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    Review of GOT THE LOOK by James Grippando (see his website)


    Harper, January 2006

    Jack Swyteck is happy for the first time in years. He's got a new and beautiful girlfriend and he's edging closer to that moment when he'll say "I love you," the town's biggest law firm is sending him business, and all is well in the friendship department as well. But then Jack suffers a double-blow. He learns that his girlfriend, Mia, happens to be married to someone else--and then she's kidnapped. When the kidnapper demands that the husband pay "what she's worth," the husband, who's aware of Mia's infidelity, determines she's worth exactly nothing. Jack is hurt by Mia's keeping her marriage a secret, but that doesn't mean he wants her dead. And the "What she's worth" kidnapper has already killed at least one woman for failing to pay enough.

    Author James Grippando (see more reviews of novels by Grippando) creates an intriguing premise with his "what she's worth" kidnapper, and Jack's conflicted reaction rings true. Jack's continuing friendship with gangster Theo Knight, adds a dash of humor to a well-written story.

    GOT THE LOOK starts strong with a failed FBI attempt at a rescue, Jack's legal work to preserve the right of a man to build an anatomically incorrect version of the famous David statue, and then Jack's discovery that his beautiful girlfriend has been keeping important secrets from him. For me, the story slowed down a bit in the middle as Jack attempted to clarify his feelings and decide what to do about Mia. Some aspects of the kidnapping were never really explained--as in why the kidnapper actively involved the FBI in Mia's case. For me, the resolution to the Mia/Jack romance seemed a bit rushed and didn't really ring true.

    Grippando's writing is strong enough to sustain a flawed story and GOT THE LOOK is worth the read. Unfortunately, the flaws were there.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 12/16/07

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