Jack Swyteck is a talented Miami defense attorney who handles only murder cases - the worst cases, where victims are mercilessly butchered and their killers have no remorse and no defense, except legal "technicalities." His father is Harold Swyteck, Florida's "law and order" governor, a staunch proponent of the death penalty. Jack has spent years rebelling against his domineering father until he is forced on the eve of a controversial execution to make a personal plea for his client, a condemned man who Jack believes is innocent. When his father allows the death sentence to be carried out, all hopes of reconciliation between father and son seem dashed.
Two years later, Jack is again in the news when he uses a legal technicality to gain an acquittal for admitted rapist and murderer Eddy Goss. Disgusted with himself and a system that allows the guilty to go free, Jack quits his legal aid job and vows to straighten out his messy personal life. But someone else has ideas about Jack?s future.
Goss is found brutally slain in his sleazy apartment, and enough clever clues have been planted at the scene to frame Jack for the crime. Meanwhile, the governor is blackmailed by a mysterious stranger who claims he can prove that the man executed two years ago was innocent.
Jack and his father pursue the truth on separate paths, until a series of frightening clues makes it clear they are searching for the same tormentor. Finding that man is crucial. He holds the key to Jack's bogus murder trial. And he alone knows the truth about the personal demons that have haunted the governor for two years — did he execute and innocent man, or didn't he?
As the walls begin to close in on the Swyteck family, a paradox emerges: neither man can help the other without hurting himself. As the stakes rise to even more perilous heights, Jack is forced into a deadly confrontation amidst the confusion of Key West Fantasy Fest, a bizarre Halloween festival that may prove to be the perfect escape route for a dangerous psychopath who's hell-bent on the ultimate revenge against father and son.
"The Pardon arrives with the pistol-shot crack of a gavel cutting through a courtroom." -- Tampa Tribune
"A gripping melange of courtroom drama and psychotic manipulation. . . . A bona fide blockbuster." -- Boston Herald
"Powerful . . . I read The Pardon in one sitting -- one exciting night of thrills and chills." -- James Patterson
"Takes us into the steamy side of Florida law, politics, and murder . . . Grippando writes about what he knows and it's good." -- Sunday Oklahoman
"Grippando ratchets up the suspense every few pages. . . . A promising, cleverly plotted, and taut first novel." -- Booklist