A Death in Live Oak by James Grippando

A Death in Live Oak (Jack Swyteck, #14)A Death in Live Oak by James Grippando
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

They say an author should write what he knows and this book is a good example of why that is so – both in the good sense and the bad. Grippando was a trial lawyer and the legal strategy and courtroom scenes in the book are excellent. As a retired attorney myself, I found them credible and entertaining. I’m also a retired FBI agent, and the author obviously is not because his scenes involving the main character’s FBI agent wife and the whole FBI undercover operation are preposterous – almost laughable. I gave up on his earlier novel Blood Money for the same reason. There are plenty of FBI retirees out there; the author should really make an effort to have one give him some advice or serve as a beta reader. The plot line involves the lynching of a black student in Northern Florida – two, in fact, one a historical reality, the other a modern day fictional one. I found the characters one-dimensional stereotypes and the writing unexciting, but the plot and the legal stuff were entertaining enough to kill a few hours here and there despite the book’s flaws.

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