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Afraid of the Dark (Jack Swyteck Series #9)
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Afraid of the Dark (Jack Swyteck Series #9)

3.9 38
by James Grippando
 

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The New York Times bestselling author's ever-popular hero, Jack Swyteck, is on his most dangerous case yet, uncovering a sinister underground world that has him racing across the globe.

Then: Sergeant Vince Paulo held his best friend's daughter, McKenna, bleeding in his arms as she uttered the name of her murderer

Overview

The New York Times bestselling author's ever-popular hero, Jack Swyteck, is on his most dangerous case yet, uncovering a sinister underground world that has him racing across the globe.

Then: Sergeant Vince Paulo held his best friend's daughter, McKenna, bleeding in his arms as she uttered the name of her murderer and ex-boyfriend, Jamal. That was minutes before a blast made everything go black for Vince—forever.

Now: Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck has been called in to save Jamal from the death penalty for terrorist activity. Despite urgent warnings from his fiancée, undercover FBI agent Andie Henning, to stay away from the case, Jack finds himself inextricably drawn to Jamal's past—even believing his alibi that he was abducted and held in a black site in Prague at the time of McKenna's death. But if Jamal is innocent, then the man who murdered McKenna and took Vince's sight is still out there . . . free.

Soon bodies begin to pile up and ghosts from the past reappear very much alive, confirmed by ominous threats from a faceless man known only as "the Dark." Vince and Jack must confront a mortal danger that goes beyond McKenna's death, across international waters—a journey to piece together the past that leads through the back alleys of London, onto illegal Internet sites, and straight into the mind of pure evil.

Editorial Reviews

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.)
Library Journal
Grippando's 18th novel (after Money To Burn) brings together three series characters—criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck; FBI undercover agent Andie Henning, now Jack's fiancée; and Miami cop Vince Paulo. All are tied to the murder three years earlier of 16-year-old McKenna Mays, the daughter of Vince's best friend, Chuck, an Internet entrepreneur. Vince was blinded by an explosion meant to destroy evidence left behind by the killer. But McKenna's dying words implicated her ex-boyfriend Jamal, who is now being held as a Somali terrorist at the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo. Jack gets involved when he decides to defend Jamal, despite being warned off the case by Andie, who knows more than she can say. So what do you do when your defendant has an alibi—his abduction to a black site in Prague—that can't be verified because of government secrecy? And if Jamal is innocent, as Jack believes, who was the killer? To find out, Jack, Vince, and Chuck must penetrate illegal websites and a world of evil in search of a terrorist who calls himself The Dark. VERDICT Superb plotting, high suspense, compelling timely issues, and finely honed characters make this crime novel/international thriller a great read. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/10.]—Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson
Kirkus Reviews
Grippando brings back Miami attorney Jack Swyteck to deal with a cold case that wasn't.

When 16-year-old McKenna Mays was brutally murdered, everyone knew who did it. In particular, Sergeant Vince Paulo, Miami PD, knew. At the behest of McKenna's dad, he'd been engaged in a doomed attempt to watch over her, arriving at the Mays house with time only to ask for a name and was not surprised at the one she managed to supply. By all reports Jamal Wakefield, an ex-boyfriend, had not taken kindly to rejection. Then, moments after McKenna's death-bed accusation, the Mays house blew apart, an explosion that destroyed Vince Paulo's sight as well. And that, too—the deadly home-made bomb—was credited to Jamal. So no mystery, no bothersome unanswered questions about motivation, but also no Jamal. He'd vanished. Flash forward three years. Series hero Jack finds himself at Gitmo, defending Prisoner Number 977, who turns out to be the very same Jamal, who, interestingly enough, turns out to have a seemingly rock-solid alibi covering the time he was supposed to be murdering McKenna and blinding Vince: incarceration by federal authorities. Suddenly, McKenna's homicide becomes a case of a different temperature, inasmuch as Jamal has so unexpectedly climbed out from under, and inasmuch as McKenna's actual killer is presumably still at large. Now there are questions, bothersome indeed. How, for instance, to explain McKenna's fateful I.D.? Precisely what had landed Jamal in Gitmo, and why does he refuse to talk about it, even to his own lawyers? All that is for Jack to sort out, a task not beyond him of course, provided he can stay alive long enough.

By the skin of its teeth, Grippando's 18th (Money to Burn, 2010, etc.) survives one of those evil-incarnate villains whose lack of nuance is an invitation to disbelief.

