James Grippando, Afraid of the Dark Review

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Harriet Klausner's review of James Grippando, Afraid of the Dark


“Afraid of the Dark ”

Written on: 16/02/2011 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

Afraid of the Dark

James Grippando

Harper, Mar 22 2011, $25.99

ISBN 9780061840289

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

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