Miami defense attorney Jack Swytek has long rebelled against his father, Harry, now Florida's governor. The two disagree on nearly everything, especially the death penalty. And when Harry allows one of Jack's clients - a man Jack believes is innocent - to die in the electric chair, their estrangement seems complete. But when they are faced with a psychopath's twisted game of vengeance, father and son have nowhere to turn but to each other.
©1994 James Grippando; (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC
Maybe Grippando's later works reflect greater sophistication and originality, but this debut effort is a hackneyed, by-the-numbers story. The prose is leaden and graceless; the shallow characters move around like marionettes; the plot is artificial and implausible. The irritating courtroom scenes are made-for-TV simplistic.
These deficiencies are compounded by Ron McLarty's wooden narration. McLarty's pacing seems too slow and metronomic, lacking the kind of inflection that might add some drama to the story. His rendering of the villain's voice, in particular, is distractingly whiny and grating. On a scale of 1 to 10, with George Guidall as a 10, McLarty is about a 3.5.
Maybe I was simply expecting too much. I love a good legal thriller and was hoping that The Pardon would be the first of a top-quality series that I could look forward to enjoying. In the end, I just felt cheated. Though I stuck with the book to the bitter end, I now wish I had never started it in the first place.
My review is only based on the first 2.5 hours of listening to this book. I suppose there is a chance that it got better after I could listen no longer. But I found it so poor in plot, with such lousy characterization, lacking in believability or ingenuity, that I simply could not go any further. Even with my favorite narrator, Ron McLarty, reading the book (and this job is no great credit to him either). There are so many glaring holes from the onset. How can the reader believe for a moment that the governor should issue a pardon with absolutely no evidence given of possible innocence? There was no explanation of why the Goss videotaped confession was thrown out and what else went so wrong that this cartoon bad guy got off. Jack is an absolute buffoon, he grates on the listener with his unsympathetic nature and simply unbelievable instincts and reactions. Every character is as thin as tracing paper, every description is a hackneyed cliche, there is no suspense, nothing is plausible.
I am stunned to think that anyone could have enjoyed this book, in print or audible format.
This book had alot of twists and turns and alot of time I figure them out, but not this time! Great storyline, great charaters, great listening. Ron McLarty is the best narrator by far.
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