Last to Die (Jack Swyteck Series #3)

Last to Die (Jack Swyteck Series #3)

by James Grippando
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Last to Die (Jack Swyteck Series #3) by James Grippando

Miami criminal attorney Jack Swyteck doesn’t want Tatum Knight as a client. But the allegedly “reformed” contract killer is the brother of Jack’s best friend, and the assassin swears he had nothing to do with the shooting death ofSally Fenning, though he claims the beautiful, depressed multi-millionairess wanted him to do the deed. Even so, Knight has been named in Fenning’s will, along with five others, all vying for afortune. The catch is that only the last living would-be beneficiary will inherit the $46 million. So begins a twisted game of survival of the greediest and deadliest as, one-by-one, the heirs start to fall. And suddenly Jack’s caught upin a chilling race to ensure that thenext to die is not Jack Swyteck.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062024558
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/29/2011
Series: Jack Swyteck Series , #3
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 161,075
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense. He was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel, The Pardon, in 1994. He is now counsel at the law firm of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and an adjunct professor of law and modern literature at the University of Miami School of Law. His novels are enjoyed world-wide in twenty-eight languages, and his novel Gone Again won the 2017 Harper Lee Prize in Legal Fiction. He lives in South Florida.


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

Read an Excerpt

Last to Die

Chapter One

The rainstorm was blinding, and Sally was way behind schedule. She hadn't intended to be late, fashionably or otherwise. She just wasn't good with directions, and this wasn't exactly her neck of the woods.

Sheets of water pelted the windshield, sounding like marbles bouncing off glass. She adjusted the wipers, but they were already working at full speed. She couldn't remember rain like this in years, not since she and her first husband lost their restaurant to that no-name tropical storm.

Orange taillights flashed ahead. A stream of cars was inching down the highway at the speed of cooling lava. She slowed to somewhere below the school-zone limit, then checked her watch. Eleven twenty-five.

Damn. He'd just have to wait. She'd get there, eventually.

Their meeting had been arranged by telephone. They'd spoken only once, and his instructions were simple enough. Thursday, 11 P.M. Don't be late. She didn't dare reschedule, not even in this weather. This was her man. She was sure of it.

Just ahead, a neon sign blinked erratically, as if shaken by the storm. It was like trying to read an eye chart at the bottom of a lake, and she could only make out part of it: S-P-something-something-K-Y-apostrophe-S.

"Sparky's," she read aloud. This was the place. She steered off the highway and pulled into the flooded parking lot. Under all this water, she could only guess as to the exact location of the parking spot. She killed the engine and checked her face in the rearview mirror. Lightning flashed -- a close one. It lit up the inside of her car and unleashed a crack of thunder that sent shivers down her spine. It frightened her, then triggered a bemused smile. How ironic would that have been? After all this planning, to get hit by lightning.

She took a deep breath and exhaled. No turning back now. Just go for it.

She jumped down from the car and started her mad dash across the parking lot in the pouring rain. Almost immediately a blast of wind snatched her umbrella from her hand and pitched it somewhere into the next county. Wearing no coat, she covered her head with her hands and just kept running, splashing with each footfall. In a matter of seconds she reached the door, soaked to her undergarments, her wet jeans and white blouse pasted to her body.

A muscle-bound guy wearing a Gold's Gym T-shirt was standing at the entrance, and he opened the door for her. "Wet T-shirt contest's not till tomorrow, lady."

"You wish," she said, then headed straight to the restroom to see if she could dry off. She looked in the mirror and gasped. Her nipples were staring back at her, right through her bra and wet blouse.

Good God!

She punched the hand dryer, hoping for hot air. Nothing. She tried again, and again, but to no avail. She reached for a paper towel, but the dispenser was empty. Toilet paper would have to do. She went to the stall, found a loose roll atop the tank, and proceeded to dab furiously from head to foot. It was single-ply paper, not terribly absorbent. She went through the entire roll. She exited the stall, took another look at her reflection in the mirror, and gasped even louder this time. Her entire body was covered with shredded remnants of cheap toilet paper.

You look like a milkweed.

She started laughing, not sure why. She laughed so hard it almost hurt. Then, with her hands braced on the edge of the sink, she leaned forward and hung her head. She could feel her emotional energy drifting up to that ever-present knot of tension at the base of her skull. Her shoulders started to heave, and the laughter turned to tears. She fought it off and quickly regained her composure.

"You are a total wreck," she said to her reflection.

She brushed off as much of the toilet paper as she could, fixed her makeup, and said the hell with it. Nothing was going to stop this meeting from happening. She took a deep breath for courage and exited into the bar.

The crowd surprised her, not so much its makeup, which was about what she'd expected, but more the simple fact that there was such a big crowd on a nasty night like this. A group of truckers was playing black-jack by the jukebox. Leather-clad bikers and their bleached-blond girlfriends had a monopoly on the pool table, as if waiting out the storm. T-shirts, jeans, and flannel shirts seemed to be the dress code for a seat at the bar. These folks were hard-core, and this was clearly a place that depended on its regulars.

"Can I help you, miss?" the bartender asked.

"Not just yet, thanks. I'm looking for someone."

"Yeah? Who?"

Sally hesitated, not exactly sure how to answer that. "Just, uh, sort of a blind date."

"That must be Jimmy," said one of the men at the bar.

The others laughed. Sally smiled awkwardly, the inside joke completely lost on her. The bartender explained, "Jimmy's the umpire in our softball league. They don't come any blinder."

"Ah, I get it," she said. They laughed again at this Jimmy's expense. Sally broke away and continued across the bar before their interest could return to the lost girl in the wet clothes. Her gaze fixed on the third booth from the back, near the broken air-hockey table. A black guy with penetrating eyes and no smile was staring back at her. He was wearing a dark blue shirt with black pants, which made Sally smile to herself. Never before had she laid eyes on him, but his look and those clothes were exactly what he'd described over the telephone. It was him ...

Last to Die. Copyright © by James Grippando. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Last to Die (Jack Swyteck Series #3) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read When Darkness Falls first, and got hooked on Grippando. This book, Last to Die, takes inheritance to a new meaning. Before reading it, you should start with The Pardon, where Grippando first intruduces his main characters. His writing makes me feel as if I know all his characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
James Grippando has delivered another masterpiece in the 3rd installment of Florida lawyer, Jack Swyteck series. As with every James Grippando novel I have read to date, twists and turns abound that keep you glued to the last page! Just when I thought I had the end figured out....wham....I was wrong! Can't wait to read more about Jack and his sidekick, Theo. An excellent read!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful continueous book in the series. It is very funny, sad and full of who done it and why? You won't know till the even then you won't believe it. Read this and the first two and there is more to come! Great book James keep on writing>!!!!!!!!!!
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This is a great author grear
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I enjoyed this book. Interesting idea with a twist at the end. --K--
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