James Grippando is an American legal mystery and thriller author, best known for his Jack Swyteck series, featuring the Miami attorney fighting for the underdog.
Besides his series, he also wrote several standalone novels, most of which are either legal thrillers or have lawyers entering the scene (for example, in Cash Landing, Jack Swyteck appears very briefly).
Here are the James Grippando books in order for his series and his numerous standalone thrillers.
New James Grippando Book
Jack Swyteck Series in Order
- The Pardon, 1994
- Beyond Suspicion, 2002
- Last to Die, 2003
- Hear No Evil, 2004
- Got the Look, 2006
- When Darkness Falls, 2007
- Last Call, 2007
- Born to Run, 2008
- Afraid of the Dark, 2011
- Blood Money, 2013
- Black Horizon, 2014
- Gone Again, 2016
- Most Dangerous Place, 2017
- A Death in Live Oak, 2018
- The Girl in the Glass Box, 2019
Standalone James Grippando Books
- The Informant, 1996
- Found Money, 1998
- The Abduction, 1998
- Under Cover of Darkness, 2000 (introduced Andie Henning)
- A King’s Ransom, 2001
- Leapholes, 2006
- Operation Northwoods, 2006 (Jack Swyteck novella)
- Lying with Strangers, 2006
- Intent to Kill, 2008
- Money to Burn, 2010
- Need You Now, 2012
- Cane and Abe, 2015
- Cash Landing, 2015 (with Andie Henning)
- The Penny Jumper, 2016 (novella)
James Grippando Biography
James Grippando is an American author who was born in 1952, in Waukegan, Illinois. He grew up in rural Illinois. He wanted to become a lawyer from the early age of 6, when his parents took him to Springfield, Illinois to see Lincoln’s law office. True to his dreams, he went to law school indeed.
He attended the University of Florida, where he got a B.A. in political science, and then he went to University of Florida Law School. After graduating from law school, he began working as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Clark, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta.
Over the years, he also worked in private practice dealing with appeals in cases of the death penalty. For the next 12 years, between September 1984 and September 1996, James Grippando worked as a trial lawyer in Miami for Steel Hector & Davis, where he tackled a major 7-year case which was titled Arthur Gaskins v. Cargill on behalf of Florida chicken farmers that led to changes in the way the poultry industry operated.
While practicing law, he wrote several articles on the subject, such as about condominium rule-making, until the late 1980s, when he changed direction and began writing books, although his very first manuscript, The Dupree Conspiracy, never got published.
What really changed for him was a personal case of mistaken identity that led him to think up a story about a man falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit. While jogging one night, James got stopped by a police officer who asked about his whereabouts and identity as some neighbors complained about a Peeping Tom. Only his lack of a mustache saved him from being dragged down to the police station since the description of the suspect also included one.
Soon after, in 1994, the first James Grippando book, The Pardon, was released featuring his now popular Jack Swyteck Miami defense attorney. The book was sold to HarperCollins within a weekend.
During this time, the author was still a lawyer, and he kept practicing while writing his second novel, The Informant, albeit at only 60% work time. After its publication, in 1996, he left his long-term career as a lawyer to become a full-time author.
Since then, James Grippando has written 15 Jack Swyteck novels and several standalone stories, all revolving around the legal institutions in one way or another, and most of them being set in Florida, briefly in Miami.
He also wrote a young-adult novel, Leapholes, published in 2006, which turned out to be the first YA book to be published by the American Bar Association.
For his books, the author draws heavily from his previous work, experience, and background as an attorney, especially as a trial lawyer. He also does deep, often on-site research that goes beyond searching for facts online. Sometimes, he was present at law enforcement demonstration of various criminal issues like child pornography trading over the internet. Before writing Living With Strangers, Grippando shadowed the chief resident at Children’s Hospital, Boston,
The James Grippando books have been so far published in almost 30 languages, including in many European ones, and also in Thai, Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Hebrew, Korean, and Japanese.
Gone Again, the 24th James Grippando book and 12th Jack Swyteck novel won in 2017 the Harper Lee prize for legal fiction. In 2005, he received from the University of Scranton the Distinguished Author Award, and in 2010 he was the Florida Book Award recipient. In 2007, he was a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award.
Currently, James lives in Florida, Miami, with his wife, Tiffany, and their three children, where he is working on his next novel.
Who is Jack Swyteck
Jack Swyteck starts out in The Pardon as a young twenty-nine-year-old defense lawyer who takes cases on death-row inmates.s, some of the most horrible criminals you could come across. He was born as John Lawrence Swyteck and was raised by his ex-cop father, Harold Swyteck, who is now into politics to become the governor of Florida, and an alcoholic stepmom in Miami, Florida, as his own mother died during childbirth giving him life.
Right from the beginning, we see a major conflict in his life due to his dad being the governor who signed the most death warrants, while Jack is a lawyer who is trying to save the same criminals from getting the axe. He always has to balance what is right and wrong in his career and life.
His origins are Cuban-American, although he has no real ties to the Cuban life. He also has ties to Czech Republic (hence the name Swyteck). After he meets in book 2, Beyond Suspicion, his maternal grandmother, Abuela, and the person who will become his best friend, Theo Knight, his outlook on life drastically changes. It seems that among all the inmates he defended, Theo was the one truly innocent.
He also met FBI undercover agent Andie Henning, who would become his big love in life. Andie Henning actually was first introduced in a standalone James Grippando novel, Under Cover of Darkness, published in 2000. Then she got introduced into the Jack Swyteck series with Got the Look, published in 2006. Andie also appears in Cash Landing, published in 2015, another standalone novel that doesn’t include Jack Swyteck.
Jack attended the University of Florida, following which he went to Yale Law School from where, after graduation, began working as a lawyer with the Innocence Project right away, as hired by Neil Goderich, his first boss.
Praise for James Grippando Books
Grippando is equally skillful at ratcheting up the tension and plucking at your heartstrings. (Kirkus Reviews)
Timely…Grippando keeps the narrative moving forward at a steady clip, expertly interweaving each character’s point of view into the plot…[and] keeps the tension building to a heart-racing climax. (Publishers Weekly)
Engrossing and unflinching…a timely look at issues of race and hatred…action-packed and involving… (South Florida Sun Sentinel)
The Pardon arrives with the pistol-shot crack of a gavel cutting through a courtroom. (Tampa Tribune)
Grippando, a former attorney, has the legal stuff down cold, and his writing style is impeccable. This would be a perfect time for legal-thriller fans who haven’t yet checked out this series to join the crowd. (Booklist)
A gripping mlange of courtroom drama and psychotic manipulation . . . . A bona fide blockbuster. (Boston Herald about The Pardon)
Move over John Grisham! The legal thriller of the year! (Paul Levine)
A very intense and ingenious storyteller. (Nelson DeMille)