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Afraid Of The Dark (Jack Swyteck #9)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  1,380 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
“Grippando has definitely reached a new level with this series entry. . . . One of his best.” —Booklist (starred review)

A young girl’s murder sets off a grisly cascade of crime, death, and intrigue—and sends criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck after a sinister group of terrorists on the verge of unleashing chaos across the globe. From New York Times bestseller James Gripp
ebook, 528 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published March 1st 2011)
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Una Tiers
This was on a stack of books I hadn't finished and was determined to work through. The violence was overwhelming, the sentiments tired.
Mary Gramlich
May 04, 2011 Mary Gramlich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AFRAID OF THE DARK written by James Grippando
Jack Swyteck Series Book #9
03/11 - HarperCollins Publishers - Hardcover, 416 pages

What if the lies are the truth and fiction is fact?

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 unl
Apr 22, 2017 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good Jack Swyteck legal thriller from Grippando.
However, I had the sense that I had read this book before (when I actually hadn't). Turns out, a couple of paragraphs and phrases in this book were also in another Swyteck novel GOT THE LOOK which I had read prior to this one. I'm not sure if this is a common practice with series authors, it's the first time I've noticed it.

Dec 17, 2010 SenoraG rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jack Swyteck is a character who first appeared in THE PARDON, he was a lawyer defending death row inmates. He is of course still a lawyer defending the underdog and still knocks my socks off! Theo Knight is also back in this book. I love Theo, he is one of my favorite characters. If I could meet a character in real life it would be Theo. I would love to have a drink in his bar. Jack saved Theo from death row and yes he was innocent. He has stood by Jacks side every since. Theo brings humor into ...more
This has no spoilers, as the book has NOT been released as of posting:

Jack Swyteck returns in this absolutely thrilling political mystery that has our prognasticator defending an accussed killer which puts him the line of fire from those who have alot to lose; including his fiancee and law partner.

We follow several different story lines: The killer calls himself the Dark; Andie Henning the FBI agent that Jack is hoping to marry; The Mays family who has gone through hell and back and still we do
Eustacia Tan
Jul 13, 2016 Eustacia Tan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nlb-ereads
To be honest, I wanted to read Gone Again, the 12th book in the series, because of Lectus' review. But, the NLB e-Reads programme didn't have it, so I borrowed Book 9 because the title sounded interesting, and I really wanted to see if this could work as a standalone.

Afraid of the Dark starts with the "innocent girl gets killed" scene, but with a slight twist - there's someone at the scene, and they have the name of the killer. And then it goes from bad to worse. A few years later, Jack (the her
Nov 09, 2011 Monica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
You have your stabbed teen-aged girl and your blind cop who's trying to find her killer. And then there's the defense attorney with the client who's a terrorist - oh whoops, he's not - he's, he's the guy who murdered the girl. Or is he?

And there's the girl's father the data mining tycoon who wants revenge for her murder, and his wife who killed herself in grief, but didn't.

And the Al Shabbab guy who is the not-terrorist's father, and the other Somali guy who is even worse, and the evil owner o
May 13, 2011 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love James Grippando. He's not your typical mystery/thriller writer. He doesn't write a formula book that is the same all the time. His characters are very well developed. It's a fast read that will keep you interested the whole time. However some of the plot twists are a little fanstantic and you may need to suspend some judgment. It's still fun and exciting. It's very well written with a lot of character development with the secondary characters. Yes, this is a series but it can stand alone ...more
Apr 14, 2011 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Conspiracy theorists; mystery lovers.
Recommended to Richard by: I read all Mr. Grippando's work, but this is getting a little too graphic.
This is not a book to read all alone in the middle of the night, but it is hard to put down as the mysteries keep getting more and more involved.

Mr. Grippando has created a sinister force, The Dark, who seems to be able to know everything about his victims all the time. He also kills with impunity and total anonymity.

This story is not for the faint of heart as it includes terrorist acts, revenge, torture, brainwashing, extreme rendition and other ugly acts.
Scottsdale Public Library
Attorney Jack Swyteck has a problem -- well, several problems, in this excellent thriller. His client, accused of being a Somali terrorist is actually an American citizen being held at Guantanamo. When the young man disappears, so does Jack's lead to finding the real killer and uncovering the truth in the shady world of black ops.

