Beyond Suspicion (Jack Swyteck Series #2)

Beyond Suspicion (Jack Swyteck Series #2)

by James Grippando

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After six exciting thrillers in seven years, bestselling author James Grippando is at last bringing back the main character from his blockbuster debut novel, The Pardon.

Criminal lawyer Jack Swyteck doesn't handle many civil cases. But this one is different. His client, Jessie Merrill, is a gorgeous ex-girlfriend who's being sued.

At the trial, Jack pulls off a brilliant victory and Jessie gets a hefty settlement. But then Jack finds out it was all a scam. Two days later, Jessie's body turns up floating in Jack's bathtub. As the evidence mounts against him, Jack finds himself on a collision course with dark secrets from the past and a possible killer is beyond suspicion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062024541
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/29/2011
Series: Jack Swyteck Series , #2
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 193,024
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense. He was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel, The Pardon, in 1994. He is now counsel at the law firm of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and an adjunct professor of law and modern literature at the University of Miami School of Law. His novels are enjoyed world-wide in twenty-eight languages, and his novel Gone Again won the 2017 Harper Lee Prize in Legal Fiction. He lives in South Florida.

Tom Wopat has starred on television in The Dukes of Hazzard and Cybill and on Broadway in City of Angels, Guys and Dolls and Annie Get Your Gun, which earned him a Tony® nomination.


Coral Gables, Florida

Date of Birth:

January 27, 1958

Place of Birth:

Waukegan, Illinois


B.A. with High Honors, University of Florida, 1980; J.D. with Honors, University of Florida, 1982

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Outside her bedroom window, the blanket of fallen leaves moved -- one footstep at a time.

Cindy Swyteck lay quietly in her bed, her sleeping husband at her side. It was a dark winter night, cold by Miami standards. In a city where forty degrees was considered frigid, no more than once or twice a year could she light the fireplace and snuggle up to Jack beneath a fluffy down comforter. She slid closer to his body, drawn by his warmth. A gusty north wind rattled the window, the shrill sound alone conveying a chill. The whistle became a howl, but the steady crunching of leaves was still discernible, the unmistakable sound of an approaching stranger.

Flashing images in her head offered a clear view of the lawn, the patio, and the huge almond leaves scattered all about. She could see the path he'd cut through the leaves. It led straight to her window.

Five years had passed since she'd last laid eyes on her attacker. Everyone from her husband to the police had assured her he was dead, though she knew he'd never really be gone. On nights like these, she could have sworn he was back, in the flesh. His name was Esteban.

Five years, and the horrifying details were still burned into her memory. His calloused hands and jagged nails so rough against her skin. The stale puffs of rum that came with each nauseating breath in her face. The cold, steel blade pressing at her jugular. Even then, she'd refused to kiss him back. Most unforgettable of all were those empty, sharklike eyes -- eyes so cold and angry that when he'd opened his disgusting mouth and bit her on the lips she saw her own reflection, witnessed her own terror, in the shinyblack irises.

Five years, and those haunting eyes still followed her everywhere, watching her every move. Not even her counselors seemed to understand what she was going through. It was as if the eyes of Esteban had become her second line of sight. When night fell and the wind howled, she couldeasily slip into the mind of her attacker and see things he'd seen before his own violent death. Stranger still, she seemed to have a window to the things he might be seeing now. Through his eyes, she could even watch herself. Night after night, she had the perfect view of Cindy Swyteck lying in bed, struggling in vain with her incurable fear of the dark.

Outside, the scuffling noise stopped. The wind and leaves were momentarily silent. The digital alarm clock on the nightstand blinked on and off, the way it always did when storms interrupted power. It was stuck on midnight, bathing her pillow with faint pulses of green light.

She heard a knock at the back door. On impulse, she rose and sat at the edge of the bed.

Don't go, she told herself, but it was as if she were being summoned.

Another knock followed, exactly like the first one. On the other side of the king-sized bed, Jack was sleeping soundly. She didn't even consider waking him.

I'll get it.

Cindy saw herself rise from the mattress and plant her bare feet on the tile floor. Each step felt colder as she continued down the hall and through the kitchen. The house was completely dark, and she relied more on instinct than sight to maneuver her way to the back door. She was sure she'd turned off the outside lights at bedtime, but the yellow porch light was burning. Something had obviously triggered the electronic eye of the motion detector. She inched closer to the door, peered out the little diamond-shaped window, and let her eyes roam from one edge of the backyard to the other. A gust of wind ripped through the big almond tree, tearing the brownest leaves from the branches. They fell to the ground like giant snowflakes, but a few were caught in an upward draft and rose into the night, just beyond the faint glow of the porch light. Cindy lost sight of them, except for one that seemed to hover above the patio. Another blast of wind sent it soaring upward. Then it suddenly changed direction, came straight toward her, and slammed against the door.

