Born to Run (Jack Swyteck Series #8)

Born to Run (Jack Swyteck Series #8)

by James Grippando

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When the U.S. Vice President dies unexpectedly during a hunting trip in the Everglades, the President selects his friend, former Florida governor Harry Swyteck, to fill the vacant position. Called to Washington to serve as his father's legal advisor, Jack Swyteck has mixed feelings about working so closely with the parent he's been at odds with in the past. Jack's duty, however, as a son and as an American, takes top priority.

But the vipers are restless in the D.C. snake pit. A fifty-year-old secret is unraveling, and a cover-up at the highest levels of government threatens to drag both Swytecks under. When hostages are taken, Jack must get to the root of the evil and quickly because suddenly no one is safe, and the presidency itself hangs in the balance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062088109
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/24/2012
Series: Jack Swyteck Series , #8
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 454,476
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.90(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.


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

Born to Run

Chapter One

The Italians called him the Greek. The Greeks called him the Sicilian. He was from Nicosia. It was a funny coincidence that the largest city in his native Cyprus shared a name with a city in Sicily...the birthplace of his bride.

"Sofia," he whispered in the darkness.

His wife of eleven months lay sleeping beneath a clingy cotton sheet, the gentle curve of her hip a silhouette in the shadows of night. A late-summer heat wave had sent them to bed naked, and like true newlyweds, they'd made the best of it. Cyprus was the mythological birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who couldn't have held a candle to Sofia. She was a classic Italian beauty, a strong and passionate woman with dark hair, captivating eyes, and flawless olive skin. The Greek felt lucky to have her, and he marveled that she loved him enough to leave her family and run all the way to Cyprus with him.

He only wished he could stop running.

"Sofia, did you hear that?"

Her head didn't move from the pillow.

The Greek slowly slid out of bed, crossed the room in silence, and went to the open window. The lace curtains were motionless in the warm night air. He crooked his finger and parted the panels just enough to check the quiet street from his second-story apartment.

The cloak of night could hide centuries of decay, and Nicosia was beautiful in the moonlight. Flanked by the Pentadaktylos, the five-finger mountain, Nicosia was one of the oldest cities in the world, the geographic heart of an island paradise in the eastern Mediterranean. Behind thick sandstone walls, Cypriots had defended themselves from a host of invaders andoccupiers dating back at least to the Byzantine Empire. The mid-twentieth century had proved to be another violent chapter, with five years of armed struggle finally bringing an end to more than eighty years of British rule. The Greek had taken no stake in that fight...which was why real Greeks called him the Sicilian (or worse)...but he'd grown accustomed to noisy nights, even gunshots.

It was purely instinct, but tonight the Greek felt another type of raid that had absolutely nothing to do with Greeks, Turks, or any of the country's traditional ethnic divisions. He stood quietly at the lone window in their one-room apartment and listened. He was certain that he had heard something, and it took more than a cat on the roof to wake him from sleep after sex.

He walked around to the other side of the bed and sat on the edge of the lumpy mattress.

"Sofia, wake up."

She grumbled and propped herself up on one elbow. Even at 3:00 A.M. she was beautiful, but she immediately sensed his concern.

"What is it?" she said.

He didn't answer. He sat and listened for that noise again. There it was...a thumping that came from the first floor of their building.

"They're coming!" he said in an urgent whisper. He sprang from the bed and quickly pulled on his underwear.

"Who's coming?" said Sofia.

He pulled on his pants. The thumping noise was louder, like a herd of stallions charging up the stairs.

"It's me they want, not you."

"Who? Who?"

"Listen to me. Don't tell them I was here. Just say...tell them I left you."

He kissed her before she could protest.

The loud bang on the door was definitely not a knock. Someone had put a shoulder into it. They were busting their way in. The Greek couldn't find his shoes or his shirt, and there was no time to grab anything...except his gun in the top dresser drawer. He dived through the open window and out onto the balcony as the chain lock ripped from the frame and the apartment door crashed open.

He heard his wife scream.

"Sofia!" he shouted...which accomplished nothing, except to give himself away.

"Out the window!" a man yelled from inside the apartment.

The Greek could only run for it. He grabbed the rain gutter and pulled himself up to the second-story roof. His first step loosened an old barrel tile, and it crashed onto the street below. As he regained his footing, the Greek glanced back to see the lead man climbing up onto the roof behind him.

He was wearing a police uniform.

The Greek didn't hesitate to shoot, the sound of Sofia's scream replaying in his mind. The return gunfire told him that he'd missed...and the bullet ripped through his hand. He cried out in pain and dismay as his revolver flew from his grasp, slid down the roof, and landed in the gutter. Another shot shattered the clay roofing tiles at his feet.

The Greek kept running.

The slope of the roof changed from pitched to flat. He gained speed and jumped across the alley...the canyon between buildings...and landed on the neighbor's roof. A quick glance over his shoulder didn't slow him down a bit., in uniform were in pursuit. The Greek ran faster, his heart pounding in his chest. Beat after beat, the blood pumped from his wounded hand, leaving a crimson trail across the rooftops. He couldn't stop running. At any moment, he expected a bullet in the back. They were close enough to take him out.