-- Louisa --
Deale Hutton
Mar 30, 2011 Deale Hutton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again a good political thriller. I didn't figure out the ending, and at times I was very uncertain of the plot itself. Somewhat confusing in parts, but read it quickly as it grabbed me. Think Grippando will be on my list to read more of.
John Marsh
Jun 04, 2017 John Marsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mac MacChlerie
May 21, 2017 Mac MacChlerie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't waste your time.

Not a cell thought out story. Too many lose ends. Slow development and ending squished into a couple of unbelievable chapters that left some protagonists out there somewhere. Unbelievable rescues even for a usually good brighter.
Oct 02, 2011 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Afraid of the Dark, Vince Paulo comes to the aid of his friend's daughter McKenna. As she lay dying in his arms, she utters the name of her boyfriend, Jamal, when asked "Who did this to you?" Minutes later there's a blast that will forever change Paulo's world. Jack Swyteck, a defence attorney, comes to the aid of Jamal after he's been accused of terrorist activity. His alibi for McKenna's murder is a little far-fetched, even to Swyteck, but a lot is possible when terrorism is involved. As mo ...more
Feb 08, 2011 L.A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Article first published as Book Review: Afraid of the Dark by James Grippando on Blogcritics.

Withdrawing as counsel on the case for Jamal Wakefield seems to be the only avenue Jack Swyteck feels comfortable with. His boss Neil is not so sure. Jack does not have all the information, and Neil makes him a deal. They will put Jamal through a lie detector and if Jack still feels the same way then Neil will take the case himself.

Jack’s problem with Jamal is the the crime he is being tried for. The ac
Ada Iaboni
I think this is my second or third book I've read from this series and of course I did not read them in order.
This one, although a very elaborate story and in many ways well done, it went off the deep end in many areas. It's complicated and strange too.
If you like these kind of books, you'll like this one.
May 06, 2012 Dindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, vine
Just as Jack Swyteck is about to celebrate his success in securing the release of a prisoner from Guantanomo, his client is arrested by the local police and charged with the gruesome, three-year-old murder of a teen-aged girl, the daughter of an information security potentate. The only alibi that his client, Jamal, offers is that at the time of the murder, he had been kidnapped and was being held in a black ops prison in Prague. As wildly impossible as Swyteck finds this to believe, the fact tha ...more
Heidi Burleigh
Feb 03, 2011 Heidi Burleigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
James Grippando's "Afraid of the Dark" is a literate thriller. It's a fast read, but well-written -- smooth writing, and nice style for this genre of book. It's gritty and a bit disturbing but a really good read. I hated having to put it down. This story is loaded with bad guys and evil deeds. But the good guys are definitely up to the task. I'm so used to crime thrillers having one-dimensional characters with almost no character development, but Grippando has fleshed out characters, psychologic ...more
The Sunday Book Review
This book has it all. Murder, Kidnapping, Terrorism and sex crimes. The beginning premise of the book grabbed my attention. A young couple, an unstable young man and a dead girlfriend. This reads right up my alley. I was faced soon after with "secret black sites", terrorism, and a sex crime ring. Suddenly this boy being charged with the murder of his girlfriend has become involved with some sensitive government issue, no one trusts each other due to classified information and , for me, the main ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Apr 15, 2011 Luanne Ollivier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Afraid of the Dark by James Grippando is the ninth book in his Jack Swytek series. (and 18th book overall)

Swytek is a criminal defense attorney based in Miami. He is called in by an old friend to help with the defense of a young man who has been in Gitmo for 3 years. His true identity is uncovered - he is not a Somalian, but rather an American named Jamal - a young man wanted in the U.S. for the murder of his girlfriend and the blinding of the cop who tried to save her. But he says he was in a b
The story is seemingly standard suspense and thriller material, but the author pulls it off pretty well. I liked some of his passages enough to chuckle out loud. It's a fairly easy read, too.

