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Extended Audio Sample Midnight Rambler Audiobook, by James Swain Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (359 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Swain Narrator: Peter Jay Fernandez Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Jack Carpenter Series Release Date: September 2007 ISBN: 9781482977233
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Years ago, South Florida cop Jack Carpenter beat up a murder suspect named Simon Skell, a dangerous predator with a penchant for playing the Rolling Stones’ “Midnight Rambler” as he tortured young women. When Jack lost his temper, he lost his job and his marriage, too; so as Skell’s early release from prison draws near, the tarnished hero—now a specialist in cases of missing children—sees an opportunity to make things right.

Scrambling to gather more evidence, Jack uncovers a shocking criminal conspiracy: a group of four men who kidnap and kill young women on the margins of society. Teaming up with an FBI agent, Jack must outwit and outrun his enemies.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Moves like a bullet train on overdrive…I tore through this one without putting on the brakes. I guarantee you will, too!”

    Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “Swain, author of the gambling crime series starring Tony Valentine (Grift Sense, etc.), avoids many of the clichés of the antisocial ex-cop novel in this chilling stand-alone…Well-defined characters and intricately woven subplots, one involving a nail-biting scene at Disney World, make this a page-turner.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The creator of casino expert Tony Valentine produces a suspense crossover…Gone private, Jack is every inch the detective he used to be, and the episodes in which he tracks down his latest targets… are thrilling…Jack’s likely to be a hit with readers who fantasize about noble roughnecks, and a sequel, maybe even a series, seems assured.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Midnight Rambler is a heavy hitter, fast and spare. Travis McGee meets Philip Marlowe.”

    Randy Wayne White, author of Hunter’s Moon

  • Midnight Rambler kept me up all night long, and Jack Carpenter is as appealing a hero as I’ve ever met. The only problem with Swain’s riveting thrillers is they end.”

    Tess Gerritsen, author of The Bone Garden

  • “If you listen to this book at night, you’ll have every light in the house burning. Detective Jack Carpenter lost his wife and his job with the Miami Police as a result of losing his temper while capturing the sadistic serial killer Simon Skell…Carpenter’s world-weary tone is expertly rendered by Peter Jay Fernandez. The steamy South Florida setting is perfect for the mélange of well-crafted characters, colorful accents, and pulse-quickening plot twists. Don’t say you weren’t warned.”

    AudioFile

  • A 2008 Barry Award Finalist for Best Thriller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Effie | 2/7/2014

    " I like his Tony Valentine novels more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe O'c | 1/29/2014

    " Excellent; Continuing character: Jack Carpenter (first in series); a serial killer that Carpenter put away (and beat up resulting in him resigning from the police) is being released because of new evidence; as he tries to keep this from happening he stumbles upon a much larger conspiracy "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven Lyon | 1/24/2014

    " While not quite as entertaining as the Tony Valentine series, this book kept the pace going well and I got to liking the new protagonist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy DuPont | 1/22/2014

    " At times got a little bogged down, but I love Swain's characters. This was a little on the chilling side for my liking, but all in all, a good read. Just partial to James Swain, especially Valentine. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phil | 1/22/2014

    " non-stop, couldn't put it down. If you liked old John Grisham (Firm, Client, etc) you will enjoy this quick suspense read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drick | 1/16/2014

    " This novel features Jack Carpenter, an ex-cop who specializes in finding missing persons, particularly children who have been kidnapped. in this case he slowly uncovers a network of sexual predators abducting young women, mostly sex workers and killing them in a slow tortuous way while playing the Rolling Stones' "Midnight Rambler." Carpenter is a troubled and self-defeating hero, who through his tenacity breaks the ring despite indifference from law enforcement and in defiance of typical legal protocol. While enterntaining, and informative as to the psychology and M.O. of sexual predation, the book also reinforces the idea that working within the law only leads to dead ends and frustrations. Probably this is more true than not, but should not encourage vigilantism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Sherman | 1/10/2014

    " I love the books with Jack Carpenter in them. I tried the ones regarding gambling and could not get involved. This is a great series. I'm in the process of reading all of them again "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim A | 1/6/2014

    " First of the Jack Carpenter series. A good place to start with this author if you haven't tried him. His Tommy Valentine series is also very good but much better in the early books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Tacoma | 1/6/2014

    " I've read several of James Swain's casino cheat novels. This one is different. A thriller set in Florida with all new characters. Still reading, but it's great so far. Love the main character swimming with Lemon Sharks... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan G | 1/4/2014

