sky. A thin blanket of fog stretched across the river, waist deep to those onboard. The speedboat cut through it like a laser on cotton candy. Andie zipped up her FBI jacket, staving off the wind chill.

"About two more minutes," shouted the boat driver.

Andie checked her watch. She hoped they had two minutes.

The kidnapper's late-night call had confirmed the family's payment of a ransom, contrary to FBI advice. One million dollars in cash seemed like a lot of money to the average person, but it was hardly a hit to Drew Thornton, one of Ocala's richest horse breeders. The clipped phone message advised that Mrs. Thornton could be found beneath the Devil's Ear. It took only a minute to decipher what that meant. The sheriff's office deployed emergency/rescue divers immediately. Andie and two agents from the Jacksonville field office went with them. They were part of the FBI team assigned to the Thornton case, and Andie was the only negotiator staying on-site in Ocala throughout the three-week ordeal.

The engine went quiet, the anchor dropped overboard, and the boat came to a stop. Immediately, the team moved into position.

"Bottoms up!" shouted the rescue team leader.

Three scuba divers splashed into the river. With the flip of a switch, handheld dive lights turned the black water into a clear, glistening pool. The driver of the boat was Sheriff Buddy McClean, a bulky man in his fifties. He and a deputy remained onboard with Andie and the two FBI tech agents. The deputy controlled the lifeline, a long synthetic rope that tethered each diver to the boat. It was their road map back from the cave network. One of the techies helped feed a transmission wire as the divers descended with an underwater video camera. The other agent fiddled with the monitor, trying to bring up an image.

Hundreds of air bubbles boiled to the surface. The lights grew dim beneath the boat, and suddenly the river returned to black. It was as if someone had pulled the geologic plug, but the monitor screen glowing brightly in the darkness told a different story.

"There it is," said Sheriff McClean. "Devil's Ear."

Andie checked the monitor. The lights and underwater camera allowed her to see exactly what the divers saw. The team was inside the cavern, somewhere below the riverbed. Andie asked, "How well do your divers know these caves, Sheriff?"

"All too well," said McClean. "Since I first swam here as a teenager, there's been over three hundred scuba divers gone down in Florida's caves and never come up. Devil's Ear has claimed its fair share of unwilling souls. Pulled two out myself in my younger days."

"What's the chances Mrs. Thornton's actually alive?" asked the deputy.

Andie didn't answer right away. "We've had cases where kidnap victims were buried alive and came out okay."

"Yeah, but underwater?"

"Can't say that I've heard of it," she said. "But there's a first time for everything."

There was silence onboard, as if they all feared that this was more likely to be the recovery of a body than the rescue of a victim. But that didn't mean they'd given up hope.

What if she is alive? thought Andie. Did that poor woman have any idea where she was? Somewhere beneath this black riverbed, beneath God only knew how many feet of sand and solid limestone, lay a living, breathing wife and mother. Perhaps she was trapped in some pressurized tank or capsule, a dark and silent cocoon, enough air for an hour or two. Or worse, maybe her kidnapper had turned her loose down there with nothing but a mask, tank, and regulator. Either way, she'd be in total darkness, unable to find -- no, feel -- her way out of this aquatic honeycomb. Perhaps she could hear or possibly even feel the strong currents rushing past her, cool springwater flowing as fast as a hundred cubic feet per second. She might decide to go with the flow, or try to fight it, no way of knowing which way was up. Jagged rocks could cut like knives. A sudden change in ceiling height could damage her breathing equipment or knock her unconscious. But not even in her most harrowing moment of panic could she even begin to imagine that some of these cave systems stretched as long as seventeen miles, that she could be carried hundreds or thousands of feet below the surface, that the average liter of drinking water drawn from Florida's aquifer percolated and circulated around and around for twenty years before reaching the surface.

Unconscious, thought Andie. Alive but unconscious. That was by far the best-case scenario.

"Where are they now?" asked Andie.

Sheriff McClean took a closer look at the screen. The divers had long since passed the point where it mattered if it was night or day. "I'd say about two hundred feet into the cave."

"How can you tell?"


Excerpted from Got the Look LP by James Grippando Copyright © 2005 by James Grippando. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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What People are saying about this

James Patterson
“If you haven’t read James Grippando, start with Got the Look....Grippando is really good.”
Barbara Taylor Bradford
“Every woman will read Got the Look. . . and wonder.”
Steve Berry
“Grippando is a major talent and here he’s strutting his considerable stuff.”

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