Hear No Evil (Jack Swyteck Series #4)

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Overview

Miami attorney Jack Swyteck is involved in the most explosive criminal trial of his career — a case that starts with a murder on a military base and concludes with a shocking surprise that will change Jack's life forever.

A beautiful woman comes to see Jack and begs him to represent her. She says she's about to be arrested for the murder of her husband, an officer stationed at Guantanamo Bay. Having no expertise in military law and sensing that the woman isn't telling him the ...

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Hear No Evil (Jack Swyteck Series #4)

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Overview

Miami attorney Jack Swyteck is involved in the most explosive criminal trial of his career — a case that starts with a murder on a military base and concludes with a shocking surprise that will change Jack's life forever.

A beautiful woman comes to see Jack and begs him to represent her. She says she's about to be arrested for the murder of her husband, an officer stationed at Guantanamo Bay. Having no expertise in military law and sensing that the woman isn't telling him the entire truth, Jack turns her down. Then she drops a bombshell: She claims she's the adoptive mother of Jack's biological son — a child he's never met. Either Jack must represent her or he'll never see the boy.

So Jack agrees, but with great foreboding. The woman is an unreliable client — a blackmailer who just might be a murderer — and he has to travel to Gitmo and on to Havana to tussle with people who clearly have a lot to hide. This is a case with as many twists and turns as it has unanswered questions, and the personal toll on Jack won't end until he's forced to confront the ultimate surprise witness in a trial that rocks the city of Miami.

In signature Grippando style, Hear No Evil is an intricate, fast-paced, and captivating thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Performed by Campbell Scott

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Miami lawyer Jack Swyteck is in for one hell of a roller coaster ride in this lapel-grabbing thriller, Grippando's ninth (Last to Die; etc.). Lindsey Hart, about to be charged with the murder of her husband, Marine Capt. Oscar Pintado, comes to Jack because she believes he is her last, best chance and also the biological father of her adopted son. Stunned, Jack thinks he recognizes the picture of the 10-year-old she shows him ("he knew those dark eyes, that Roman nose"), but he still isn't sure whether he should take the case. What if he doesn't and she's innocent? She could be convicted. But if she's guilty and he takes the case and wins it he doesn't want to see the child raised by a murderer. Thanks to Grippando's devious mind, that's just the beginning. Plot twists, doled out with perfect timing, include the story of the murder victim, who's the son of a rich and powerful anti-Castro activist; the prosecutor's connection to Swyteck's family; and the testimony of the defense's prime witness, who is a private in Castro's army the murder took place on the U.S. military base at Guant namo Bay, Cuba. It's manipulative Lindsey, however, who proves to be the book's most unpredictable element. This character-driven, intricately plotted thriller will keep readers guessing up to the end. Agent, Richard Pine. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The defense of a military wife on a murder charge places Jack Swyteck in opposition to both the US Navy and the Cuban government-and disturbs ghosts from his own past. Recent widow Lindsey Hart implores the Miami defense attorney to defend her against charges that she murdered her husband, Oscar Pintado, an officer stationed at the naval base in Guantanamo Bay. With no experience in the military justice system and little knowledge of Cuba (even though he's half-Cuban), Jack (Last to Die, 2003, etc.) is loath to accept the case. Lindsey, however, has an ace up her sleeve: Jack is the biological father of her adopted son Brian, who is deaf. Jack has known nothing of the boy until now. He takes the daunting case, teaming up with Lindsey's civil attorney, Sofia Suarez, with whom he has considerable sexual sparks. Meanwhile, Oscar's wealthy father, Alejandro, an influential stateside figure in the anti-Castro movement, has sworn to secure Lindsey's conviction, both to get custody of Brian and to prevent Lindsey from getting her hands on Oscar's sizable inheritance (also the purported motive for the killing). The circumstantial evidence against her is considerable, and the Navy throws up many roadblocks, like reassigning most potential witnesses so they're out of Jack's reach. Jack stays away from Brian but uses some of his time in Cuba probing his deceased mother's early years, uncovering secrets surprising to him and painful to his grandmother Abuela. The trial dominates the last half of the story, with Jack facing off against flashy media celeb Hector Torres. Pivotal witness Lieutenant Dumont Johnson may or may not have been involved in an affair with Lindsey and/or be an accomplice. Drugs,an exploding car, a secret pregnancy, and a hidden past identity all figure prominently. In his ninth Swyteck thriller, Grippando introduces more plot threads than he can weave or develop smoothly, but he keeps his tale moving. Agent: RIchard Pine/Arthur Pine Associates
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“A well-focused, perfectly organized legal thriller. . . . Exciting.”
Booklist
“A tight, smartly constructed mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.”
Orlando Sentinel
“A first-rate mystery.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Suspenseful.”
Contra Costa Times
“Grippando’s Jack Swyteck series is one of those rare finds.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060757755
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/27/2004
  • Series: Jack Swyteck Series , #4
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 hours
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 5.74 (h) x 0.76 (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.

