03/04/2014 08:29 pm ET Updated May 04, 2014

Grippando Turns Up the Heat With BLACK HORIZON

Book Review Jackie K Cooper
BLACK HORIZON by James Grippando

James Grippando further explores the life of attorney Jack Swyteck in his new novel BLACK HORIZON. This time out Jack is involved with a client who is suing because of the explosion on an oil rig in the waters off Cuba. The fact the explosion occurs in this locale makes getting the facts about the incident difficult since trade and travel to Cuba are very restrictive. Watching how Jack navigates through these perilous waters makes for a fun read.

This story starts with Jack marrying his true love Andie. Their honeymoon in the Florida Keys is cut short with the announcement that an oil spill in waters off Cuba has caused an environmental hazard that is headed towards Florida. If that wasn't bad enough they also are notified Andie has to report to the FBI (her employer) for an undercover assignment. Top that off with the fact Andie has discovered she is pregnant.

From that rather innocuous start the book plunges head on into a web of international intrigue that spawns kidnappings and murders. Jack's life is on the line several times and so is that of his close friend Theo. Even Jack's new client, the widow of one of the men killed on the oil rig, finds herself in jeopardy from people who do not want her lawsuit to go forward.

This is one of Grippando's most timely books. The threat to our coastline from oil spills has made news in our country for many years now. Throw in an oil spill from Cuban waters, a place where the USA cannot even go in and try to contain the damage, and you have a disaster of the highest magnitude.

Swyteck and company have been the central characters in numerous Grippando novels. With each new book he advances their lives further and we learn more about them. This time out Jack's friend Theo plays a major role in the story. In the past Theo has been a character readers have enjoyed. This time out he has become more of an annoyance than a plus.

There are enough thrills in BLACK HORIZON to keep readers interested all the way through the book., Grippando has fashioned a tight plot and lets it play out in places such as the Bahamas, Havana and the Florida Keys. Under the hot summer sun tempers flare and diabolical plots are hatched,.and that's the way we like them.

BLACK HORIZON is published by Harper. It contains 384 pages and sells for $25.99.

Jackie K Cooper