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Comment: Clean. Great Binding. Cover Shows Light Wear. Interior is clean and crisp.
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The Pardon: The First Jack Swyteck Novel Mass Market Paperback – June 28, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews
Book 1 of 11 in the Jack Swyteck Series

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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Series: Jack Swyteck Novel
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062024485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062024480
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Grippando, certainly uses a smooth tactic to "grip" the reader and pull them right into the plot. In this particular novel the reader watches the characters as they become toys of the criminal. The action is fast-paced and the mystery unfolds with some revealing factors but he still keeps the reader interested. I think this is a good story, but his other novels, like The Informant have better plot and character development.
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Format: Hardcover
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. This is the fourth book of his I have read and never been disapointed. I have now ordered the second as of today. He rates right up with the best of the Legal/Thriller/Mystery writers that are in vogue at this time. Read it you will love it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 individual.
Consider the following: A tough, honest, ex-cop, pro-death penalty, law-and-order governor is approached by a complete stranger in a ski mask who says he has absolute proof that someone the state executed two years before was innocent. He tells the governor to give him $10,000 or he will go to the newspapers, and it will ruin the governor politically. The governor, without even bothering to inquire as to the nature of the proof or asking the blackmailer to prove that he has such evidence, simply forks over the ten grand.
But even if the evidence existed, I ask myself how that could really hurt a sitting governor. The condemned had to have been convicted and sentenced long before the ex-cop became governor. The case had exhausted all appeals and the conviction had been upheld by the Supreme Court. The governor had acted exactly as he should have. If he had commuted the sentence, how could he have explained the action to the press and to the victim's family, with no compelling basis for the reprieve?
Oh, yes! I forgot to mention that the condemned man's attorney (the governor's son, no less) had come to him on the night of the execution and said he knew his client was innocent because a complete stranger in a ski mask had come to him that day with convincing proof that the condemned was innocent (I guess it runs in the family!). When the governor asked what the proof was, his son said he couldn't tell him, because of attorney-client privilege (I seriously question that reasoning).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was really disenchanted from the beginning. Young children would be too intelligent to do some of the things Jack and his father Harry do in this novel.

1. Jack goes into a former client's apartment
2. with a gun and
3. ends up prying open a window with a knife to get out,
4. leaving his blood and
5. the knife
6. (complete with his fingerprints) in the apartment.

Come on now. Though this is the least reasonable part of the plot I can immediately remember, these two are constantly doing the most outrageous things one can imagine. Did I mention Jack is a lawyer? No reason to think he'd know better. I finished it because I'm anal that way but I feel like I wasted 4 hours of my life.

If you don't mind the book's heroes being total idiots (and apparently a lot of folks don't) then this one is for you but I'll NEVER buy another Grippando novel.
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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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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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