Title: Afraid of the Dark
Author: James Grippando
Publication Date: March 22, 2011
Hardcover: 416 pages
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
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.
Afraid of the Dark by James Grippando is his ninth Jack Swyteck book and the first I have read. I cannot say if this version of legal thriller is typical of Grippando’s previous works or unique to this novel. Afraid of the Dark offers up many of the themes that, when taken separately, would for the basis for a intriguing fictional tale. A 16-year-old girl is murdered and her boyfriend is the prime suspect. Enter Jack Swyteck who is representing the accused. While Jack’s role as lawyer was very appropriately written, I found some of his exceptional abilities as an agent to be less believable. The antagonist, know as “The Dark” created just the right amount of an evil theme without going overboard. Mixed with themes including human trafficking, pornography, information technology/spying and torture, Afraid of the Dark, has it all, but from a writing standpoint, these were very tough to pull off. Grippando’s writing is well done in this novel albeit he does struggle to make the tale coherent. To the author’s credit, he did keep my attention through to the end as the storyline was very suspenseful. I would recommend Afraid of the Dark to readers looking for a complex suspense novel. As for myself, I will be reading the previous eight Swyteck books.
To learn more about author James Grippando and his books may be viewed at his website.
I received a complimentary ARC of Afraid of the Dark by James Grippando from Harper Collins to offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.