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Got the Look (Jack Swyteck Novel) Mass Market Paperback – November 29, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews
Book 5 of 11 in the Jack Swyteck Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Attorney Jack Swyteck and his jazz musician sidekick Theo Knight josh, joke and kid, but unfortunately the case they're working—the kidnapping of Jack's girlfriend by a sadistic murderer—doesn't lend itself to humor. The disconnect of monkeyshines versus the grim, detailed torture of a helpless woman cripples this thinly plotted, disappointing thriller set in Grippando's familiar South Florida. The girlfriend in question, the gorgeous Mia Salazar, turns out to be (unknown to Jack) married. After she's been seized, her betrayed husband makes it clear that he has no interest in paying any significant ransom. This duty then falls to Jack, who, working with FBI agent Andie Henning (reprised from Under Cover of Darkness), frantically tries to find Mia. Though Jack and Andie are the proverbial oil and water, the results of this pairing are entirely predictable. And when the kidnapper is finally revealed, his identity is as unbelievable as the tortured reasoning that attempts to connect the many disparate plot elements. The chase scene at the end lends some much-needed firepower, but it's too little too late for anyone but the most diehard Grippando fan. (On sale Jan. 3)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This fifth Jack Swyteck novel (following Hear No Evil, 2004) finds the Miami defense attorney head over heels in love with a captivating woman named Mia and in an uncharacteristically mellow mood, leaving him a prime target for the snarky humor of his best friend, Theo, a strapping ex-con. Then Jack is dealt a double blow when he finds out that his lover is married to a wealthy real-estate developer and that she has been taken captive by a sadistic serial kidnapper whose previous victim wound up dead. Stiffed by the cuckolded husband, the kidnapper moves on to blackmail Jack, demanding that he pay whatever he thinks Mia's life is worth. Jack is contacted by FBI Special Agent Andie Henning, a highly competent professional whose personal life is in shambles. As Andie and Jack try to work in tandem, with Theo watching Jack's back, the narrative shifts to incorporate Mia's terrifying ordeal at the hands of her captor. Grippando sets some of the novel's most gruesome scenes in some of Florida's most stunning settings, including an enormous aquifer, an underwater limestone labyrinth of interconnecting caves. Although his dialogue could use some work, Grippando has a great feel for pacing and writes highly effective, gripping action scenes that will leave readers in suspense until the final page. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Jack Swyteck Novel
  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reissue edition (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006202695X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062026958
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #668,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack Swyteck hasn't been really interested in any woman since his divorce. Mia Salazar changed all that. Jack actually may be falling in love with the stunning Florida woman.

But there's a problem in paradise. Mia neglected to tell attorney Swyteck that she is married to a wealthy and powerful man.

When Mia is kidnapped by a ruthless fiend, his ransom demand is simple: "Pay me what she's worth." Mia's husband found out she was having an affair with Swyteck and doesn't think she's worth anything. If Mia is to live, Swyteck will have to step in and save her.

Money's a problem though. Swyteck doesn't have any. But if he doesn't do something, Mia will die, just like another of the kidnapper's victims.

Grippando writes a fast-paced and scintillating read. The characters are interesting and the plot is a generally a winner. The only issue I had with the book was I found it difficult to believe that the kidnapper acted the way he did for the reason given. It didn't seem plausible.

Armchair Interviews says: You'll enjoy Got the Look and you'll want to read more of Grippando's titles.
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Format: Hardcover
Grippando is a skilled craftsman at writing; I've enjoyed his work in the past, particularly the Swytek novels. I find Jack and Theo to be engaging, fleshed-out characters who successfully capture the "buddy-movie" chemistry. In this book, Mia is a winning Mistress in Distress. Though slow in places, the book does move along and kept me involved. The opening setting of the Devil's Ear, an underwater aquifer system in which people scuba dive and in which a couple of key scenes take place, is very well-captured and quite novel.

So why only two stars?

