James Swain is an author who has written at least thirteen fiction and non-fiction books. He has used two main character in most of his crime related and mystery books. These are Tony Valentine, a private eye and Jack Carpenter, an ex-cop turned child rescuer. Swain is lesser known for his "Magic" non-fiction books which are self-published.
Swain's recent books are "Mysteries of the Year" by Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. He has also received two nominations for the Barry Award. In 2006, he was awarded the Prix Calibre 38 for best American Crime Fiction for his Tony Valentine series. He has also received reward for his fiction from "Florida Book."
The "Tony Valentine" rights were purchased in 2009 by Langley Films for theatrical purposes. An agreement allows Swain to write the first screenplay adaptation.
Swain has created two ex-police characters that has run in a series of mystery and crime related novels. The Tony Valentine character seem to face daily some type of cheater or scammer that involves gambling. The second character, Jack Carpenter is faces the dirtier side of life involving child abduction.
Swain uses four basic acts in most of his novels. His older book series run from the low 300 to the low 400 pages while the newer series run at 400 pages. His beat format for the older series is consistent with older crime novels. His recent series seem to use a 15 beat format that is consistent with current standards.
The Man Who Walked Through Walls, 1989 Hardback, St Martins Press, 260 pages, ISBN 031203394X ISBN 978-0312033941
Tony Valentine series
The character Tony Valentine is a retired cop from New Jersey and more importantly from the beat of the casinos in Atlantic City. After settling in Florida he is lured to Las Vegas and makes an impact with his consultant skills against casino cheaters.
Grift Sense, 2001 Hardback, 2005 Softback, Balantine Books, 336 pages, Softback ISBN 034548035X ISBN 978-0345480354
Funny Money, 2002 Hardback, 2007 Softback, Atria, 304 pages, ISBN 1416575022 ISBN 978-1416575023
Sucker Bet, 2003 Hardback, 2004 Softback, Fawcett, 336 pages, ISBN 0345463234 ISBN 978-0345463234
Loaded Dice, 2004 Hardback, 2005 Softback, Balantine Books, 320 pages, Softback ISBN 0345463277 ISBN 978-0345463272
Mr. Lucky, 2005 Hardback, 2007 Softback, Balantine Books, 432 pages, Softback ISBN 0345475453 ISBN 978-0345475459
Deadman's Poker, 2006 Hardback, 2006 Softback, Fawcett, 384 pages, ISBN 0345475496 ISBN 978-0345475497
Deadman's Bluff, 2006 Hardback, 2004 Softback, Fawcett, Page 384, ISBN 0345475518 ISBN 978-0345475510
Jack Carpenter series
Jack Carpenter is an ex-cop from South Florida who was terminated because of using excessive force to a "slime-bag" who needed it. He turns to private eye work with a soft touch for children.
Midnight Rambler, 2007 hardback, 2008, softback, Ballantine Books, 400 pages, Softback ISBN 034547547X ISBN 978-0345475473
The Night Stalker, 2008 hardback, 2009 softback, Ballantine books, 400 pages, Softback ISBN 0345475534 ISBN 978-0345475534
The Night Monster, 2009 hardback, Ballantine books, 400 pages, Hardback ISBN 0345515463 ISBN 978-0345515469