“Born to Run” marks the return of Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck in a case as crooked as they come and one that means he never steps foot into a courtroom for the entire novel. Jack is still dating FBI agent Andie Henning who just might be the best thing that ever happened to him. It would be a close tie between her and winning the case for Theo Knight that saved his life and made a name for Jack Swyteck. Finally he is going to have a new car after his last Mustang was destroyed by angry Colombians.  The purchase of a fully restored 1968 Mustang GT-390 Fastback is going to be expensive but one celebrates turning forty the best they can.


Even things with his father, Harry Swyteck, are looking up.  The former governor of Florida is now retired and the political differences that often found them at odds in private and in public, have cooled considerably. That was until the sitting Vice President died in the Florida swamps and the president wanted Harry to be the next V. P.


Harry wants Jack to be his lawyer for the confirmation hearings. That is until Jack starts finding out that something sinister is going on and that his own father just might have had a role in recent events. Cover ups are always messy, complicated and can get people killed. They can also cause innocent bystanders to be pulled into messes that stretch to the White House and around the world.


As they always do in any thriller. That certainly happens here as character development, deep plot development, etc are shoved to the side in a breakneck pace to reach the end of the book in the most violent clichéd way possible using a cast of stereotypes liberally throughout the work. That is done here with gusto as author James Grippando drops the idea of subtly and nuance and apparently hasn’t read other authors to realize that the core idea, despite his subtle variation to reflect recent events, has been done to death. One expects it to be noted somewhere on the cover “inspired by true events” or “ripped from the headlines” as well as “soon to be a major motion picture.”


This novel has no subtly or nuance at any level and instead is all about violent intensity. The conflict between Harry and his utterly cool son Jack (who constantly thinks about turning 40 and what that could mean) has no depth to it. At least they respect each other in the morning at the end of this mindless and fast moving read. So too do Andie and Jack, who at first is very concerned about their future relationship if Harry is V.P and then decides twenty pages or so later that everything is fine and none of that really matters. There are other examples but to go through them would give away too much of this very shallow read that goes through the motions and hits all the targets.


Born To Run

James Grippando





ISBN# 978-0-06-155611-1


328 Pages


This book was provided by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2009

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