Jack Swyteck Series: Book 18
Publication Date: January 9, 2024
A contentious intellectual piracy case leads to an unsolved murder, and Jack Swyteck’s client—a pop music icon—is the accused killer.
Piracy costs the movie and music industry billions. No one has been able to stop it. But that won’t stop Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck. His latest client, Imani Nichols, is a Grammy-winning popstar whose career has skyrocketed. Despite her success, she’s the most underpaid superstar on the planet because of an onerous record contract she signed as a teenager with her now ex-husband Shaky Nichols, who has made himself rich off her royalties.
Preferring to see thieves profit from her music than let her ex-husband pocket one more dime, Imani takes to social media and tells her millions of fans to “go pirate” and download her music illegally. Her hardball tactic leads to scorched-earth litigation, and now she needs Jack’s help.
The case takes a deadly turn when salacious allegations of infidelity send Imani and Shaky down a path of mutual assured destruction, each implicating the other in the unsolved murder of Imani’s extra-marital lover twelve years ago. Tyler McCormick died of asphyxiation, and his body was found in Biscayne Bay, chained to a piling with the words “goodbye girl” impressed on his chest. Despite their fierce denials, Imani and Shakey are both indicted for murder, leading to a sensational trial that exposes shocking secrets about their failed marriage, their cut-throat business partnership, and Imani’s astonishing success.
Yet as Jack discovers, uncovering the truth about the killing and the cryptic “goodbye girl” won’t just exonerate or convict his client, her ex, and their music empire. It may shape the future of the entire recording industry.
Criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck and his FBI agent wife, Andie, have a clear understanding about keeping their work lives separate. However, a new case is about to test their relationship.
Author James Grippando combines a cold case murder with a music piracy legal case in Goodbye Girl. At the center is popular singer Imani, speaking out against her ex-husband. He has ownership rights to the master recordings of her early hits, and Imani is telling her fans to “go pirate” to ensure he doesn’t get any money.
This is similar to what happened to Taylor Swift, which is why she re-recorded her old albums. As Imani and her former husband, Shaky, head to court, Jack begins peeling back the layers to find a much more complicated situation tied to the Russians.
A connection to one of Andie’s cases makes this a challenging situation for the couple used to playing by the rules.
While all the ingredients are in place for a solid legal thriller, the pace seemed a bit slow in places. Both Jack and Andie are solid characters, but the plot wasn’t as exciting in this particular installment.
Goodbye Girl takes a deep dive into music piracy and the lengths people will go to protect their revenue streams.
James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author with more than thirty books to his credit, including those in his acclaimed series featuring Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck, and the winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. He is also a trial lawyer and teaches law and literature at the University of Miami School of Law. He lives and writes in South Florida.