Campbell Scott studied with Stella Adler and Geraldine Page, and appeared on Broadway in Long Day's Journey into Night, among other productions. His many films include Longtime Companion, Singles, Music and Lyrics, and Big Night, which he co-directed.

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:

Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Hear No Evil LP

Chapter One

"My husband was murdered."

Lindsey Hart spoke in the detached voice of a young widow still grieving. It was as if she still couldn't believe that the words were coming from her mouth, that something so horrible had actually happened. "Shot once in the head."

"I'm very sorry." Jack wished he could say more, but he'd been in this situation before, and he knew there really wasn't anything he could say. It was God's will? Time heals all wounds? None of that would do her any good, certainly not from his lips. People sometimes turned to strangers for that kind of comfort, but rarely when the stranger was a criminal defense lawyer billing by the hour.

Jack Swyteck was among the best Miami's criminal trial bar had to offer, having defended death row inmates for four years before switching sides to become a federal prosecutor. He was in his third year of private practice, steadily building a name for himself, despite the fact that he'd yet to land the kind of high-charged, high-profile jury trial that had vaulted plenty of lesser lawyers into stardom. But he was doing just fine for a guy who'd withstood an indictment for murder, a divorce from a fruitcake, and the unexplained appearance of the naked, dead body of his ex-girlfriend in his bathtub.

"Do the police know who did it?" asked Jack.

"They think they do."

"Who?"

"Me."

The natural follow-up question caught in Jack's throat, and before he could even broach the subject, Lindsey said, "I didn't do it."

"Are there any witnesses who say you did?"

"Not that I know of. Which is to be expected, since I'm innocent."

"Was the murder weapon recovered?"

"Yes. It was on the bedroom floor. Oscar was shot with his own sidearm."

"Where did it happen?"

"In our bedroom. While he was sleeping."

"Were you home?"

"No."

"Then how do you know he was sleeping?"

She hesitated, as if the question had caught her off guard. "The investigators told me he was in bed, no sign of any struggle, so it's only logical that he was either taken completely by surprise or was asleep."

Jack took a moment, not so much to collect his thoughts as to gather his impression of Lindsey Hart. She was a few years younger than he was, he guessed, articulate and composed. Her business suit was charcoal gray, a conservative step beyond the traditional black of mourning, though she allowed herself a little color in the silk blouse and scarf. She was pretty—probably even more attractive than what presently met the eye, as Jack suspected that in her grief she'd lost a little too much weight and paid not enough attention to her appearance.

He said, "I know this is painful for you. But has anyone considered the possibility that your husband's wound was self-inflicted?" "Oscar didn't commit suicide. He had too much to live for."

"Most people who take their own life do. They just lose perspective."

"His gun was found with the safety on. Not very likely that he shot himself in the head and then put on the safety."

"Can't argue with that. Though it also strikes me as curious that someone would shoot your husband and then take the time to put on the safety."

"There are many curious things about my husband's death. That's why I need you."

"Fair enough. Let's get back to what you were doing the day of his death. What time did you leave the house?"

"Five-thirty. Same as every day. I work at the hospital. My shift begins at six."

"I assume you're having trouble convincing people that he was alive when you left."

"The medical examiner put the time of death sometime before five."

"You've seen the autopsy?" asked Jack.

"Yes, just recently."

"How long ago was your husband killed?"

"Ten weeks yesterday."

"Have you spoken to the police?"

"Of course. I wanted to do everything possible to help catch the killer. Until it started to come clear that I was a suspect. That's when I decided I needed a lawyer."

Jack scratched his head and said, "None of this is ringing a bell for me, and I'm usually something of a newshound when it comes to homicides.

Was it City of Miami or Miami-Dade homicide you talked to?"

"Neither. It was NCIS agents. Naval Criminal Investigative Services. This all happened at the naval base."

"Which one?"

"Guantánamo."

"Guantánamo, Cuba?"

"Yes. My husband was career military. We've lived there for almost six years now. Or at least until his death."

"I didn't realize that families even lived there. I thought it was just soldiers keeping an eye on Castro."

"Oh, no. It's a huge living and working community, thousands of people. We have schools, our own newspaper. We even have a McDonald's."

Jack considered it, then said, "I want to be up front about this: I have absolutely no experience in dealing with military matters."

"This isn't strictly military. I'm a civilian, so I would have to be charged as a civilian, even though my husband was a military officer." "I understand that. But the crime scene is on a naval base...

