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Hear No Evil (Jack Swyteck Series #4)

Hear No Evil (Jack Swyteck Series #4)

4.3 18
by James Grippando

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An American officer has been murdered on the base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and his soon-to-be-accused killer, the dead man’s wife, wants Miami criminal attorney Jack Swyteck to represent her. Swyteck knows nothing about military law, and he can sense that thehypnotically beautiful Lindsey Hart isa liar, a blackmailer, and possibly worse. But if he doesn’


An American officer has been murdered on the base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and his soon-to-be-accused killer, the dead man’s wife, wants Miami criminal attorney Jack Swyteck to represent her. Swyteck knows nothing about military law, and he can sense that thehypnotically beautiful Lindsey Hart isa liar, a blackmailer, and possibly worse. But if he doesn’t agree to defend her, he will never get to see his biological son,a child Swyteck never knew existed.Taking on the might of the U.S. military legal machine on hostile foreign soil could prove to be far more than a bad career move, because the shocking,sordid truth will take no prisoners.And no one, especially Jack Swyteck,will escape unscathed.

Editorial Reviews

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“A well-focused, perfectly organized legal thriller. . . . Exciting.”
“A tight, smartly constructed mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.”
Orlando Sentinel
“A first-rate mystery.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Contra Costa Times
“Grippando’s Jack Swyteck series is one of those rare finds.”
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

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Jack Swyteck Series , #4
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

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."



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?"


"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, 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.

Meet the Author

James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels. He was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (The Pardon), and later served as counsel at Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP. He lives in South Florida with his wife, three children, two cats, and a golden retriever named Max who has no idea that he’s a dog.

Brief Biography

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

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Hear No Evil (Jack Swyteck Series #4) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Helen78 More than 1 year ago
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.
Asufan97 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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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Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldnt get past Mr Grippando's polital ranting. I wasnt interested in his political views about Cuba.