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Lying With Strangers

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Overview

A first-year resident at a major Boston children's hospital, Peyton Shields finally has the career she's always dreamed of, even though her marriage to Kevin, an up-and-coming young lawyer, is suffering from her hard work and impossibly long hours. But a late-night drive home in a heavy snowstorm changes everything when she is forced off the road and she loses something precious and irreplaceable.

No one, not even Kevin, believes Peyton's claims that the "accident" was ...

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Lying with Strangers

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Overview

A first-year resident at a major Boston children's hospital, Peyton Shields finally has the career she's always dreamed of, even though her marriage to Kevin, an up-and-coming young lawyer, is suffering from her hard work and impossibly long hours. But a late-night drive home in a heavy snowstorm changes everything when she is forced off the road and she loses something precious and irreplaceable.

No one, not even Kevin, believes Peyton's claims that the "accident" was deliberate. Suddenly her wonderful life has turned dark and uncertain, and the terror has only just begun. Her husband is growing inexplicably distant and bitter, accusing her of paranoia, betrayal, and infidelity. And a series of bizarre and frightening events is moving Peyton steadily closer to a faceless, resourceful enemy who is watching her every move.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062088024
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 688,783
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

James Grippando

James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels are enjoyed worldwide in twenty-six languages. Black Horizon is his twentieth novel published by HarperCollins, the eleventh in the acclaimed series featuring Miami attorney Jack Swyteck. He is also the author of Leapholes for young adults. Grippando was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (The Pardon), and he is now counsel at one of the nation's leading law firms. He lives and writes in South Florida.

Biography

Whether standing before the bench in a courtroom or penning one of his bestselling thrillers featuring defense attorney Jack Swyteck, James Grippando has a deep fascination with the law. He practiced as a trial lawyer for twelve years before shifting his career in a more literary direction. However, the decision was not the result of bitter disillusionment. "I actually liked practicing law," he explains on his web site. "I just wished I could do less of it. That may sound like a contradiction, but the problem with being a lawyer is that, if you get caught up in it, eventually you won't know anything about anything except what you happen to be working on at the moment."

As he contemplated leaving the law, Grippando set his sights on becoming a writer, a career shift not as drastic as one might imagine. "A trial lawyer is in many ways a story teller," he said in an essay in Mystery Scene magazine. "Still, I had no idea how to become a novelist... So, I set a couple of ground rules. First, I would do my writing on the sly, nights and weekends, while continuing to bill my obligatory two thousand hours a year. Second -- and this was by far the most important rule -- I was determined to keep it fun."

Both Grippando's legal expertise and his determination to "keep it fun" were readily apparent in his 1994 debut, The Pardon, a taut thriller that introduced Jack Swyteck, a brash young Miami criminal defense attorney who successfully defends an admitted killer -- only to find himself framed for his defendant's murder. Called "a bona fide blockbuster" by the Boston Herald, this well-plotted first novel marked Grippando as a writer to watch.

Despite the popularity of The Pardon, Grippando would not return Jack Swyteck to active duty for eight more years. His second novel, written while he was still practicing law, was a fast-paced crime thriller called The Informant. Shortly after it was published in 1996, he left his practice for full-time writing and published a string of well received stand-alones, including The Abduction, Under Cover of Darkness, and A King's Ransom.

Then, in 2002, Grippando revived Jack Swyteck, placing him at the center of Beyond Suspicion, a gripping courtroom drama involving an insurance scam and the Russian Mafia. Readers reacted so joyfully to Swyteck's return that the author has -- with very few exceptions -- kept attention focused on his beloved series protagonist. As the review journal Booklist put it : "Grippando, whose best thriller have been full of imagination and out-of-left-field surprises, looks like he's found a winner in the Swyteck series."

Good To Know

When he was a lawyer, one of Grippando's most prominent cases found him defending a group of chicken farmers against, according to his essay in Mystery Scene magazine, "the largest privately-held corporation in the world." The Wall Street Journal deemed the case "the catalyst for change in the $15 billion a year poultry industry."

Before becoming a writer, Grippando was on the fast track to becoming a partner at Steel Hector & Davis, the Miami law firm at which former Attorney General Janet Reno began her career.

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Grippando:

"In this world of revolving doors, I'm what you might call a professional anomaly. I've had the same publisher (HarperCollins) and agent (Richard Pine, along with his father Artie until his death) since the start of my career. I've also had the same editor (Carolyn Marino) since my second novel. I treasure these relationships. It is because of them that I am able to do what I love for a living."