The noise startled her, but she didn't back away. She kept looking out the window, as if searching for whatever it was that had sent that lone leaf streaking toward her with so much force. She saw nothing, but in her heart she knew that she was mistaken. Something was definitely outthere. She just couldn't see it. Or maybe it was Esteban who couldn't see it.

Stop using his eyes!

The door swung open. A burst of cold air hit her like an Arctic front. Goose bumps covered her arms and legs. Her silk nightgown shifted in the breeze, rising to midthigh. She somehow knew that she was colder than ever before in her life, though she didn't really feel it. She didn't feel anything. A numbness had washed over her, and though her mind told her to run, her feet wouldn't move. It was suddenly impossible to gauge the passage of time, but in no more than a few moments was she strangely at ease with the silhouette in the doorway.


"Hi, sweetheart."

"What are you doing here?"

"It's Tuesday."


"Is Jack here?"

"He's sleeping."

"Wake him."

"For what?"

"It's our night to play poker."

"Jack can't play cards with you tonight."

"We play every Tuesday."

"I'm sorry, Daddy. Jack can't play with you anymore."

"Why not?"

"Because you're dead."

With a shrill scream she sat bolt upright in bed. Confused and frightened, she was shivering uncontrollably. A hand caressed her cheek, and she screamed again.

"It's okay," said Jack. He moved closer and tried putting his arms around her.

She pushed him away. "No!"

"It's okay, it's me."

Her heart was pounding, and she was barely able to catch her breath. A lone tear ran down her face. She wiped it away with the back of her hand. It felt as cold as ice water.

"Take a deep breath," said Jack. "Slowly, in and out."

She inhaled, then exhaled, repeating the exercise several times. In a minute or so, the panic subsided and her breathing became less erratic. Jack's touch felt soothing now, and she nestled into his embrace.

He sat up beside her and wrapped his arms around her. "Was it that dream again?"

She nodded.

Beyond Suspicion. Copyright © by James Grippando. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

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Beyond Suspicion 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Jessie Merrill asks her former lover Jack Swyteck to represent her in court as the Viatical Solutions is suing her for the 1.5 million they gave her. Jessie insists she sold her life insurance to Viatical Solutions in exchange for the cash when Dr. Marsh stated she probably has Lou Gehrig¿s disease. After conferring with his wife Cindy, Jack takes Jessie on as a client.

Jack easily wins the case, but has second thoughts when he observes Jessie and Marsh holding hands. When someone murders Jessie in his bathroom, the police make Jack and his pal Theo Knight the prime suspects in a lover scam that turned ugly and became a ¿murder for hire¿. Jack digs deep to prove he did not commit a homicide and that he was an innocent dupe in Jessie¿s con. However, to his shock and chagrin, the evidence piles up starting to confirm he had to be part of the original scam.

The first three-quarters of BEYOND SUSPICION is the legal thriller of the year. However, the climax, though a reasonable twist, seems a bit to simplified. This leads to readers feeling partially satiated, but also pondering what could have been if the murder was never solved and Jack remained an unproved but prime suspect. James Grippando cleverly builds up the case against Jack, but releases the air from the balloon just as the plot clears the stratosphere. Still, sub-genre fans will want to read this solid novel.

Harriet Klausner

Hummie More than 1 year ago
This is the second book I have read written by James Grippando. I started the Jack Swyteck series by reading The Pardon and now I will continue through the series until I have read them all. Grippando keeps you in suspense the entire book, and you won't know who "did it" until you get to the end of the book. I had a difficult time putting the book down. If you like James Patterson or Richard North Patterson, you will also like the style of Grippando. Great Read!!
Anonymous 9 months ago
debavp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's been a while since I read the first Swyteck but I vaguely remember not like the character Cindy. While this didn't feel lie a smooth transition from book one to book two, it did cover some background at the start to bridge the time gap. And giving glimpses of Cindy's past here and there definitely did nothing to improve my opinion of her. I also think Grippando did a great bit if self-editing by not letting Katrina's character get too in-depth with remembering her past--just enough to keep it interesting, still mysterious and not give a whole lot away while doing so. Surprise, surprise!--Look with who she ends up with--didn't see that coming at all. I think the story could have been a bit smoother, but it was an interesting twist on the tale of revenge. There are come conspiracy buffs out there who would love to spins me tales off this one.
KarriesKorner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jack Swyteck returns with a puzzling case that involves his old girlfriend, who hires him to get her out of a sticky insurance situation. First she was dying, then she isn't. It's a tough one to figure out, and it won't disappoint you. I anxiously await James Grippando's new books because they never disappoint. I always listen to them because they are wonderfully suspenseful and fun to listen to.
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I have read almost all his boojs great author
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I like reading series by an author. This is my 2nd book and it is a fast read. Enjoyed it
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this was very intense and great story line.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story. It is fast paced. The only problem is that it could use better proofreading. I plan on reading the next in the series. Jo
bonemike More than 1 year ago
The second in the Swyteck series I've read, and the third novel by James Grippando I've read. All three were quite well written and kept my interest from start to finish.
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