Hear No Evil LP. Copyright © 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
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 19, 2012

    James Grippando books highly Recommended

    I like the way James Grippando writes. His facts are together; his characters open doors while you hold your breath, the bad guys
    truly fearsome and his endings satisfying.
    I listen to audio books ergo narration is critical. Campbell Scott
    gets high marks.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hear No Evil

    A good read, I particularly like his writing so it is no surprise. The plot has several twists to it and the characters are well developed. I liked that it had a cuban flare to it and also that it didn't end the way most books. I recommend this to anyone who likes lawyer books with mystery.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 26, 2004

    COMPELLING COURTROOM THRILLER WITH A TWIST

    Intricate and compelling both describe the thrillers penned by former Miami lawyer James Grippando. Quite familiar with the legal system and all its nuances he paints vivid courtroom scenes. However, with 'Hear No Evil' protagonist Jack Swyteck finds himself in a courtroom unlike any he has experienced. He's on unknown ground, not too solid ground at that. When an attractive woman comes to his office asking Swyteck to defend her against a murder charge, he's reluctant. There's something about her and the story she's telling that doesn't seem right - that is until she tells him that she's the adoptive mother of his son. Swyteck has never seen the boy, and she vows he never will unless he takes her case. Immediate challenge: she's accused of killing her husband, an officer who was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, and Swyteck knows precious little about military courtrooms. Further, his investigation leads to Havana where it seems there are quite a few who have much to keep secret. Twists, turns, thrills all in the Grippando tradition make superb listening when performed by actor/director Campbell Scott who delivers a reading both dauntless and dramatic. - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2004

    Another Solid Swyteck Novel

    James Grippando continues to write fantastic legal thrillers. In his latest, HEAR NO EVIL, defense attorney Jack Swyteck reluctantly takes a case with a personal attachment. It's a captivating read from page one until the last sentence. The reader is never sure when Jack's client is telling the truth, or telling a lie which adds to the suspense. It's a court room thriller with many twists and turns that keeps the reader guessing. My favorite kind of book. This is the fourth novel in Grippando's Swyteck series, following THE PARDON, BEYOND SUSPICION, and LAST TO DIE. I wouldn't say that a knowledge of the three previous books is necessary to enjoy HEAR NO EVIL, but it would give the reader a better understanding of the characters. Especially BEYOND SUSPICION. THE PARDON to a lesser extent and very little of LAST TO DIE. A new character was introduced in this book, Sofia Suarez, which has potential to be a love interest for Jack. Theo Knight returns as Jack's unorthodox assistant in a smaller role which I thought was the right move. Theo is a little over the top. He's best taken in small doses. I enjoyed the many details of Jack's past that were revealed in this book. You get a lot of back story on his Mother, and other family members that I won't mention. I didn't care for the surprise at the end dealing with the kid in the story, I thought it was a bit of a cop out, but other than that I really enjoyed the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2004

    A Very Engrossing Read

    Mr. Grippando was a trial lawyer prior to become a writer. This makes his books realistic in plot and characters. His story line is extremely engrossing making it very hard to put the book down. His addition of a slight bit of humor only adds more to the story. The endings are hardly predictable as the story does contain twists and turns. I personally enjoy his books more than the recent ones published by John Grisham. They are far more relative to what I would encounter as an average citizen. I highly recommend his books and feel that you are missing a good read if you don't at least read this book as it will only lead to your reading his other novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    great legal thriller

    Hear No Evil James Grippando Harper Collins, August 2004, $23.95, 320 pp. ISBN 0060564571 Miami Defense attorney Jack Swyteck listens to Lindsey that as she tries to get him to become her attorney. She believes she will be charged with the death of her husband Oscar while they were living in Guantameno Bay, Cuba. Jack isn¿t convinced his client is leveling with him and he tells her he isn¿t sure he can represent her. She tells him her adopted son Brian is also his child, the one his girlfriend gave away for adoption.---- Deciding to take the case, Jack with Co-counsel Sofia fly to Cuba to interview potential witnesses. It seems strange to the lawyers that anyone involved with the homicide has been transferred except for Lieutenant Dumont Johnson who says Jack¿s client is a nutcase and is certainty capable of murder. The Cuban government produces a witness who says that after Lindsey left for work another man entered the house. That man is Johnson but Jack can¿t find him to serve with a subpoena so they have to go into court without a believable witness.---- As legal thrillers go, HEAR NO EVIL is one of the best because during the trial one piece of shocking evidence after another comes out. Readers will not know to the very end if Lindsey, her son, or her lover is the killer. James Grippando¿s protagonist is a man with a conscience, a good lawyer who does his best for his clients. The audience will have trouble empathizing with the defendant who changes her story from one moment to the next. This is an enthralling work that will keep readers turning the pages until they figure out the pieces to this complex puzzler.---- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2006

    Political Ranting

    I couldnt get past Mr Grippando's polital ranting. I wasnt interested in his political views about Cuba.

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