    " Well written mystery with a likeable main character. Would make a good beach read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 11/21/2013

    " Loved this audiobook and the fact that it took place in Florida. Great Narrator! Couldn't wait to get back in my car "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brooke | 11/20/2013

    " I actually really like James Swain - I've read all of the Tony Valentine books and enjoy them. This one isn't a Tony Valentine, but it was good too! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy Adamson | 11/14/2013

    " Excellent. Hard to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 11/5/2013

    " This was really fun to read, very fast paced "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shiela | 10/30/2013

    " My first Swain title and I really enjoyed it. He did a great job at bringing many story lines together and tying them up very neatly. Fast paced and suspenseful. The protagonist's flawed but oh so human character was great. I will definitely be reading the rest of the "Jack Carpenter" series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 10/19/2013

    " A new author for me. Had a blurb by Michael Connelly on the front so thought I would give it a try. I was not disappointed. I look forward to reading other books by this author. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 J.D. | 8/20/2013

    " I noticed Mr. Park reading Swain so I'm giving him a chance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Coki | 5/22/2013

    " Listening to -- seriously I feel like this book took forever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela Foote | 11/17/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book. Fast paced and had believable characters.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jess | 11/10/2012

    " Nice easy read with mystery, suspense and humor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 9/28/2012

    " Ex-cop murder mystery. Better than many. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 8/5/2012

    " out of favor cop tracks new muders of jailed serial killer "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan Brown | 4/27/2012

    " James Swain is my current favorite mind-candy read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tanya | 4/4/2012

    " A simple yet engaging mystery. Engaging, but some things just happened a little too coincidentally. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 1/18/2012

    " A white-knuckle thrill ride of mystery and suspense! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 11/2/2011

    " Never heard of this author before....picked the book up when it was returned at circ. Definitely would read another by him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Park | 10/28/2011

    " Somewhat depressing, but it moved rapidly to the conclusion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Skip | 9/28/2011

    " Best thriller in awhile. Hard to put down as ex-cop investigates kidnapping by jailed serial killer. His dog is a hoot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joy (Thoughts of Joy) | 6/13/2011

    " Read my thoughts at: Thoughts of Joy... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 4/19/2011

    " This was really fun to read, very fast paced "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 1/28/2011

    " Somewhat depressing, but it moved rapidly to the conclusion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bart | 10/10/2010

    " I read this after reading Grift Sense. This is NOT a Tony Valentine novel, and I didn't like it as much as that book. But it was a good read. Swain is very sure footed with a story and plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 3/3/2010

    " Hard to decide between a 4 and a 5. I'd give it a 4.5. Excellent book, with a great protagonist, terrific characters and a great dog. Will definitely look for other books in this series.

    Michelle, thanks for the recommendation!
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 2/18/2010

    " Excellent; Continuing character: Jack Carpenter (first in series); a serial killer that Carpenter put away (and beat up resulting in him resigning from the police) is being released because of new evidence; as he tries to keep this from happening he stumbles upon a much larger conspiracy
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annie | 1/4/2010

    " Really like this character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Coki | 12/24/2009

    " Listening to -- seriously I feel like this book took forever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 11/18/2009

    " A new author for me. Had a blurb by Michael Connelly on the front so thought I would give it a try. I was not disappointed. I look forward to reading other books by this author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alvin | 7/20/2009

    " Gritty as nails in a prostitute's garage. Moves like thunder in a midwest rainstorm. Dark and compelling from the first page. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phil | 7/18/2009

    " non-stop, couldn't put it down. If you liked old John Grisham (Firm, Client, etc) you will enjoy this quick suspense read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 5/8/2009

    " Excellent. Hard to put down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Skip | 1/26/2009

    " Best thriller in awhile. Hard to put down as ex-cop investigates kidnapping by jailed serial killer. His dog is a hoot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 1/4/2009

    " out of favor cop tracks new muders of jailed serial killer "

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About the Author
Author James Swain

James Swain is the nationally bestselling author of numerous thrillers, which have been translated into many languages and chosen as Mysteries of the Year by Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. He has received several Barry Award nominations, a Florida Book Award for fiction, and the prestigious Prix Calibre .38 Award for Best American Crime Writing. An avid magician, he has written and lectured extensively on the subject.

About the Narrator

Peter Jay Fernandez is an accomplished audiobook narrator who has won three AudioFile Earphones Awards and an Audie Award in 2009. He has also appeared on television, film, and stage. His appearances include roles in Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and the musical Thunder Knocking on the Door.