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The Night Stalker (Jack Carpenter #2)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  602 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Hard-edged, evocative, brilliantly paced, James Swain’s novels of crime and punishment in South Florida delve into a shadowy realm where criminals, victims, and cops share the same truths, the same lies, and sometimes even the same nightmares.

Abb Grimes is famous. Just ask the ghoulish tourists who flock to his former home to take photographs. Years ago, Grimes killed eigh
Hardcover, 348 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published September 27th 2008)
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Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is the second Jack Carpenter mystery. Jack is an ex-Broward County, (Florida), cop – he retired under somewhat of a cloud – and is now a private eye. He specializes and has an uncanny ability in finding missing children. In fact he’s so good at this, police departments and hospitals throughout the state of Florida - even the folks at Disneyworld - call him when a child goes missing. And in the two books of the series I believe he’s found every youngster, infant and baby he’s been tasked to ...more
Cathy DuPont
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
I've enjoyed Jim Swain's writing in his early book. And I'm happy I did because the writing of this book was, in my opinion, not up to par with his previous books. Unfortunate for me and him.

The protagonist, Jack Carpenter, is a fine character and I like everything about him. He has all those attributes that I love in characters.

However, the storyline was weak and the writing was even weaker. Or maybe I have that backwards with the writing weak and the storyline weaker, either way, I'm going to
Jim A
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
A page turner, even if it is a bit predictable and contrived.
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
My first time reading Swain's books. I enjoyed the book. A definite page turner that keeps your interest throughout. A little difficult to believe that Jack Carpenter was able to get everything right all the time. Otherwise I would definitely recommend.
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another winner by James Swain. Jack Carpenter is very similar to Harry Bosch that you don't stand in the way of justice. I also love Jack's dog Buster who is very lovable. A very underrated author and his books are fast paced with no fillers. If you are looking for a great novel of suspense then I highly recommend this series.
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Greg - you've got to read this book along with Midnight Rambler. Really good.
Suzanne Nelson
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent follow-up to first Carpenter book

Jack is looking for a missing child. The ending was unexpected. Thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommend reading the series on Carpenter
Julia Wachowski
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book; it was a fast-paced mystery that kept me intrigued.
Michael Carlson
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty good for a summer book. Which is to say, a page turner that kept you wondering who and what the bad guys were. Plot-driven, not character driven.
Tamra Douglass
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack is a dandy

I like the jack carpenter character. I like buster the dog. Feel good stories from mr. Swain. Looking forward to the next installment.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent jack Carpenter suspense novel.
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was another book I listened to rather than read. The story was fairly standard detective fare, and the reader had the right "grizzle" to his voice to make it entertaining. The additional minor story lines added interest as well as credibility, but Jack Carpenter's profiling skills seemed to be a little overblown. Bringing his family in on a limited basis was okay, but using his daughter to help solve the major crime was a clinker. Who would put their college-age daughter in that kind of sit ...more
Paul Pessolano
Jack Carpenter is an ex-South Florida cop who was instrumental in apprehending serial killer Abb Grimes. Abb is now just days away from being executed for the murder of eighteen women. Abb finds out that his grandson has been abducted from his home and has called upon Carpenter to find his grandson.

The problem becomes very sticky when everyone, except Carpenter, thinks that Sbb's son, Jed, is responsible for his sons disappearance. The situation becomes more involved when another young woman is
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say other than Jack is my hero. Jack finds missing kids and he never gives up. He has a gift for finding kids you might say. So when a death row inmate contacts Jack to find his missing grandson, Jacks takes on the assignment. The only request by Abb is that he find his grandson before he is executed in four days.

So begins the race to find a missing little boy. Along the way Jack encounters a few more things that tends to stalk one in the night. Dirty cops not withstanding, Jack ends
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
James Swain writes South Florida as good as Carl Hiassen. The good guys and the bad guys tend to blend together down here, wilted by the heat. Abb Grimes, on death row at Starke for the murder of several women, asks Jack Carpenter to find his missing grandson. Jack had previously worked on the Grimes case from the Missing Persons Unit. The local PD are convinced that Jed, Abb's troubled son, is somehow involved and another murder nearly cements his fate.

