James Grippando

Cindy Seip

James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. He is also a trial lawyer who teaches law and literature at the University of Miami School of Law. In Twenty: A Jack Swyteck Novel (Harper), defense attorney Jack is at his office when he receives an emergency text from Riverside Day School that every parent of a school-age child fears: Active Shooter on Campus. His daughter, Righley, is in her kindergarten classroom. His wife, FBI agent Andie Henning, is in the school’s rec center. The shooting claims 20 lives and prompts mass hysteria. Within minutes Al Qaeda claims responsibility; police find a handgun at the scene that’s registered to a parent, a Muslim man named Amir Khoury. Amir is married to Andie’s friend, Lilly, a WASP whose bloodline goes back to the American Revolution. Then Xavier, Amir and Lilly’s oldest child and an 18-year-old senior at Riverside, confesses to the crime. Terrified for her son’s life, Lilly asks Jack to step in. He’s not inclined to take the case, but he must. Now he must unearth the Khoury family’s secrets to expose a shocking truth and save his client. The New York Journal of Books called Twenty an “excellent legal thriller by an experienced hand at storytelling. … one of the best thrillers of 2021.”