Booklist (starred review)
“Grippando has definitely reached a new level with this series entry. . . . One of his best.”
Newark Star Ledger
“Grippando powerfully weaves Afraid of the Dark into a noir look at the fears that seep into each corner of society….Grippando has proven his skills with edge-of-your-seat thrillers. Afraid of the Dark may be his most gripping novel.”
Associated Press Staff
“More twists and turns than a snowy mountain pass…Afraid of the Dark will have readers embracing this darkness.”
Miami Herald
“Grippando has proven his skills with edge-of-your-seat thrillers. Afraid of the Dark may be his most gripping yet.”
Booklist
"Grippando has definitely reached a new level with this series entry. . . . One of his best."
Romantic Times
“Filled with twists and turns and edge-of-the-seat tension.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061840289
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/22/2011
Series:
Jack Swyteck Series , #9
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels. He was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (The Pardon), and later served as counsel at Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP. He lives in South Florida with his wife, three children, two cats, and a golden retriever named Max who has no idea that he’s a dog.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Coral Gables, Florida
Date of Birth:
January 27, 1958
Place of Birth:
Waukegan, Illinois
Education:
B.A. with High Honors, University of Florida, 1980; J.D. with Honors, University of Florida, 1982
Website:
http://www.jamesgrippando.com

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Afraid of the Dark 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast paced, umpredictable, good action, intelligent dialogue, belivable characters, what more can you ask for in a mistery. Excelent, even better than my first james grippando novel that i read, Highly recommende
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good reading! Exciting to read.
GtzLstNRding More than 1 year ago
I have not read any of Grippando's books before and was unaware this was even a series. The story has a great plot, is laid out well and keeps just enough of an edge that you don't want to put it down. The story unfolds beautifully and has everything you could want for a murdery myster, CIA, computer genius, a grieving parent with need for revenge, and lots of secrets that ultimately lead to the killer.
Madderly-Review More than 1 year ago
Jack Swyteck is that old friend you want to keep visiting. Like Coben's Myron and Rosenfelt's Andy, his main character comes alive and draws you in. In this book, defense attorney Swyteck tries to determine if the right man is facing the death penalty. Vince Paulo held his best friend, Chuck May's daughter as she bled to death. The name she whispered, Jamal, seemed to indicate that her boyfriend was her killer. Now Vince, Chuck and Jack must make sure that the right person is paying for the crime. This is a popular genre, and it is difficult to stand out in it. Grippando continues to do so with his vivid portrayals of his characters and their surroundings. As always with his books, I finished this with the disappointment of knowing I would have to wait at least a year to visit with Jack Swyteck again.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Lawyer Jack Swyteck defends twentyish Somali prisoner 977detained at GITMO, which stands for "Giving Interrogation Teams More Options" for three years. His client distrusts anyone from America after being bushed by enhanced interrogation techniques at Guantanamo. The charge against 977 is he signed a confession that he sheltered al-Qaeda operations chief Fazul Abdullah Mohammed. Jack wins the case for his client, but over lunch with Neil Goderich, instead of the release of 977, he is informed he has been handed over to Florida law enforcement. 977 has been identified as American Jamal Wakefield, wanted by Miami police for the murder of his former girlfriend McKenna Mays three years ago. Jamal is sent to Florida to stand trial with Jack defending him again. Jamal explains an over the top conspiracy of abduction and rendition to a Prague prison, and forceful interrogation. He names people as his alibi, but each person he claims as a witness is killed by an unknown assassin team; Jack believes the Pentagon is outsourcing murder to Black Ice. Jack tries to find ways to end the killing spree that seems sanctioned high up; even as his girlfriend FBI Agent Andie warns him to drop the case. Still he remains resolute unaware how deadly the Dark truly is. . The latest Swyteck legal thriller (see Born to Run) is an excellent tale as the attorney goes from defending his African client against terrorism charges to defending his American client against murder charges. With some nasty foes on all sides of the war against terrorism and an irate avenger demanding justice for McKenna, Jack struggles to do right by his client if he lives so long. Afraid of the Dark is a terrific international thriller. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an exciting, compelling read. Characters seemed real (believable) and the plot did too. Just wished I knew what happened to Shanda. Grippando is an excellent writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fierse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heyy this book is kind of weird
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I read all the Jack series.I could not get enough of this character .If stuff could happen it did to him .I look forward to more in this series.
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Fighterjock More than 1 year ago
I have long been a big fan of Grippando, both with Swyteck and without. I think this is his most intense work to date, with a complicated plot and a myriad of sub-plots. There was a great deal of disturbing information provided about just some of the goings-on within the Internet sex community...yuk!!
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