Winner of the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction
This electrifying and fast-paced tale of suspense from the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Cash Landing, Cane & Abe, and Black Horizon, tells the story of Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck takes on his first death-row client since The Pardon in a case as twisty as it is shocking.
Sashi Burgette vanished three years ago on her way to school. The night after the teenager’s disappearance, ex-con Dylan Kyle was stopped for drunk driving. An article of Sashi’s clothing was found in his truck, and a police videotape of his drunken explanation under interrogation sealed his fate at trial. Now, just days from Kyle’s execution, Sashi’s mother visits Jack Swyteck, doing pro bono work at the Freedom Institute, and delivers shocking news: “Sashi called me.”
The police dismiss the call as a cruel hoax. The State Attorney refuses to consider the new evidence, insisting the case is closed. The governor has already signed the death warrant. An innocent man may be executed and time is running out—unless his lawyers can locate Sashi.
A man of principle who believes in justice, Jack jumps into the investigation. But the deeper he digs the more he discovers that nothing is what it appears to be. Not the victim. Not her alleged killer. And definitely not Sashi’s parents, whose grief ruptured their marriage, each openly blaming the other for what happened to their daughter.
As their gut-wrenching and hopelessly conflicting version of events unfolds in a Miami courtroom, it becomes clear there is something even more difficult to find than a long-missing girl . . .
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Attorney–turned–author James Grippando is one hell of a storyteller, and his lawyer protagonist Jack Swyteck is a thoroughly decent man who can’t help but do the right thing—even if it makes his life harder. In Gone Again, Jack agrees to help prove that a death-row inmate convicted of raping and killing a teenager is innocent. The evidence? The girl’s mother insists her daughter’s still alive and calls her once a year on her birthday. Full of twists and surprises, this superbly written, fast-moving thriller hurtles toward a shocking conclusion.
Bestseller Grippando addresses the challenges of adopting psychologically damaged children in his uneven 12th legal thriller featuring Florida attorney Jack Swyteck (after 2014's Black Horizon). Jack has honored a promise to the widow of his mentor, Neil Goderich, by moving his office to the building housing the legal clinic that Neil founded. When distraught mother Debra Burgette shows up looking for Neil, she says she needs help preventing the execution of Dylan Reeves, the man convicted of murdering her troubled adopted daughter, Sashi, when the girl was 17. Every year since Sashi disappeared three years earlier, Debra has received a silent phone call on Sashi's birthday that she's sure from Sashi. The compelling evidence against Reeves, who was defended by Neil, includes a videotaped confession and his DNA on Sashi's panties, which were retrieved days after her she went missing. Jack must also deal with formidable legal barriers to reopening the case. This promising setup unfortunately devolves into a run-of-the-mill race to save a man from execution.