He leaped across another alley, and this time it took his breath away. The ground had gone from two stories to four stories below him. The buildings on his street had the same roofline, but they were built on the slope of a hill, each one of increasing height.

Too high to jump.

He raced across the rooftop, but the footfalls behind him grew louder. His hand didn't hurt...too much adrenaline to feel pain...but the loss of blood was making him dizzy. No way could he outrun these guys. He had to find a safe place to jump down and hide. The roof pitched upward, however, and the only way down from here was through the men with the guns. He climbed even higher, all the way to the crest, where the roof flattened into a wide expanse. It was a big building, like a warehouse. No, a hotel. The Mykonos Hotel...the last building on the block. No rooftop beyond it. No more alleys to jump.

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

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Born to Run 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In his fifties, Vice President Phil Grayson loved hunting so he went to a private land to shoot alligators while officially looking into the reported threat of pythons destroying the adjacent Everglades. Instead he dies when a humongous gator tips the boat and he falls into water filled with alligators and pythons.

President Keys informs former Florida Governor Harry Swyteck that he is on the final list to replace Grayson if he is interested. Harry says yes and asks his son Jack to serve as his chief lawyer; Jack reluctantly agrees as he prefers to remain in Florida but will go to DC. However, Jack hears rumors that Grayson¿s death was not a freak accident, but a homicide. He investigates finding ties back to an incident in 1960 Cypress and a cover-up in 2008 Florida and Washington.

This is an exciting action-packed legal thriller that grips the audience once the Veep dies and never slows down as Jack begins to unravel a murder conspiracy. The story line is action, action, and more action that has readers caught up with all that is happening. Fans will relish Jack¿s latest tale that also strains his improved relationship with his dad and his significant other.

Harriet Klausner
SlickID More than 1 year ago
I had never read the author before, but after "Born to Run" I will certainly read another one. The story line was good and it kept you guessing about the ending.
whoizme88 More than 1 year ago
James Grippando knows how to write a novel. This one is a thriller from start to finish. The characters are believable and not too much larger than life. They manage to get caught up in all kinds of problems which are trying to be solved but do not get solved until the very end. You will not figure out the answer to this mystery before the author tells you about it. It is another good read about the lawyer Swyteck. J. Robert Ewbank, author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
ragingval More than 1 year ago
I recently read this book and found it hard to put it down. I like seeing the progression in the characters. It seemed that Mr. Grippando's writing had matured from some of the previous books I'd read. I look forward to seeing more of the father/son relationship being explored in future books. Until then, I'd recommend this book for people that like to be entertained by a good story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved everyone of the Grippando's novels and read them all. Fast moving plots and characters you want more of. Can't put his books down and can't wait for the next one to come out. Continue Jack Swytect character and these action packed thrillers and write faster Mr. Grippando.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unlike, Beyond Suspicion & Last Call - Born to Run didn't get "my" interest for a couple of chapters but so glad I stayed with it. A roller coaster ride for sure.
bohemiangirl35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quick, light read. Nothing spectacular. The narration was bland. It was fun enough to finish, but not interesting enough for me to rewind to hear parts I missed.
libraryclerk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first James Grippando and I enjoyed it very much.
elliezann on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A friend of mine received this fro Christmas so, of course, I had to borrow this book thinking Mr. Grippando was a new writer. Well, he is, to me but no longer.This is a thrilling, fast-paced mystery and though you will probably figure out the ending, it will keep you interested to the end.Filled with government types, hit men, lawyers, thugs, and all around "good guys" and one badly-used Bullitt-like Mustang, this is a really good yarn indeed.
SenoraG163 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of Grippando's best.
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
James Grippando's 'Born to Run,' although a part of the Jack Swyteck series, works well as a stand alone novel; it was my first Grippando read. Briefly, Jack, son of former governor Harry Swyteck, is a Miami trial lawyer with a penchant for defending hopeless cases. The novel begins with the Everglades demise of the current vice president and Harry's selection as the next VP. Jack tags along to Washington and the plot thickens when he receives a call offering to make his father the next president. Now mix in an immoral White House intern, a relentless CNN reporter, a mysterious Greek, the Mafia, and Jack's 'new' green Mustang and we're ready to run. This is more a series mystery than a political thriller - Jack and his cohorts are the stars, and, I assume, well liked by regular readers. It's a quick, undemanding read, with emphasis on quick. Read this only if you have no plans to ponder the plotting and are willing to go big into suspension of disbelief. Three stars: good enough to finish, but not good enough to keep.
silversurfer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another fastly paced plot in the JACK SWYTECK series...although I enjoyed this thriller, it wasn't up to the level of the previous novels in this series...but, it is by one of my favorite authors and one of my favorite characters and it kept my interest down to the usual GRIPPANDO TWIST ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have liked all of the James Grappando's books that I've read. This is part of a series but stands alone as a good read. Didn't know the ending until it came, which I appreciate. Plan to keep reading his work. Never disappointed. I'm looking forward to his new book.
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I cannot get enough of this character and look forward to more..I love this character .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok im here what do u wnt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bye till Fool's day, sorry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey jennykit. Me and micakit thought you quit. How was ur Easter? 6:51
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey Zivakit. You on?6:53p.m.
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