"My first published novel was actually inspired by a near arrest in a case of total mistaken identity. One night in October 1992, tired of staring at a blank computer screen, I went for a walk before going to bed. I got about three blocks from my house when, seemingly out of nowhere, a police car pulled up onto the grassy part of the curb in front of me. A cop jumped out and demanded to know where I was going. I told him that I was just out for a walk, that I lived in the neighborhood. He didn't seem to believe me. "There's been a report of a peeping Tom," he said. "I need to check this out." I stood helplessly beside the squad car and listened as the officer called in on his radio for a description of the prowler."Under six feet tall," I heard the dispatcher say, "early to mid-thirties, brown hair, brown eyes, wearing blue shorts and a white t shirt." I panicked inside. I was completely innocent, but it was exactly me! "And a mustache," the dispatcher finally added. I sighed with relief. I had no mustache. The cop let me go.

But as I walked home, I could only think of how close I'd come to disaster. Even though I was innocent, my arrest would have been a media event, and forever I would have been labeled as "the peeping Tom lawyer." It was almost 2 a.m. by the time I returned home, but I decided that I needed to write about this. I took the feeling of being wrongly accused to the most dramatic extreme I could think of. I wrote about a man hours away from execution for a crime he may not have committed. What I wrote that night became the opening scene of The Pardon."

"My first editor on everything I write is my wife, Tiffany, who was an English Lit major."

"I can't underestimate the impact Miami -- the city in which I live -- has had on my writing. Miami evokes all the right buzz words -- smart and sexy, young and beautiful -- but it also has a self-destructive quality that triggers the kind of fascination we have with a reckless youth. It is blessed with natural beauty, but it's threatened by developers. It has the gift of cultural diversity, but is plagued by ethnic tension. Its nightlife is unrivaled, but the threat of violence is never far enough away. There's glitz, there's money, there's the see-and-be-seen -- and then there are neighborhoods that seem straight out of the third world. You often hear it said that truth is stranger than fiction, and nowhere is that more true than in south Florida. Where else could the United States Attorney lose his job after losing a big case, getting drunk, and biting a stripper? But it's where I live, it's where I practiced law, and it will always be an inspiration to my writing.

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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 17, 2012

    Apparently I am the only reviewer who disliked this book. I hav

    Apparently I am the only reviewer who disliked this book. I have read several of Grippando’s books and have enjoyed them all. However I cannot put Lying With Strangers in this category. I quickly tired of all the distrust between husband and wife. It seemed to go on forever and the only reason I can figure is to simply add pages to a novel. The constant barrage of this subject made the book tiresome and disgusting. I would not recommend it to anyone. It will also be a long while before I read another one of his books.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very Good Reading!

    Another good Grippando story. Lots of hints to lead you in the wrong direction. A surprise climax and ending. Book "title" near the end so look for it! Be sure to read Acknowledgments at the end of the publication.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    Lying with Strangers

    The story itself was very good...creative topic (haven't read a fiction story about this before). The one thing I couldn't get past was the editing. Sometimes the font was one size and sometimes it was another (and it wasn't intentional). Also the line spacing was off in some places and there were glaring typos in a few spots. That is what made this book hard to read, literally!

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  • Posted January 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    keeps your attention

    I enjoyed this book the whole time I was reading it. It was gripping and kept you wanting to turn the page. I loved the characters and how Grippando portrayed them. By the end of the book it felt as if you knew the characters personally.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2007

    A reviewer

    It wasn't bad, just not as good as his others. It seems like he could not figure out how to end it, so he just did...abruptly. We really got no insight at all about the 'bad guy.'

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fine family drama crime caper

    The head pediatric physician at Boston's Children's Hospital Dr. Peyton Shields and her lawyer husband Kevin Stokes appear to live the American dream to the fullest as they love their respective work and each other. However underneath their seemingly perfect life together, neither trusts the other to remain faithful as he believes she has quite a choice of medical personal and she thinks likewise re the legal profession. Both assume the other cheats. On top of that Kevin resents the move to New England to foster her career and the time she spends at the hospital. --- On a drive home during a snowstorm, Peyton is in a near fatal accident that everyone blames on the weather except her she believes the other driver tried to kill her by forcing her vehicle into icy Jamaica Pond. Kevin especially scorns what he insists is her delusions before turning to a former lover but soon after they begin their tryst, she is killed. BPD arrests the married couple who are on trial while in the background waits a stalker who believes he receives messages to kill from sexy professionals like Peyton. --- Although some of the twists seem implausible, the author lives up to the first syllable of his surname as LIVING WITH STRANGERS grips readers from the moment Rudy the stalker surfaces and never slows down until the final life and death altercation. The fast-paced story line is fun to follow as the soap opera quartet (the married couple, the other woman and the stalker) merge into a fun thriller. Even without Jack Swyteck, readers know that Mr. Grippando writes a fine stand alone family drama crime caper. --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2007

    Great read...

    This is ANOTHER great book by an amazing author. He just keeps getting better. This book has a thrilling story line with lots of twists.. I totally enjoyed it.

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    Posted July 13, 2011

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    Posted June 4, 2010

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    Posted June 13, 2009

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    Posted September 15, 2009

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    Posted January 14, 2012

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    Posted July 14, 2009

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