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The Pardon [Mass Market Paperback]

James Grippando
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 19 1995 Jack Swyteck

Jack Swyteck, a brilliant Miami defense attorney has spent years rebelling against his father, Harry, now Florida's governor. Their estrangement seems complete when Harry allows one of Jack's clients -- a man Jack believes is innocent -- to die in the electric chair.

But when a psychopath bent on serving his own twisted version of justice places both Jack and Harry in extreme jeopardy, the two have nowhere to turn but to each other. Together they must find a way to overcome their cunning tormentor's manipulation . . . even as the stakes are being raised to far more perilous heights.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Matters like realism and credibility take a back seat to high concept in this brisk but far-fetched first novel by a Florida attorney who poses a nifty question: What if a governor who favors the death penalty faced the prospect of allowing his own son to be executed for murder? In 1992, Florida governor Harold Swyteck allowed convicted killer Raul Fernandez to die in the electric chair despite the pleadings of his lawyer son, Jack, who claimed to have confidential proof that Fernandez was innocent. Now, in 1994, the man who supposedly gave Jack that proof-the man who claims to have committed the murder that was pinned on Fernandez-is blackmailing the governor by threatening to reveal that he let an innocent man die. Meanwhile, Jack has gotten an admitted killer, Eddie Goss, free on a technicality; when Goss is killed and all the evidence points to Jack as the murderer, the governor faces his dilemma: Will he sign his son's death warrant if he's convicted-or will he try to save him? Grippando's fast pacing obscures much plot manipulation and heavy-handed characterization. The novel's premise is compelling, but the structural holes sink this narrative. 75,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; audio rights to HarperAudio; Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and Mystery Guild alternates; author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This first novel is yet another entry into the crowded legal thriller genre. Jack Swyteck, defense attorney, has for many years rebelled against his father, Harry, currently the governor of their state. The story begins with the denial by Harry of a request for a stay of execution for one of Jack's clients, which sets into play a series of events. First, Jack is arrested for murder, and then Harry is blackmailed and faced with political ruin. These events lead to a reconciliation between father and son, who must now pull together and face a vengeful psychopath. The action, while slow to get started, ultimately leads to a series of increasingly violent episodes. Recommended for libraries with large collections of mysteries or thrillers. [Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, and Mystery Guild alternates.]-Erna Chamberlain, SUNY at Binghamto.
--Erna Chamberlain, SUNY at Binghamton
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pardon Excels Nov. 23 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I discovered The Pardon by reading an exceprt from it in "The Mammoth Book of Legal Thrillers," a collection of writings from top lawyer-novelists in the world. The Pardon definitely belongs in that elite group. The premise is immediately gripping: A psychopath is stalking the governor of Florida, claiming that he can prove that the governor executed an innocent man. The executed man was defended by the governor's son, Jack Swyteck, a young criminal defense attorney who defends death row inmates. The opening scenes, which revolve around the execution, could well be the most heart-pounding I've read in the genre. The courtroom scenes are skillfully written, filled with believable surprises and easy to follow. The pacing is breathless, but the underlying tenstion between father and son that plays out through the story really makes this novel stand apart from the rest. This is an enterntaining read with engaging characters who will have you rooting for them till the end. It takes on a very serious subject in a completely non-preaching manner (I wouldn't be able to guess where the author stands on the death penalty after reading this novel, which is to his credit). Granted, this isn't Moby Dick, but you rarely get more for your money in commercial fiction.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Pardon yourself from reading this book! Nov. 9 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading Grippando's more recent "A King's Ransom," I was excited to read his debut, "The Pardon." What a terrible disappointment. Usually a good writer's first novel is very good (i.e.,Margolin, Sanders) and, with some notable exceptions, the writing gets worse over time. Here, the opposite is true. However, while "A King's Ransom," is more richly textured and accomplished than the Pardon, it still suffers from many of "The Pardon's," ingrained flaws.
"The Pardon" is what else, a story of a young lawyer, Jack Swyteck, who has just obtained an acquital for his client, Eddy Goss, a very guilty pyschopath, based on a "technicality." Both the charcters and situation are pathetically cliche and devoid of any imagination whatsoever. After the acquital, Jack becomes so disillusioned that he must resign from the "Freedom Institute" (I'm serious), play with his dog and think how to win back his girlfriend, Cindy. Oh, by the way, Jack's father just happens to be the governor of Florida (where all of Grippando's novels apparently are set), and the prologue to the novel sets up their estrangement (an obvious Grippando standby) as the Governor won't commute the death sentence of one of Jack's earlier and unluckier clients who appears as innocent as Goss is guilty.
