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Afraid of the Dark (Jack Swyteck) Hardcover – March 22, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Jack Swyteck
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Stated First Edition 1st Printing edition (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061840289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061840289
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,150,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Grippando's rousing ninth Jack Swyteck legal thriller (after Born to Run), Jack successfully defends a supposed Somali prisoner in his mid-20s held at Guantánamo. But then the prisoner is identified as an American, Jamal Wakefield, and is transferred to Miami, Fla., where he's charged with the fatal stabbing of his ex-girlfriend, McKenna Mays, three years earlier. In his defense, Jamal offers a wild story of kidnapping and covert interrogation. As witnesses who could confirm Jamal's alibi are eliminated, Jack and his dwindling circle of friends, and not always trustworthy allies, must race to uncover a sadistic killer and his bosses before the conspirators can silence everyone who might speak against them. Working with a cast that includes depraved sexual deviants, corrupt private military contractors, and wannabe jihadis, Grippando transforms what might have been a conventional genre novel in lesser hands into an exciting tale of revenge. (Apr.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Jack Swyteck, the Miami defense attorney who has starred in several of Grippando�s novels, has a particularly tough case on his hands. Acting as a pro-bono lawyer for a young man accused of being a terrorist, Jack is shocked to learn that the man is also the prime suspect�in fact, the only suspect�in the murder of a girl and a subsequent house explosion that robbed a police officer, one of Jack�s close friends, of his sight. But the murder of which Jack�s client is accused is only the first of many, and Jack, perhaps the only person who thinks his client might actually be innocent in the girl�s death, has to decide if he wants to risk his own life to save his client�s. Of all the Swyteck novels, this one comes closest to matching the power and drama of Grippando�s best stand-alone novels. Fans of the Swyteck series will definitely want to check this one out, and readers who have found the series lacking a certain oomph may be surprised at this novel�s ability to tap into their deepest fears. Grippando has definitely reached a new level with this series entry. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Grippando has long had a devoted following, but he has hovered a notch or so beneath the thriller genre�s biggest names. Will his latest, one of his best, be the one to catapult him upward? Could be. --David Pitt

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Customer Reviews

There aren't a lot of books that can keep me turning the page until the very last one.
Nicole89
Or maybe I'm just getting too old to keep a lot of characters in a story straight in my mind.
David A. Spearman
I have read every book that James Grippando has written and this is by far his best yet.
K. Gant

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Kaye Oldner on July 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My first experience with author James Grippando was with his book, LYING WITH STRANGERS. I loved how in-depth he gets with his characters--all of them, not just the major players. I can see them. Feel them. Each is carefully woven into an intriguing plot.

With the Jack Swyteck novels, I made the mistake by starting in the middle of the series. True, each can stand alone, but I didn't get that in-depth feeling with the recurring characters. The same can be said about any series though and this is why I like to start at the beginning of a series or the very least, read book one. Here's a list of the books in order:

1. The Pardon (1994)
2. Beyond Suspicion (2002)
3. Last to Die (2003)
4. Hear No Evil (2004)
5. Got the Look (2006)
6. When Darkness Falls (2007)
7. Last Call (2008)
8. Born to Run (2008)
9. Afraid of the Dark (2011)

In AFRAID OF THE DARK, the story begins in the past when Sergeant Vince Paulo is asked to keep tabs his best friend's daughter, McKenna, by reading her text messages. Her parents were afraid of her ex-boyfriend, Jamal. Afraid that he'll hurt her. How this favor plays out is McKenna ends up dead and Vince blinded. Before she dies, Jamal is who she says did it.

Now in the present, Jack Swyteck, a Miami criminal defense lawyer, is defending Jamal, but his case isn't that simple. This case reaches into all sorts of areas like the FBI, CIA, black sites, child porn, terrorism, and computer technology that had me a little paranoid by the end of the book.

Even with minor parts that could only be plausible in the twilight zone, I enjoyed the story. Bottom line--if you haven't read this series, don't start with this one. It's not the best this series has to offer.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mary J. Gramlich VINE VOICE on May 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Many interesting cases have crossed Jack Swyteck's desk and he is a master at knowing when his client is not telling him the truth. The client he has now is not only not telling him the truth he will not event talk to him at all. Very interesting decision since he is being held at Guantánamo with no chance of release unless they figure out why he is being viewed as a terrorist. The world gets stranger when the terrorist charges are dropped and his client becomes suspect #1 in a police officer's injury and the death of another police officer's daughter. Jack figures out quickly why his client thought being in Cuba was safer than getting out of jail.

How is it possible that the defense becomes that there is no way he could have committed these murders he was being held in a black ops secret interrogation facility? Even Jack has trouble sorting through that and the phone call from his FBI agent fiancé telling him to walk away from this one. The truth is buried so deep and the evidence is based on the police convicting someone regardless of whether they are guilty or not. Jack won't listen to any of this and keeps moving forward resolving to sort through the lies to get to the truth regardless of what country he has to travel to in order to find the answer. However, when Jack puts all the pieces together will he be able to handle the reality that maybe conspiracy theories are true and factual.

I am a fan of Jack Swyteck and his interesting and diverse life. The back characters are always add flavor and spice to this series and with secrets coming out about Jack's own family the heat is turned up another notch of interesting. Loved it!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a long-time fan of Grippando and his Jack Swyteck series, but I have to say, I didn't really know what to make of this book.

For those who may not know, Swyteck's a Miami attorney specializing in criminal defense. Usually, his cases have to do with what could be called "normal" crimes, in which we meet a range of unique and interesting characters, usually one of which - Swyteck's client - has been wrongly implicated in or accused of a crime. Then we follow Swyteck as he essentially solves the crime and vindicates his client.

This book was way out of the box, and all over the map, both literally and figuratively. Kudos to Grippando for not being afraid of artistic experimentation, but...

In this book, a teenage girl has been murdered, and her boyfriend's accused of the crime. So far, so good.

But from there we dip into child porn (I felt like I needed a shower after some of that material), Islamic terrorism, CIA black ops, rendition and interrogation, political shenanigans, private military/security contractors, and sc-fi-like computer technology.

Characters acted in what I found to be unbelievable manners; first on one side, suddenly on the other, who's on first? The father of the murdered girl is like some strange mortal deus ex machina, constantly popping up in the most unbelievable ways to suddenly salvage deadly situations with his technology, with little or no setup to pave the literary way. Some of it was completely amateurish, I'm afraid to say.

The bad guy's a terrorist; wait, no he's not! Well, maybe he is, but it's only because of his upbringing. Wait again! No, it's all for revenge.

I mean, c'mon!

This book changed gears more often than an Indy 500 driver. I think it lacked cohesion, the story line was very disjointed, and it basically just didn't work. Sorry; I can't recommend it.
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