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Last Call    by James Grippando order for
Last Call
by James Grippando
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2007 (2007)

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

After a gripping standalone (Lying with Strangers), James Grippando has returned with a seventh novel featuring Jack Swyteck. Both Booklist and Kirkus Reviews give this new offering a rousing welcome. Swyteck, a Miami criminal defense attorney, and Theo Knight, the man Jack rescued from death row, have now been the best of friends for over twenty years.

So when Theo has heavy problems, he calls on Jack for help. What's a best friend to do? He helps. An escaped convict, a childhood friend of Theo's, demands money and a place to stay from Theo while the police conduct a manhunt. The convict declares he knows who killed Theo's mother when he was a boy. This information could unseat a very powerful person in the Miami scene and there are those who feel it must be suppressed at all costs.

As always, Grippando has written a very thrilling and suspenseful story that catches the reader at once and won't let go until the last page is turned. Jack and Theo are both fleshed out so well, the reader feels a bond with them. Theo's Uncle Cy is a real gem, full of wisdom and heart. Miami comes alive under the force of Grippando's words, both twenty years ago and today. The search for a killer takes both men through old Miami's Little Harlem to new Miami's power elite.

Action fairly ripples through every page and has the reader holding their breath at least it did this reader. A modicum of romance is thrown in for good measure to round out an already excellent story. Last Call is a must read for thriller fans.

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