James Grippando seems to have found inspiration for his latest book - Blood Money - in the annals of true crime.
This is the 10th book featuring Jack Swyteck, a Miami based lawyer. In Blood Money, Jack reluctantly takes on the defense of Sydney Bennett, a party girl cocktail waitress accused of killing her two year old. Sounds just like the real life case of Casey Anthony, also a Florida woman accused of killing her two year old in 2008, doesn't it? And, like Anthony, Grippando's character is found not guilty. The resulting social media storm also mirrors that of Anthony's case, which Time magazine called "the social media trial of the century." Bennett comes to be known as 'shot mom', a reference to her selling of drinks at her cocktail waitress job, by TV host Faith Corso. Anthony was called 'tot mom' by television news host Nancy Grace. There are some other similarities I won't bother listing.
So, part of me was disappointed in Grippando for simply fictionalizing a known case. But once things got underway, he did put his own spin on things with alternate scenarios. Lots of twists and turns kept me listening. I found the media frenzy surrounding the case a telling commentary on our society. I've always enjoyed the character of Jack - he's a likable, principled protagonist. Theo (whom Jack 'saved' from Death Row) is a solid sidekick, and the more physical of the duo. Their banter is often entertaining.
The reader was award winning Jonathan Davis and he was excellent. His interpretation of Jack really matched the mental image I had created for this character. His voice is very expressive, and captured the action and tone of the story perfectly. His range of voices was very good - I was able to easily tell who was speaking. Davis has a voice that is truly easy on the ears!
Blood Money was an entertaining listen for me. Listen to an excerpt of Blood Money. You can find James Grippando on Facebook.