James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense and the winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. Twenty is his twenty-ninth novel. He lives in South Florida, where he is a trial lawyer and teaches law and literature at the University of Miami School of Law.
Originally published in a slightly different form in 2006 by Madison Park Press (for Doubleday Entertainment's book clubs), Grippando's 12th thriller (after When Darkness Falls) is an absorbing tale of a woman in jeopardy, a husband with secrets, and a barely glimpsed but thoroughly chilling stalker. Peyton Shields, a doctor in her first year of residency at Children's Hospital in Boston, is driving home late one night when another car forces her off the road and into a pond. Rescued by a stranger who quickly disappears, Peyton is dismayed that neither the cops nor her husband, Kevin, believe her when she says the "accident" was deliberate. Kevin, a struggling lawyer, has his own problems; he was in bed with another woman the night of the incident. Complicating matters is that his wife, suspicious of his actions, seeks solace from Gary, an old boyfriend and nurse in the hospital where she works. When Gary is killed, Peyton and Kevin find themselves on trial for murder, with a prosecutor intent on pitting one against the other. Will Peyton and her marriage survive? Grippando masterfully creates characters with rich emotional lives and then ratchets up the tension until it's almost unbearable. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/07.]--Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Beautiful doctor Peyton Shields, head resident at Boston's Children's Hospital, and handsome lawyer husband Kevin Stokes would appear to have bright futures at the start of Grippando's stand-alone, which falls short of the standard of the author's Jack Swyteck series (When Darkness Falls, etc.). Mutual suspicions of infidelity and the fundamental failure of either partner to trust the other pave the way for the misunderstandings that make Peyton and Kevin ripe pickings for a psycho obsessed with Peyton. First Peyton nearly dies during a snowy accident that only she believes was deliberate. Then she and Kevin are ensnared in a web of escalating circumstances that drive them further apart. The soap opera plot will disappoint those expecting something meatier, and even the two lead characters play stock roles (the strong, independent woman; the dissatisfied, jealous husband). The result is a thriller that doesn't offer many thrills, even when Grippando takes the wraps off some late surprises. This title was first released in 2006 by Bookspan as a Madison Park Press book club exclusive. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.