One reason only: when I found out who the bad guy was, my reaction was "whaaat?!"

To me it was absolutely unbelievable, with no groundwork properly laid, and no motivation established for this character to have done what he did. Even once it was revealed that the person you're originally led to believe is the kidnapper couldn't be the perp, and I took a break to mentally review everything I'd read to try to figure it out, this character still never crossed my mind. It was totally out of left field.

Hopefully, Grippando will do a little better than that next time. Anyway, if you're a Grippando fan (and putting aside the climax) you'll enjoy this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read all books in the Jack Swyteck series I am a bit surprised at some of the negative comments about this latest one.

Some readers complain that the identity of the perpetrator was a bit far-fetched. But what do you want from a thriller? Do you want to out-guess the author or do you want to enjoy the story? I found the story extremely satisfying at various levels.

Other readers say that they find the relationship between Theo and Jack unbelievable. But have they even read the previous books in the series? The relationship is firmly grounded in the past and thus connects two very different people in a wonderful relationship. For me, the relationship between Theo and Jack is not just a nice plot device but a central part of the atmosphere in the story. For instance, I really laughed out loud reading about their discussion over whether or not pancakes were macho enough to eat during a meeting with a local bonds man.

Just like all previous Jack Swyteck books, I enjoyed this one immensely because of the interesting story, the uncomfortable position Jack found himself in once again (poor guy), the way he manages to get out of the situation, the wonderful description of Miami and the Everglades that provide a lot of local color to the story and of course the hilarious humor of Theo. I've definitely become a Grippando fan because of these books and while impatiently waiting for the next Swyteck book I'm thankful that I still have Grippando's stand-alone thrillers to enjoy!

In my opinion, Grippando shows with Got The Look once more that he is one of the top legal thriller authors!
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Format: Hardcover
I love the Jack Styweck series. I haven't read any other books by James Grippando, but I've read all in this series: THE PARDON, BEYOND SUSPICION, LAST TO DIE, HEAR NO EVIL and the latest, GOT THE LOOK. My favorite part of each book is Jack's friendship with Theo, an ex-con he represented and got released from death row years before. The banter between these two characters is always enjoyable and it provides a bit of comic relief to otherwise serious, dark stories. In GOT THE LOOK, there were a few parts that I felt dragged a little, but nothing that tempted me to put the book down. I've read all of John Grisham's books and if I have to choose between the two, I'll pick a Grippando book every time.
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Format: Hardcover
It's a diabolical premise: the wife of a person is kidnapped, and the ransom demand reads "Pay me what she's worth." If you come up with what the kidnapper decides is the correct amount, your wife comes back unharmed; if not, she comes back dead. The laborer in Georgia who hocks everything he owns and pays $20K gets his wife back; the multimillionaire who pays $1 million does not. Jack Swyteck finds out that the woman he has fallen hard for is married and hadn't told him about it; several days later she becomes the latest victim of the kidnapper. The suspense of this set up is the best part of the book: who will pay and how? The betrayed and furious husband or the betrayed and furious (and much less wealthy) lover? The kidnapper plays off both of them, plus the FBI and the media with great success, and this kept me turning the pages.

However, I sort of lost interest in the actual outcome as it became more clear that there was a second underlying plot in which Mia (the wife/lover) was not a random victim and that there was a lot more going on, and a lot more personal vendettas involved than first appeared. This part of the plot was much less realistic to me, and the payoff for all the suspense seemed somehow anticlimactic and muted, as was the ultimate outcome of the plot for me.

However, I did like Jack Swyteck and his sidekick Theo and this book did succeed in whetting my appetite for others of Grippando's thrillers. Up til now he's been a name I recognized but couldn't distinguish from the host of other legal thriller writers splashing around in John Grisham's wake. Now he's not just another face in the crowd for me; I will go out of my way to read more of his books and hope that the chracters are just as compelling, with a plot more worthy of them.
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