James Grippando

After 12 years as a trial lawyer with Miami’s most prestigious law firm, James Grippando is now a national bestselling author of 13 suspenseful thrillers in as many years, including Lying with Strangers, When Darkness Falls, Got the Look, Hear No Evil, Last to Die, Beyond Suspicion, A King’s Ransom, Under Cover of Darkness, Found Money, The Abduction, The Informant, and The Pardon. His first novel for young adults, Leapholes, was published in 2006, as well as his first short story, “Operation Northwoods,” which appeared in the critically acclaimed Thriller anthology. His novels are enjoyed worldwide in 24 languages.

Mr. Grippando’s first job out of law school plunged him headlong into death penalty cases. That experience was an inspiration for his 1994 debut novel, The Pardon, a legal thriller that critics heralded as a “bona fide blockbuster.” Beyond Suspicion (2002) was the long-awaited sequel to that first novel, and it launched an exciting new series that features Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck and that critics have heralded as “John Grisham meets Robert Ludlum.”

As a lawyer, Mr. Grippando was an avid writer. His numerous scholarly articles appeared in some of nation’s top law reviews, and they are frequently cited with approval by the courts. His trial practice ranged from complex corporate litigation to class actions on behalf of chicken farmers. As a frequent volunteer in Florida’s guardian ad litem program, he helped provide legal representation to neglected children in family court proceedings. He was a faculty member with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Nova Southeast University. He was named by Florida Trend magazine as one of Florida’s emerging leaders, and in 2006 he received the Distinguished Author Award from Scranton University. His alma mater is the University of Florida, where he graduated second in his undergraduate class and earned his law degree with honors. He now serves Of Counsel to David Boies’ law firm, Boies Schiller & Flexner, LLP.

Mr. Grippando lives and writes in Coral Gables, Florida, and is married to Tiffany, who has been his unofficial editor since book one.

Books Authored

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Twenty is an excellent legal thriller by an experienced hand at storytelling . . .”

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James Grippando won the prestigious 2017 Harper Lee Prize for excellence in legal fiction for Gone Again, his 12th Jack Swyteck thriller, and A Death in Live Oak is the 14th offer

Mom always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Mom also said to never tell a lie. Sometimes, Mom, it’s impossible to do one without the other.


Afraid of the Dark is the ninth novel in the Jack Swyteck series, by New York Times bestselling author, James Grippando.