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James Grippando

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James Grippando

James Grippando
Born (1958-01-27) January 27, 1958
Waukegan, Illinois
United States
Occupation Novelist
Nationality United States
Period 1994-present
Genre Crime fiction
Legal thriller
Young adult

James Grippando (born 1958) is an American novelist and lawyer.


James Grippando was born in Waukegan, Illinois and raised in rural Illinois.[1]

In his first job out of law school Grippando served as law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Clark, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta. There and in private practice Grippando worked on a number of appeals in death penalty cases,[2] an experience that later served him in writing his first published novel, The Pardon.[3] From September 1984 to September 1996, Grippando was a trial lawyer in Miami. In a David vs. Goliath legal battle that lasted seven years, Grippando served as lead counsel on behalf of Florida chicken farmers in a case that was "the catalyst for wholesale change in the $15 billion-a-year [poultry] industry."[4]

As a lawyer, Grippando wrote numerous scholarly articles. In the late 1980s, he shifted to creative writing, but his first attempt at fiction was never published.[5] A near arrest in a case of mistaken identity sparked an idea for a new novel about a man accused of a murder that he may not have committed.[6][7][8][9] Grippando's first published novel, The Pardon, was released in hardcover in September 1994, where he first introduced the character Jack Swyteck, a Miami criminal defense lawyer.[10] Grippando wrote one more novel while still practicing law: The Informant (October 1996.)[11] He then left the law to write full-time,[5] and a string of novels followed: The Abduction (1998); Found Money (1999); Under Cover of Darkness (2000); A King's Ransom (2001); Beyond Suspicion (2002); Last to Die (2003); Hear No Evil (2004); Got the Look (2006); Leapholes (for young adults) (2006); When Darkness Falls (2007); Lying with Strangers (2007); Last Call (2008); Born to Run (2008); Intent to Kill (2009); Money to Burn (2010); Afraid of the Dark (2011); Need You Now (2012); and Blood Money (2013). Beyond Suspicion marked the return of character Jack Swyteck, and since then, all but Leapholes, Lying with Strangers, and Intent to Kill have featured either Jack and his romantic interest, FBI undercover agent Andie Henning; Jack without Andie (Last to Die and Hear No Evil), or Andie without Jack (Money to Burn and Need You Now).

Leapholes, Grippando's first novel for young adults, was also the first novel for young readers ever to be published by the American Bar Association.[12] That same year (2006), Grippando's first short story, Operation Northwoods, was published in an anthology (Thriller: Stories to Keep you Up at Night Thriller (book)) with other top thriller writers.

Grippando writes outdoors at his south Florida home,[13] and most of his novels are set in Florida, chiefly in Miami. He writes novels of suspense in the genre of crime fiction, including psychological thrillers and legal thrillers, many of which draw upon his experiences as a trial lawyer.[1] Since 2004 he has served as "Counsel" in Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP, a national law firm headed by trial lawyer David Boies. Grippando's novels have been published in twenty-six languages: Bulgarian, Czech, Chinese (simplified), Croatian, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Spanish, Serbian, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian.



  • The Pardon (Jack Swyteck #1, 1994)
  • The Informant (1996)
  • The Abduction (1998)
  • Found Money (1999)
  • Under Cover of Darkness (2000)
  • A King’s Ransom (2001)
  • Beyond Suspicion (Jack Swyteck #2, 2002)
  • Last to Die (Jack Swyteck #3, 2003)
  • Hear No Evil (Jack Swyteck #4, 2004)
  • Got the Look (Jack Swyteck #5, 2006)
  • Leapholes (2006) (young adult novel)
  • When Darkness Falls (Jack Swyteck #6, 2007)
  • Lying with Strangers (2007)
  • Last Call (Jack Swyteck #7, 2008)
  • Born to Run (Jack Swyteck #8, 2008)
  • Intent to Kill (2009)
  • Money to Burn (2010)
  • Afraid of the Dark (Jack Swyteck #9, 2011)
  • Need You Now (2012)
  • Blood Money (Jack Swyteck #10, 2013)
  • Black Horizon (Jack Swyteck #11, 2014)
  • Cane and Abe (2015)

