Saturday, January 11, 2014

Black Horizon by James Grippando

** Received as Advanced Reading Copy from Harper Collins **

In Black Horizon, a riveting and timely thriller drawn from tomorrow's headlines, New York Times bestselling author James Grippando brings back popular Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck in an international case involving a devastating oil spill that pits him against his most villainous adversaries yet.
Three summers after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, oil is again spewing into the ocean—from a drilling explosion in Cuban waters sixty miles off the Florida Keys, creating a politically complex and volatile situation. Representing an American woman whose Cuban husband was killed on the rig, Jack finds himself in dangerous waters when he discovers that his incendiary case may be lethally connected to his new wife Andi's undercover assignment for the FBI . . . and that the looming environmental catastrophe may have been no "accident" at all.
In 2014 I had decided to only write reviews for books that I gave 4 or 5 stars.  But I realized I'm still receiving advanced reading copies from publishers and I should make an effort to write up reviews for those books as well.  It turns out this book is both an ARC and a 4 star book.

Back in October 2011, I received an ARC from Harper Collins by an author named James Grippando called Need You Now.  The book was very much a ripped from the headlines book and I enjoyed the plot twists and the characters very much.  I had just read Too Big To Fail so this book paired well as a fictional counterpart.  I was excited too see on the March list of ARCs from Harper Collins another ripped from the headlines style book by James Grippando.

Working for a news organization, I learned a lot about the Deepwater Horizon spill from all different angles, so I was curious to see how Grippando could fictionalize a similar oil spill investigation.  There is plenty of political intrigue as well as romance within this book.  I haven't read any of his other Jack Swyteck books so I was worried I would miss back stories and be confused with the book.  But I was pleasantly surprised and didn't feel I lost too much by not knowing Jack and Andi's past adventures.

I was a little disappointed that Andi's side of the story wasn't flushed out more.  A significant event happens to her in the middle of the book and I felt that Grippando didn't really address what Andi might have felt about that event. Also it was really clear that when the story was told suddenly by a minor character's point of the view, something was going to happen to them.  It would have been nice to have the minor character's point of view be a little more consistent throughout the book.

Overall this book is a page turner and details how a simple action of investigating an explosion on an oil rig is sometimes more of a political game of cards than anything else.  I'm looking forward to seeing what Grippando writes next.

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