At a Glance
James Grippando is a popular American mystery and thriller writer, best known for his Jack Swyteck series. There are currently over 25 James Grippando books, with the first one written based on him being falsely arrested as a peeping Tom due to a mistaken identity. Now, how many writers can say the same for their first published debut novel?
Reading the James Grippando books in order of publication is not really important for his Jack Swyteck series, and even less so for his standalone novels, as they can be all read as standalone novels as well.
The first book I’ve read by this author was When Darkness Falls, which is in fact book #6 in the Swyteck series. It did prompt me to go back to the first book and start reading them in order, starting with The Pardon.
Here you will find both the Jack Swyteck series by James Grippando with his last novel published in 2018, A Death in Live Oak, as well as his standalone novels in order of publication. The books are listed in publication order with the reading order in brackets for each novel.
James Grippando Jack Swyteck Series
- The Pardon, 1994 (Jack Swyteck series #1)
- Beyond Suspicion, 2002 (Jack Swyteck series #2)
- Last to Die, 2003 (Jack Swyteck series #3)
- Hear No Evil, 2004 (Jack Swyteck series #4)
- Got the Look, 2006 (Jack Swyteck series #5)
- When Darkness Falls, 2007 (Jack Swyteck series #6)
- Last Call, 2008 (Jack Swyteck series #7)
- Born to Run, 2008 (Jack Swyteck series #8)
- Afraid of the Dark, 2011 (Jack Swyteck series #9)
- Blood Money, 2013 (Jack Swyteck series #10)
- Black Horizon, 2014 (Jack Swyteck series #11)
- Gone Again, 2016 (Jack Swyteck series #12)
- Most Dangerous Place, 2017 (Jack Swytech series #13)
- A Death in Live Oak, 2018 (Jack Swyteck series #14)
Standalone James Grippando Books
- The Informant, 1996
- The Abduction, 1998
- Found Money, 1999
- Under Cover of Darkness, 2000
- A King’s Ransom, 2001
- Leapholes, 2006 (young adult novel)
- Lying with Strangers, 2007
- Intent to Kill, 2009
- Money to Burn, 2010
- Need You Now, 2011
- Cane and Abe, 2015
- Cash Landing, 2015 (Jack Swyteck makes a cameo appearance)
Born in 1958 in Waukegan, Illinois, James Grippando grew up in Illinois in the rural area. He started college at the University of Illinois, however from his second year he transferred to the University of Florida in Gainesville when his family moved to Florida. Once he graduated from law school, his first job was to serve as law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Clark, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta.
Later James Grippando became a trial lawyer, and during this time he worked on many death penalty cases, knowledge and experience which helped me write his first book, The Pardon, which would become the first Jack Swyteck novel.
He also wrote several scholarly articles about the law, and it was during this time that he changed gears and started to write fiction. In fact, his many years experience working under the umbrella of the law helped James Grippando craft the Jack Swyteck series, books which all deal with the law one way or another, and most of which take part in Florida, Miami, the very area where he lives and spends his time writing his next novel.
Except for his mystery series and his stand-alone novels (including his one book for the YA audience), James Grippando has also written non-fiction articles and essays for Mystery Scene Magazine, Miami Herald, and Goodreading, among others. He also wrote various scholarly articles related to his job as a lawyer.
Should We Read The James Grippando Books In Order?
Honestly, I haven’t read all the author’s standalone novels, however, I’ve read the James Grippando Jack Swyteck series, so I can mostly speak for his thriller series. I did start it with book 6 and while I’m pretty obsessive about reading the books in chronological order, I didn’t quite feel the need to do that here.
Of course for character development and continuity, it’s a good thing, but not an absolute must.
The author’s 12th Jack Swyteck novel, Gone Again, is a legal mystery in which Jack goes back to his roots. He goes to work at the Freedom Institute for just a little bit to help them financially. While there, he agrees to take on a case of an inmate on the death row for killing a girl. The strange thing is, the girl’s mother doesn’t believe the inmate did it and she enlists his help to find out what exactly happened, especially when she claims that her dead daughter called her.
Jack is a man of strong morals and principles. He also strongly believes in the justice system and in freeing the innocent.
Most Dangerous Place is the 13th Jack Swyteck book by James Grippando, published in 2017. The action starts right from the start. Jack and his wife drive to the airport to meet their friend Keith and his wife Isa. As soon as the plane landed, Isa is arrested in handcuffs on charges of conspiracy to murder a guy who raped her many years ago in college. Of course, Jack offers to become Isa’s lawyer to defend her.
The story is just as gripping as the previous legal mystery books in the series, and the characters are, as usual, strong, smart and witty. All Jack Swyteck books are written without any excessive foul language or explicit scenes. They are what we call “clean books”, so really, anyone can pick them up without worrying.
Reading the James Grippando books, however, also include his standalone novels. Some of them are legal mysteries and thrillers, like Cane and Abe, while others are straight-up thrillers (Intent to Kill, The Informant and Need You Now) and even time travel stories (Leapholes). Regardless of the sub-genre, all the novels by James Grippando are equally thrilling and edge-of-your-seat suspense stories.