When I read the publisher’s synopsis of Need You Now by bestselling author James Grippando, it sounded so relevant to what we’ve been going through as part of this recession that I thought it would be a very timely read. It definitely was. Obviously real life is, hopefully, not normally as filled with conspiracies as fiction; however, Need You Now was a gripping read. If you like conspiracy thriller novels full of political and corporate intrigue, with a bit of romantic interest, then you’re going to enjoy this one!
Abe Cushman was a man people from all walks of life trusted with their money because he seemed to have the magic touch. He made money no matter what the market did, just like Bernie Madoff. And just like Madoff, it was all an elaborate Ponzi scheme. It collapsed when Cushman killed himself and then no one seemed to know where the money was; however, everyone is convinced the money still exists somewhere and they all want to find it in the worst way.
“…the breaking news on the Financial News Network left him numb.
‘Abe Cushman, a former chairman of the NASDAQ Stock Market and a force on Wall Street trading for nearly fifty years, has reportedly taken his own life this morning…Cushman’s apparent suicide has sent shock waves through the financial community,’ the anchorwoman said, ‘as it comes just hours before he was to surrender to federal authorities in Manhattan on charges of massive securities fraud.’”
Patrick Lloyd works in Manhattan for the Bank of Switzerland (BOS/America). He’s just returned from a stint in their Singapore office, where he had an affair with a co-worker, Lilly, who worked with some of the Cushman funds. He still really cares about her but isn’t sure she feels the same way anymore.
“It was four weeks, exactly, since Lilly and I had gone for our last swim at Changi Beach…she led me over to a large piece of driftwood, sat me down, and delivered the solemn words that no man in the history of the world has ever seen coming: ‘We need to talk.’ The way she looked on that day would never leave my mind…”
The bank is taking a huge PR hit because of its peripheral involvement with Cushman and there’s a frantic push to find a scapegoat or two. Guess whose names come up for that time-tested appeasement of the masses.
Patrick and Lilly each have secrets they’re keeping from each other and from the world at large that complicate matters even further. Patrick has ties to the FBI and the mob, and his name isn’t Patrick. Lilly, well, I can’t give everything away now can I? *cue the evil book reviewer’s laugh* To make matters worse, people they each think they can trust are planting seeds of doubt in each of their minds about the other one, making them unsure whether they can even trust each other.
Not only do the bank and the FBI want to know where the Cushman money is but so do some very unsavory characters. And all of them think Patrick and/or Lilly know a lot more than they’re saying about where the money is. Everyone has targeted them for one reason or another, and all of those reasons have enormous sums of money as the bottom line.
“I started walking and was thinking of Lilly, my hand shaking as I checked the welt on my neck. I wondered what secrets Lilly was hiding, and it occurred to me that there was definitely one thing more dangerous than knowing where the Cushman money was: Not knowing – and having a trained killer think that I did.”
And then there’s Operation BAQ. Not going to tell you what it’s about but let’s just say the Department of the Treasury and the very upper echelons of the federal government are enmeshed in this whole business in ways they don’t want anyone to know – and that makes things extremely sticky for Patrick and Lilly. They don’t know who, if anyone, they can trust.
Need You Now is a very convoluted and complex conspiracy thriller that never stops moving from Page 1, just the way I like them. It’s a smart novel with echoes of Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street scandals that rocked the U.S. a few years back and are still having repercussions, and good old government conspiracy. Don’t we all love a good political conspiracy? This one has it all and Grippando has done an excellent job of weaving all of those elements into one hell of a roller coaster ride. Enjoy!
Need You Now is being released on January 3, 2012, so it’s available for pre-order from your favorite bookseller below. Just click the button to go there and get it.
I’d love to get your comments on Need You Now, James Grippando or his other work, and/or this review!
If you like this review, please “like” it, +1 it, and share it with your friends!