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Publisher's Summary

Fans of John Grisham's legal thrillers will love the suspenseful action and intriguing courtroom drama of James Grippando's bestsellers. In The Pardon, Grippando delivers a scorching tale of vengeance that stains the sultry streets of southern Florida.

Miami defense attorney Jack Swytek has long rebelled against his father, Harry, now Florida's governor. The two disagree on nearly everything, especially the death penalty. And when Harry allows one of Jack's clients - a man Jack believes is innocent - to die in the electric chair, their estrangement seems complete. But when they are faced with a psychopath's twisted game of vengeance, father and son have nowhere to turn but to each other.

©1994 James Grippando (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • 03-03-2018

First legal thrillerl in the Jack Swytek series

I picked up a copy of The Pardon in the San Francisco airport before boarding a flight to Tokyo in approximately 20 years ago. I had never heard of James Grippando but was into legal thrillers mostly by John Grisham at the time. I needed to sleep during the flight, but could not put the novel down. Since then I have purchased every new Jack Swytek series novel in printed format when it was released. Eighteen months ago I also started buying the most recent Swytek novels in audio format. So far I have reviewed Books 11 - 14 in the series at Audible. The Pardon is Book 1 in the Swytek series and the first novel released by author/lawyer James Grippando. During July 2016 Audible listener Shelley wrote a 5 star review of The Informant which Grippando wrote (his second book released) and which is not part of the Swytek series. I had read any of Grippando's standalone novels, so I purchased, listened to and reviewed it.

In my recent review of A Death in Live Oak, Book 14 in the Swytek series, I wrote that it may be the best legal thriller I have ever listened to or read. John Grisham and James Grippando are contemporary legal thriller authors. Grisham no longer writes novels of the quality of his earlier ones such as The Firm, The Client, the Pelican Brief, The Runaway Jury, The Rainmaker, and The Street Lawyer. Indeed, since the year 2000 he has not written a novel that deserves to be rated better than 4 stars and most have been no better than 3 stars. Yet, he continues to write mediocre legal thrillers which sell based on his reputation from his early successes as a great legal thriller author. Meanwhile, Grippando has maintained the 4 and 5 star quality of his legal thrillers. I can easily name a dozen or more current legal thriller authors who write legal thrillers consistently better than anything Grisham has released since 2000.

One of the real pleasures of listening to The Pardon is again hearing Ron McLarty narrate an audio book. Since David Baldacci stopped using McLarty in 2015 I have missed him. (Baldacci did write a nice thank you note to Ron McLarty on his website when he replaced McLarty with Kyf Brewer.)

Books 3, 4 and 5 in the Jack Swytek series are still not available at Audible. All three novels were released in audio CD, so audio recordings were made. Audible, how about releasing copies?

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • shelley
  • 23-02-2018

For what it's worth this is MY OPINION...

This is such a. good bad. Ok, this is a fantastic book! I loved it. I a so sorry I listened to the other reviews and didn't get this and the other books in this series years ago. The silver lining is that I have something good to listen to now.
The publisher's summary sets up the story so I won't restate the plot. What I will say is how well this book was written. The characters are believable and well fleshed out. The suspense is intense and the story was able to evoke an emotional response. Nothing sappy, just agitation and frustration as I imagine the main character must have been feeling. To me, that's some good writing!
Just get the book. Nothing to lose, it you don't like it return it! Don't you just love Audible!
Ron McLarty's gruff narration is outstanding.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Moku
  • 11-09-2009

Disappointing

Maybe Grippando's later works reflect greater sophistication and originality, but this debut effort is a hackneyed, by-the-numbers story. The prose is leaden and graceless; the shallow characters move around like marionettes; the plot is artificial and implausible. The irritating courtroom scenes are made-for-TV simplistic.

These deficiencies are compounded by Ron McLarty's wooden narration. McLarty's pacing seems too slow and metronomic, lacking the kind of inflection that might add some drama to the story. His rendering of the villain's voice, in particular, is distractingly whiny and grating. On a scale of 1 to 10, with George Guidall as a 10, McLarty is about a 3.5.

Maybe I was simply expecting too much. I love a good legal thriller and was hoping that The Pardon would be the first of a top-quality series that I could look forward to enjoying. In the end, I just felt cheated. Though I stuck with the book to the bitter end, I now wish I had never started it in the first place.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nanrchy
  • 22-05-2009

Loved it!

This book had alot of twists and turns and alot of time I figure them out, but not this time! Great storyline, great charaters, great listening. Ron McLarty is the best narrator by far.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Bob
  • 16-09-2009

Astonishingly bad

My review is only based on the first 2.5 hours of listening to this book. I suppose there is a chance that it got better after I could listen no longer. But I found it so poor in plot, with such lousy characterization, lacking in believability or ingenuity, that I simply could not go any further. Even with my favorite narrator, Ron McLarty, reading the book (and this job is no great credit to him either). There are so many glaring holes from the onset. How can the reader believe for a moment that the governor should issue a pardon with absolutely no evidence given of possible innocence? There was no explanation of why the Goss videotaped confession was thrown out and what else went so wrong that this cartoon bad guy got off. Jack is an absolute buffoon, he grates on the listener with his unsympathetic nature and simply unbelievable instincts and reactions. Every character is as thin as tracing paper, every description is a hackneyed cliche, there is no suspense, nothing is plausible.
I am stunned to think that anyone could have enjoyed this book, in print or audible format.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph
  • 09-03-2018

Like Bad Network TV

Would you try another book from James Grippando and/or Ron McLarty?

I had read his latest book and it was pretty good but the first one in the series was terrible.

Has The Pardon turned you off from other books in this genre?

Preposterous plot with completely unconscious characters.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Voices were to great.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Pardon?

Half the book

Any additional comments?

An overall disappointment. Led down the path by other reviewers and came up very short.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MarySunshine
  • 19-10-2017

BRILLIANT, Positively gripping to the very end.

Obsession and a bloodthirsty need for Revenge have always exacted a terrible price, A TERRIBLE PRICE INDEED. Highly beneficial lesson for here in the Real World.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Melissa
  • 19-05-2016

It was suspenseful and intrigue love it

Great reader and a page turning story one of the best I read . Would highly recommend

0 of 4 people found this review helpful