The author, a practicing Florida attorney, has written several excellent legal thrillers, keeping readers in suspense, especially with dramatic courtroom scenes. Unfortunately, this novel fails to live up to the standards set in previous efforts. It is understandable. Mr. Grippano set out to write a standalone in a different mode, reflecting the big bad boys in the sugar-growing industry. However, the novel is neither fish nor fowl.
The main character, Abe Beckham, is a top prosecutor in the Miami State Attorney’s office, and is involved in an attempt to identify and capture a serial killer of white women married to or sleeping with black men. But an FBI profiler suspects Abe as a “person of interest” with the first of many unnecessary complications in a forced plot. About the only meaningful relevance of the sugar industry is the bodies left along land owned by the largest producer of sugar cane and another victim, a black attorney, with whom Abe had a one-night stand, who worked for the company, also murdered. And on and on does the author introduce extraneous information and red herrings, often neglecting later to tie it all together.
All this is not to say that the novel is not written ably, with Mr. Grippando’s usual customary clarity and forthrightness. But the story could have been made simpler and, perhaps, it might have made more sense if the conclusion was explained more fully, rather than just presented and left floating in the air....Continua