New York Times bestselling author James Grippando delivers a powerful, nonstop thrill ride ripped from the headlines. Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck is back in his most frightening case yet, and this time the price of victory is measured in blood.
It is the most sensational murder trial since O. J. Simpson's. The nation is obsessed with Sydney Bennett, a sexy nightclub waitress and good-time girl accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter for cramping her party life. When he had agreed to defend Sydney, Jack Swyteck knew he'd be taking on the toughest and most controversial case of his career.
Millions of "TV jurors" have convicted Sydney in the court of public opinion.
When the shocking verdict of not guilty is announced, citizens across the country are outraged, and Jack is bombarded by the fallout: angry, profanity-laced phone calls and even outright threats. Media-fed rumors of "blood money"—purported seven-figure book and movie deals—ratchet up the hysteria, putting Jack's client and everyone around her at risk.
On the night of Sydney's release, an angry mob outside the jail has gathered to serve its own justice. In the frenzy, an innocent young woman bearing a striking resemblance to the reviled Sydney Bennett ends up in a coma. While the media blame Jack and his defense team, the victim's parents reach out to him, requesting his help. They don't believe the attack was the tragic result of random mob violence.
Searching for the truth about what happened that night, Jack makes a frightening discovery. Larger and much more powerful forces are working in the shadows, and what happened outside the jail is a symptom of an evil that infected the show-stopping trial and media-spun phenomenon of Sydney Bennett.
The real-life Casey Anthony case provides the spark for bestseller Grippando s melodramatic 10th legal thriller featuring Florida attorney Jack Swyteck (after 2011 s Afraid of the Dark). When Swyteck wins an acquittal for his client, Sydney Bennett, a sleazy nightclub waitress accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter, whose badly decomposed remains were found in a plastic bag near the Everglades, the unpopularity of the verdict provokes an assault on Celeste Laramore, fresh from a Sydney Bennett look-alike contest at a South Beach bar, outside the women s detention center where Sydney was due to be released. Celeste s distraught parents persuade Swyteck to sue cable news company BNN, one of whose reporters initially misidentified Celeste, now in a coma, as Sydney outside the jail, and the state corrections department. Meanwhile, a brutal man targets those close to Swyteck as a way of getting him to back off looking for the truth. Readers expecting character growth may be disappointed, but series fans should be satisfied.