Intent to Kill
A Novel of Suspense
By James Grippando
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061628689, 368pp.)
Publication Date: May 2009
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A fallen baseball star must use his new skills as Boston's king of sports radio to outwit a dangerous caller and prove—live and on the air—that the hit-and-run that killed his wife was no accident.
Ryan James once had it all. With a beautiful wife and a two-year-old daughter, he was just one minor-league baseball game away from realizing his lifelong dream of playing in the majors when the unthinkable happened: his wife, Chelsea, was killed in a hit-and-run accident while driving to Ryan's last game of the season.
Years later, Ryan is a popular "shock jock" at Boston's top-rated sports radio show, doing his best to raise his daughter alone. But his love for Chelsea endures, his insomnia persists, and the fact that the police never found the drunk who ran her off the road makes closure impossible. Then, on the third anniversary of Chelsea's death, chilling words from an anonymous tipster turn the accident into a homicide: "I know who did it."
As the police scramble, Ryan makes a stunning discovery. The tip—a strangely coded message—may have come from Chelsea's own brother, a young man affectionately known as "Babes," who has an autism-related disorder. But why would Babes have withheld this information for three years? And what finally made him come forward anonymously?
The demand for answers sends Babes on the run. Through a series of shocking on-air conversations with Babes, Ryan and Emma Carlisle, the dedicated prosecutor on the case, unravel a cover-up that reaches back to the night of Chelsea's death and that may implicate one of New England's most powerful families. It's a search that will forever change the lives of Ryan, Babes, and Emma—if they live to tell about it.
“Grippando’s thrillers marry well-drawn characters and realistic action. . . . The story strongly fits into the family thriller genre, epitomized by Harlan Coben.”
“In this stand-alone thriller . . . the well-constructed, suspenseful plot is layered with many ‘What?!’ and ‘Oh my God’ moments. With the reader well and truly hooked, all one can do is hang on until the final reveal.”
“An excellent thriller . . . Ryan James is a strong, sympathetic lead, and the supporting cast . . . is uniformly excellent. . . . This guy is really good.”
“Intent to Kill is [Grippando’s] best. . . . It’s crisp and fresh and full of action from beginning to end.”
-The Globe and Mail
“This book has it all: sports, crime, money and romance. . . . It’s a delight.”
-Charleston Post & Courier
“A fast-paced, nifty crime novel with many surprising plot twists.”
-Lansing Journal (MI)
“Intent to Kill’s unique double play of baseball and the unpredictable Babes make Grippando’s newest thriller a hit for the bleachers.”
-Madison County Herald
“[A] tight, twisty thriller . . . Hums along like a sizzling fastball thrown straight and sure.”