Here's a fun passage:

"[Blind] Vince had visited MLFC headquarters before, but his mental image of it was sketchy. Although he had received a full tour, Chuck Mays' idea of being descriptive for the benefit of his blind friend was simple to add his all-purpose adverb to everything. The offices weren't big; th
James Grippando is my 3rd favorite author after Michael Connelly and CJ Box. These are the only 3 authors I’ve read (min 4 books) who I have absolutely loved—and I mean LOVED—every one of their books.
After Afraid of the Dark, I have to remove Grippando from this list.
Mr. Grippando is still my 3rd favorite author and this, in no way, tarnishes that. Every author is entitled to one backwards step and “Afraid of the Dark” is his.

The writing was good—as always. The characters were good—as always.
Narrator: Jonathan Davis

This was in the 4-5 star category for the first half, then it got too convoluted, took off in different directions like the arms of an octopus. Several times 3/4 through I couldn't wait to be done with this book. It felt interminably and unnecessarily long. I thought, at first, I was going to be treated with a Swyteck doing his lawyer thing but no, he still ended up playing PI.

Too many secondary characters having their own reasons for
Jul 18, 2016 Arlene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my least favorite of the Jack Swyteck series. It was hard to keep track of all the off the charts high tech communications combined with terrorism, child pornography, illegal internet activity, water boarding and other forms of torture and generally extremely deviant behavior. How Jack as an attorney got swept into situations that involved multiple murders, the CIA, Gitmo and private security run black sites that ultimately result in him playing a pivotal role in bringing down some very ...more
Sep 08, 2013 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack Swyteck is back into this newest legal thriller. It all started with McKenna Mays's death and Officer Vince Paulo's blindness. In this shocking thriller, Grippando takes us to the deepest and darkest evil in the world from Miami to London. Not only Jack's embroiled into this disturbing case, his fiancée FBI Andie Henning is also caught up into a real extremely dangerous investigation of her own. When he takes Jamal Wakefield as his next client, people did their best to deter him from becomi ...more
Nov 30, 2013 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grippando is cramming a lot in there and it's starting to get a little too far fetched. However if i remind myself of that at the start of each book and suspend my disbelief, it's an enjoyable read.

One query i have in the tying up of this book. The reason McKenna named Jamal as her killer was because she had been conditioned by the murderer. I'm pretty sure that conditioning would take longer than the few hours the killer had. The novel itself suggests its a longer process. It's alsovery conven
Aug 23, 2011 Mica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm often in a hurry, and I must get my books from the library in order to support our libraries. As a result, I'm often in a hurry, don't have an author or a book in mind. One of the things I've learned is if an author has more than one book on the shelf, they must be worth reading. However, I think I'm done with Grippando. The majority of his books are a series about a criminal defense attorney who gets locked into all types of dangerous discoveries. If you like that thing, he's got a few to g ...more
Mar 06, 2012 NancyG rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Afraid of the Dark is the ninth book in his Jack Swytek series. Jack is a criminal defense attorney in Miami who of course, tilts windmills. I've read all of the books and this is not the best of the series but still a credible read. Jack's buddy, Sergeant Vince Paulo is asked to keep tabs his best friend's daughter by reading her text messages. It, of course, doesn't go well, people end up dead and maimed and her Islamic boyfriend is blamed. Subplots include this elderly grandfather's Alzheimer ...more
Phyllis Wright
Feb 06, 2017 Phyllis Wright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jack gets to go to London at it's not for sightseeing? What a shame!
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The first thing you should know about bestselling author James Grippando is that he is no longer clueless—so says his wife, Tiffany, after “A James Grippando Novel” was a clue for #38 Across in the New York Times crossword puzzle. James is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels of suspense, including twelve in the popular series featuring Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck. ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Jack Swyteck (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Pardon (Jack Swyteck, #1)
  • Beyond Suspicion (Jack Swyteck, #2)
  • Last To Die (Jack Swyteck, #3)
  • Hear No Evil (Jack Swyteck, #4)
  • Got The Look (Jack Swyteck, #5)
  • When Darkness Falls (Jack Swyteck, #6)
  • Last Call (Jack Swyteck, #7)
  • Born to Run (Jack Swyteck, #8)
  • Blood Money (Jack Swyteck #10)
  • Black Horizon (Jack Swyteck, #11)

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