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Mystery author’s ‘Night Stalker’ a good read

  James Swain is an outstanding mystery author in a crowded genre.
  Florida-based mysteries and thrillers fill the shelves of the nation’s bookstores and include a wide variety of styles from comedy to hard-edged fiction.
  Swain’s second book featuring private detective Jack Carpenter belongs in the latter category. His stories are intense, and his main character is cynical, but extremely caring about one thing, finding missing children.
  “The Night Stalker,” not to be confused with an earlier book written by former Las Vegas author Jeff Rice about supernatural mysteries (it was made into a TV series), is well paced with prose that is unpretentious and strong.
  Carpenter’s mission may seem strange. He accepts a case after interviewing Abb Grimes, who is about to be executed for killing 18 women. Grimes’ last request is for Carpenter to find his abducted grandson.
  The main suspect in the case is Grimes’ haunted son, Jed. The authorities refuse to consider any other possibilities in the case.
  Carpenter, who left the Broward County Sheriff Department’s missing persons unit after a conflict with his bosses, is reluctantly allowed to help in the case. The case heats up after another gruesome murder.
  Carpenter is certain Jed is innocent of the kidnapping of his son and believes the authorities have a hidden agenda in pursuing Jed as the only suspect. Swain knows how to wrap up a story and deliver surprises at the end. This book is a fast read and a good one.

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