The Night Stalker
A Novel of Suspense
By James Swain
(Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780345475527, 368pp.)
Publication Date: September 30, 2008
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Hard-edged, evocative, brilliantly paced, James Swain’s novels of crime and punishment in South Florida delve into a shadowy realm where criminals, victims, and cops share the same truths, the same lies, and sometimes even the same nightmares.
Abb Grimes is famous. Just ask the ghoulish tourists who flock to his former home to take photographs. Years ago, Grimes killed eighteen women, some never found. As the head of the Broward County Missing Persons Unit, Jack Carpenter was intimately involved in the Grimes case. Now, days away from execution, the notorious serial killer reaches out to ex-cop Carpenter with a surprising request.
Abb Grimes’ grandson was lured from his home. The cops are convinced the boy’s father–Abb’s troubled son, Jed–is behind the boy’s disappearance, but Jack’s not so sure. With a personal connection to the kidnapped child, Carpenter takes the case, and that’s when the situation goes from terrifying to fatal. There’s another gruesome murder, and once again the evidence points straight to Jed. Have the unspeakable sins of his father taken root within this troubled young man?
Carpenter races against time and a police department that wants his help but rejects his aggressive style as he searches through an underworld of predators, assembling the jagged pieces of a depraved puzzle, desperate to put an end to a murderous stalker’s blood-soaked rampage.
With unremitting action and skillfully polished prose, bestselling author James Swain has written his most riveting thriller yet, delving even deeper into the fascinating psyche of misbehaving crusader Jack Carpenter. A hero immersed in the evil that is his prey, Carpenter battles a stunning betrayal–and a horrendous danger no one saw coming.
James Swain, winner of the prestigious Prix Calibre 38 for Best American Crime Fiction, is the bestselling author of eight previous novels. He lives with his wife, Laura, in Florida, where he is currently at work on his next novel.
"What crime fiction fan can resist a guy who isn't afraid to knock a few slime-bag heads when no one is watching? In Swain's fine second suspense novel to feature South Florida PI Jack Carpenter (after Midnight Rambler), imprisoned serial killer Abb Grimes hires the tough, unrelenting ex-cop to find his kidnapped grandson, Sampson Grimes. The chief suspect is the child's father, Jed Grimes, but Jack thinks Jed is innocent, even though the evidence suggests otherwise. There's plenty of action and intelligent sleuthing, but it's Jack's uncompromising character and Swain's equally uncompromising writing that will keep readers turning pages and eager for the next installment: “I'd visited many prisons, and the smell was always the same: a choking mixture of piss, shit, fear, and desperation, wiped down by harsh antiseptics.” The winner of France's Prix Calibre 38, Swain is also the author of Deadman's Bluff and six other books in his Tony Valentine gambling series." - Publishers Weekly
Praise for James Swain’s Midnight Rambler
“Midnight Rambler kept me up all night long. . . . The only problem with Swain’s riveting thrillers is they end.”
–Tess Gerritsen, author of The Keepsake
“A sturdy thriller . . . [Swain] uses language with such blunt force he could be hammering in nails.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“Immensely satisfying . . . [Hero Jack Carpenter evokes] memories of Will Graham, the FBI profiler in Thomas Harris’ brilliant Red Dragon.”
–The Providence Journal
“Easily one of the best thrillers of the year, Swain’s tense, gritty tale is virtually impossible to put down.”
–Lansing State Journal
“Moves like a bullet train on overdrive.”