Last Call (Jack Swyteck)
by James Grippando
Review by Steve Sawicki
Harper Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780060831172
Date: 01 December 2008 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
This is the sixth book in the Jack Swytek series. This time the book revolves around Theo, Jack's friend and the man that he proved was innocent, getting him off death row and out of prison. Theo's now a successful bar owner and Jack's still trying to live outside the shadow of his former governor father.
Into this comes someone from the old neighborhood with information and possibly an axe to grind. Having escaped from prison this man returns to the old stomping grounds and wants sanctuary from Theo in return for information about the identity of the killer who killed Theo's mother. As Theo struggles with his past and the present, Jack tries to keep his friend from making bad decisions while digging through a past both men would just as soon no longer remember.
Grippando deserves a lot of credit for being willing to tackle some of the issues that he does in this book. Issues of racism, elitism, and power, all come into play as the plot unfolds and, to his credit, he does not take the easy way out but keeps his feet firmly in the real world where evil often wins and good loses out and power means everything. This is the world that his characters move in and must work through in order to find some peace for themselves.
I enjoy the Jack Swytek series because it has a sense of reality about it while also being full of action and excitement. The characters are also very likable and interesting which does not hurt. Grippando also knows how to pace a book, where to go slow and where to just let it rip. He's also not afraid to run a few sub plots against his main line of action and to have his characters fail occasionally. All of this combines to produce a very readable series and an enjoyable one at that. Highly recommended.