Withdrawing as counsel on the case for Jamal Wakefield seems to be the only avenue Jack Swyteck feels comfortable with. His boss Neil is not so sure. Jack does not have all the information, and Neil makes him a deal. They will put Jamal through a lie detector, and if Jack still feels the same way then Neil will take the case himself.
Jack’s problem with Jamal is the the crime he is being tried for. The accusation consists of him murdering his girlfriend McKenna, the daughter of Chuck Mays. It is during this murder that a friend of both Chuck and Jack is injured. Sergeant Vince Paulo is the officer on the scene, and as he clears the property looking for the murderer, there is an explosion nearly killing him, but taking his eyesight instead. To make matters worse, Mays’ wife disappears a short time later, a possible victim of suicide.
Having recently broken up with McKenna, the evidence is overwhelming. Secure in knowing that Jamal will not be able to pass the test he agrees to go forward. He is therefore unnerved when Jamal not only passes the lie detector test but also has a story to tell. This is a story that will take Jack to on a journey to the back stages of London and bring him into contact with an evil presence calling himself the dark. His presence as Jamal’s attorney also puts his wife Andie, an undercover operative for the government, in grave danger.
In Afraid of the Dark, James Grippando has characterized an evil both chilling and bold. The Dark is a disturbing and well-named adversary. Jack is a charismatic character full of fun and passion, caring about his friends and family as well as those he represents in the legal system. Every move is leading him in a direction that puts all he holds dear in danger. As death begins to take its toll, Jack digs deeper into the unspoken secret facilities know as black houses only furthering his danger.
Grippando has set the stage on a fast paced, and gripping suspense novel, dealing with national security as well as homeland issues. He has peopled it with characters that are larger than life and quite believable. It is a story of darkness and yet one of discovery as well. The Dark is a great designation for the man with the power, capable and determined to protect his true name at all costs. Yet Jack is a worthy protagonist; even with a small glimmer of information, he takes the stage to bring him down.
I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a rapid paced, suspense-filled thriller. It is full of all the excitement and mayhem necessary in a classic whodunit, but brings in more of the homeland and national security issues common to the day. This would be a great book for your library, one to take and read time and time again. It would also be a good book for a reading club; the information would make great discussion fodder.