The action starts at page 1 and doesn't e
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really liking the Jack Carpenter series. For once I am starting a series at the beginning. Jack’s specialty is finding missing children. In this tale, a jailed serial killer who is nearing his execution date (Florida) asks Jack to find his grandson who was kidnapped from home. The police have decided that the killer’s son (the boy’s father) has taken the boy. The police are also convinced that the boy’s father has taken up his serial killer dad’s penchant for murdering young women. Jack isn ...more
Oct 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the P.I./detective novel
Shelves: read-in-2008
This is a damn fine detective novel. The protagonist is a pretty-much routine P.I. along the standard lines (ex-cop, continues to work on a case even after being kicked-off, divorced, etc.) But the plot is tight and moves right along, and the writing is great when the author isn't attempting to describe the characteristics that set his P.I. apart from the crowd. I enjoyed it and would recommend snagging a paperback copy (when one is released).
Aug 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
I really like Jack Carpenter, the forcibly retired detective whose specialty is finding missing children. His dog is a hoot -- biting the bad guys and nuzzling the good guys. Like its predecessor, this is a rollercoaster . This time, Jack is asked by a death row inmate to find his kidnapped grandson, where the cops have already determined the child's father is guilty.
John Machata
May 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Liked Jack Carpenter, but felt cheated. His every instinct just happened to be exactly right. Insufficient subtlety for my taste. Not to mention he always seemed to be in exactly the right place in the right time.
Hank Rogers
May 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Almost ready to set this one down. It's listed as a non-stop nail-biter. I guess if that means it never starts to begain with. Hope it picks up... It's very predictable...

This book is not worth the time. It's poorly writen.
Yvonne Mason
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Jack Carpenter is at it again along with his dog Buster. A retired cop who has issues of his own is trying to save women from being slaughtered. Jack fights his own demons as well as the demon he can't see.
This book is must read.
Deb Mj
Apr 05, 2010 rated it liked it
I liked this, but didn't find it nearly as engrossing as the first in the Carpenter series, Midnight Rambler. I'm having a hard time finding the words to explain why that is the case: too simplistic? too convenient? I'll try another and see if my opinion improves.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it liked it
A fast read, but that's about its best feature. It's a sequel and I haven't read the first in the series (although I've read most of Swain's other books) but the references to the first we minimal. Nothing really stood out. The hero was heroic in most of his actions o the plot moved along.
Annie Tarbox
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I ended up picking this book from the library because of the quote from Lee Child on the cover...I love Jack Reacher, and so I figured this might be something I'd like. And I absolutely did. I even appreciated Buster the dog. So it looks like I'll be checking out more of Swain's books.
Tom Hicks
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What can I say about this book? Wow seems to sum it up. A wonderful mystery about missing children that keeps you thinking until the last page. James Swain remains one of my favourite writers. I am looking forward to reading about Tony Valentine as well in a new book. Highly recommended.
Joe O'Connor
Very Good; Continuing character: Jack Carpenter; after getting a call fro a death row inmate whose grandson has been kidnapped, Carpenter finds himself caught between crimes past and present while trying to save the child
Crystal Karre
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love this series....
Jan 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
Read it in 5 hours...not sure what that says, but I enjoyed it.
Gail Stewart rumsey
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I liked this a lot and will read more of the books in the series. There was one or two places where I felt there were weak and/or erroneous issues in the investigations that annoyed me for a moment.
May 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
pretty good book, the main character is bit weird but entertaining overall
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James Swain is the national best selling author of seventeen mystery novels, and has been published in twelve different languages. His books have been chosen as Mysteries of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and have received three Barry Award nominations, a Florida Book Award for Fiction, and France’s prestigious Prix Calibre .38 for Best American Crime Fiction. Born in Huntingto ...more
More about James Swain...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Carpenter (4 books)
  • Midnight Rambler (Jack Carpenter #1)
  • The Night Monster (Jack Carpenter #3)
  • The Program (Jack Carpenter #4)

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