Miami lawyer Jack Swyteck returns as does just about everyone he knows in this latest offering centered around his best friend, Theo Knight. Years ago, Theo and his brother Tatum were riding around in a restored 1964 Chevy Impala that was decked out in the latest gang imagery and had been stolen from a Latino gang leader that didn’t have the fire power to stop the theft. The current year is 1986 and Theo wants to be a part of the gang called the “Grove Lords” which is led by Isaac Reems. With Isaac driving the car and Theo’s brother Tatum who is already a full member of the gang sitting next to him the night is supposed to be about what Theo has to do to make it into the “Grove Lords.” Instead of randomly killing someone that night as planned, Theo found the body of his mom as she lay dead on a neighborhood street with numerous residents and others trying to see up her hooker skirt.
That was twenty years ago and a lot has happened since then such as Theo being sent to death row and ultimately freed by Jack Swyteck who proved Theo’s innocence of that crime. While he was innocent of that crime, Theo did a lot of very bad things in his former life and knows much of his own mom’s dark history. What he has never known was the identity of her killer.
Thanks to the prison escape of Isaac Reems, the whole mess sis coming up again. Isaac is out, on the run, and expects Theo to help him because of their previous history in the “Grove Lords.” If that isn’t good enough, maybe the identity of who killed Theo’s mom will be enough to get Theo to help. And then there is always blackmail.
The seventh novel in the Jack Swyteck series breaks no new ground and while a pleasant enough read, it is also an average read. Building on a run of the mill plot premise to work on back-story for the most part already covered in the series, this novel just adds some detail to those events. It also serves as a teaching event for Jack who is struggling to determine which of the women in his life he truly loves enough to try and change. The independent FBI agent who questioned his faith in his friend and lost her place in his life or the Doctor who works in Africa and just makes it into town for a few days now and then to see him.
Beyond the romance angle which is a constant theme throughout the book, the story itself is the typical revenge story more suitable for a movie of the week. Theo knows what his mom was and gradually discovers the why of her life and death as well as the identity of her killer while taking enormous risks that could ultimately cost him his life. Meanwhile, Jack tries to counsel his friend and help where he can but ultimately this is Theo’s book and Jack is reduced to the role of a bit player except for his romance story line. Average, utterly predictable in nearly every way, the book rolls merrily along and serves as a diversion for the few hours it is read before being easily forgotten.
Â $24.95Â Â
Kevin R. Tipple Â© 2008
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