Short stories


Nonfiction (Scholarly)

  • "Condominium Rulemaking: A Call for Substantive Judicial Review in Florida," University of Florida Law Review (1982)
  • "Declining to Exercise Extraterritorial Antitrust Jurisdiction on the Grounds of *International Comity," University of Virginia Journal of International Law (1983)
  • "Warsaw Convention--Federal Jurisdiction and Air Carrier Liability for Mental Injury," *The George Washington Journal of International Law (1985)
  • "Attorney-Client Privilege: Implied Waiver through Inadvertent Disclosure of *Documents," University of Miami Law Review (1985)
  • "Fear of Flying--The Fugitive's Fleeting Right to a Federal Appeal," Fordham Law Review (1986)
  • "Don't Take it Personally--Limited Liability for Attorney Shareholders," Florida State University Law Review (1987)
  • "Circuit Court Review of Orders on Stays Pending Appeals," the American Bankruptcy Law Journal (1988)
  • "Caught in the Non-act: Expanding Criminal Antitrust Liabiltiy for Corporate Officials," The Antitrust Bulletin (1989)

Nonfiction (Magazines and Newspapers)

  • "Writing the Good Book on Lawyers" (ABA Journal November 1994)
  • "The Quest: Five or Six (Hundred) Easy Steps to Overnight Success" (Mystery Scene Magazine Summer 2004)
  • "Animal Attraction: A Tribute to my Co-Author, a Dog Named Sam" (Miami Herald, February 12, 2006)
  • "Five Years After the Terrorist Attacks of 11 September, American Author Says 'Thanks, Mates'" (Goodreading Magazine (Australia), September 2006)
  • "Untitled (But Carolyn Marino Would Know What to Call It)" (Publishers Weekly, June 2008)

Grippando in Popular Culture

  • On June 14, 2005, A James Grippando Novel was the clue for 38 Across in the New York Times Crossword Puzzle (Answer: “Under Cover of Darkness”)[14]


  • 2005 Distinguished Author Award, University of Scranton.
  • 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award Finalist (Leapholes)
  • 2010 Florida Book Awards Bronze Medal (Money to Burn)


  1. ^ a b D. Hiltbrand, Don't Give Crime Author any Ideas, The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 7, 2006.
  2. ^ B. Goldsmith, Everyone's a critic, says author Grippando, Reuters News Service, February 21, 2007.
  3. ^ D. O'Briant, A Better Verdict the Second Time, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Section F-4, October 6, 1994.
  4. ^ B Ortega, Pecking Order Being Challenged in Chicken Industry, The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 1992.
  5. ^ a b A. Suarez, Two Dreamers Have it All, The Miami Herald, Section E-1, July 25, 2000.
  6. ^ J. Fleischman, Lawyer Writes Thriller after Brief Police Encounter, The Miami Herald, Section B-2, August 12, 1994.
  7. ^ C. Mabe, Innocent Beginning, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Section E-1, October 18, 1994.
  8. ^ M. Carlin, Personal Experience Turns into Novel for this Lawyer, Rocky Mountain News, 67A, October 16, 1994.
  9. ^ Miami Attorney's Legal Thriller Really Takes Off, The Florida Bar News, November 1, 1994
  10. ^ J.D. Reed, Picks & Pans--Pages: The Pardon, People Magazine, p. 40, September 19, 1994.
  11. ^ C. Mabe, Miami author has made a case for himself with book for teens, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, May 14, 2007.
  12. ^ A. Couture, Book Review, Foreword Magazine at 61 (January/February 2007).
  13. ^ C. Mabe, Miami author has made a case for himself with book for teens, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Section E-1, May 14, 2007.
  14. ^ The New York Times, Section B-8, June 14, 2005.

External links

  • James Grippando’s homepage
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