After Goss's aquital, Jack and the Governor are threatened by a mysterious stranger! Jack is framed for murder! Someone has killed Jack's dog! Jack's reconciliation with Cindy is threatened by Cindy's seductive roommate, Gina! Oh please. The absurdity of the story and its stock characters and situations pick up momentum in direct relationship to the reader's lack of interest in them, the death knell to any novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ENDING WEAK-REST OF BOOK WAS GREAT! June 24 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book will hold your attention. Who is trying to frame Jack Swyteck? Who is blackmailing Gov. Harold Swyteck, Jack's father? They both think it is Eddy Gross, who Jack got free for a murder he committed. But then something happens so they know it is not Eddy. People keep ending up dead that try to help Jack and he is a suspect in each death. You will not want to put the book down. I found myself scanning pages to see what happened next and to who. I was disappointed in the action at the end. Thought it could have been done better. You find your self really pulling for Jack and his father. May make it harder t sleep for a few nights.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked up The Pardon because I'm a fan of James Patterson, who in the blurb on the jacket says "I read The Pardon in one sitting -- one exciting night of chills and thrills." I had exactly the same experience. Grippando's writing style reminds me of Patterson's, with short, explosive chapters that always end on a cliff-hanger that carries you over to the next one. Before you know it it's 3 a.m. and you can't stop reading! Thanks, Mr. Patterson, for all your exciting books, and thank you for turning me on to James Grippando. I'll look forward to reading his other thrillers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If I could give this a 5+, I would April 17 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I consider this to be one of the best novels I've ever read. This one had it all, (suspense, mystery, action, and drama). I was flipping through the pages wondering what would happen next. Talk about being "on the edge of my seat".
I've read off of his novels, and in my opinion, one cannot go wrong with a Grippando novel. And I believe this one ranks up there with his best. Read it and see for yourself. It'll be worth every minute and penny invested.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating April 10 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am not a mystery buff. I generally read non-fiction, and it takes a great novel to excite me. I especially liked the psychological component added into the suspenseful and complicated plot. It rivaled "The Firm" for enticing the reader's interest and attachment to the characters, and championing the humanistic outcome. I love books in which I can't predict the ending! Grippano was definitely "gripping" throughout the book.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Implausible
To call these characters one-dimensional would be too generous. Even their one dimension produces actions and dialog inconsistent with the purported background and character of the... Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2004 by Charles Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Grippando's are only the best
The way this one plays out is unimaginable. As all his books it's one of those edge of your seat ones. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004 by Robert Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars A real thriller
What a excellent novel. I guess it takes a Lawyer to write one like this but I would guess he would be a homicide detective first. Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2003 by David A. Spearman
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
Excellent thriller from beginning to end. Easy and enjoyable to read for a couple of days. I have read two other Grippando's books (Informant and Under Cover... Read more
Published on June 13 2003 by M. Steffen
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read!
I read this novel when it first debuted and remember thinking it was one of the best debut legal thriller I'd ever read. The story was so compelling and took you on a fast ride. Read more
Published on April 30 2003 by fjmcmm
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Author I've found since Grisham
I couldn't put this book down after I started. I found the story gripping and I didn't figure it out half way through the book. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2002 by M. Bolster
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic legal thriller
I thought this was one of the best books I have read in a long time. I couldn't put it down and ended up staying in on a Saturday night to finish the book (a rare event in the life... Read more
Published on Oct. 16 2002 by Jamie Shreeves
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent but not great
First half to 3/4 of book is interesting but author seemed to paint himself into a corner and the ending was pretty weak
All in all a good enjoyable easy read but not gripping... Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2001 by Scott A. Gill
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