Most Dangerous Place

Fans of John Lescroart, the Davis-based author of sophisticated legal thrillers set in San Francisco, should check out his East Coast counterpart, James Grippando. Like Lescroart, Grippando crafts carefully plotted, up-to-the-moment tales set against a vividly rendered cityscape, in this case Miami, where he lives and still works as an attorney. Most Dangerous Place is the 13th in his series featuring the criminal-defense lawyer Jack Swyteck, and his usual cast of characters—including Swyteck’s pal Theo, whom he saved from the electric chair—is present. As the novel begins, his childhood friend Keith is arriving at the airport with his wife, Isabelle, and their daughter when suddenly Isabelle is arrested and charged with a long-ago murder. There’s a complex backstory involving Venezuelan politics, a rape that may have led to the murder, Isabelle’s hostile relationship with her shadowy father, and much more. Indeed, shadows abound in this novel; nobody seems to be telling the truth, including Swyteck’s client. The truth will out, of course, but only at the end of this absorbing tale.