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A Death in Live Oak by James Grippando

A Death in Live Oak: A Jack Swyteck Novel - James Grippando

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This really was a fantastic book. I have been a fan of James Grippando for a long time so I was really eager to get my hands on this newest installment in his long running Jack Swyteck series. This is the fourteenth book in the series but each book in the series works well as a stand alone novel. I expect good things from both this author and this series and that is exactly what I got with this book. I really had a great time reading this wonderful story.

This book opens with a bang and I quickly found myself both heartbroken and angry. There are a lot of things in this book that made me angry and broke my heart because the subject matter is just really emotional. The mystery involves the apparent lynching of a young black man at a local university which sparks a lot of racial tension in the community. 

Jack becomes the lawyer for the young white man that has been accused of the murder. I thought that this was a really interesting perspective into the crime. There really doesn't appear to be a whole lot to tie the young man to the crime besides a racist text the his client denies sending. The case ends up being a whole lot more complicated than anyone realizes. 

I really liked how we get to see each stage of the legal process in this book. Each stage is represented from initial questioning of the suspect, indictment, and bail hearing. We see how difficult it can be for a lawyer to represent a client that doesn't always share what they should or take the advice given. I felt the fear of the his client, Mark, as he goes to prison and fears for his future. 

I liked the characters in this book. I think that this series has been focusing less on Jack's personal life in later books. There is still some scenes with Jack and his wife and daughter which I enjoyed. Theo makes an appearance but doesn't play a big role and I have to say that I missed Theo working alongside Jack. Andie, Jack's wife, does get some of her own action in this one to keep things interesting. There were a few characters that were easy to hate such as the prosecutor who is more focused on his re-election than justice.

I do highly recommend this series to others. This was a book that really kept me thinking and glued to the pages. It really was a great story with twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end. I can't wait to read more from this talented author.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from HarperCollins Publishers - Harper via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
This was excellent. The mystery was very strong and quite complex. I couldn't figure out how everything would come together until the very end. I had a really hard time putting this book down.