"Need You Now" by James Grippando
Reviewed by David Marshall James
Once uponzi time a very bad man made off with billions of dollars from unwitting investors, then market-crashed out of a fiftieth-floor window when he got caught.
Thereafter, another bad guy down in Miami who had been recruiting high-end dupes for the investment scam was accosted in his Bentley while attempting escape, the Bentley becoming a bloodmobile in the process.
Three year later, and some muckety-mucks and yucky-yucks are attempting to recover some of those billions, believed to have been funneled into offshore accounts.
Where's the money?
Who supplied it to the investor recruiter who took a bloodbath in his Bentley?
Those emerge as the essential questions for which answers are sought by the interested parties in the wild goose-that-laid-the-golden-egg chase at the core of James Grippando's latest thriller.
In order to play fair, too much more of the plot cannot be divulged, as revelations concerning the principal characters' personal histories arise every few chapters.
That includes the narrator, a twentysomething financial adviser with the American arm of a once-mighty Swiss bank, a fellow who can crash in his Tribeca loft when not jetting to such exotic places as Singapore, where he encounters a comely young employee of the-- what else?-- Singapore branch of the same Swiss bank.
You can stir her into the plot, and mix thoroughly. The point of view does skip about among other characters, but the author obviously wants you to root for the narrator, and you do.
Nevertheless, Grippando holds his cast of characters to a most-manageable level, set against heaps of New York City attractions, from Wall Street to the Upper West Side, out to Connecticut and New Jersey.
Certainly, "Need You Now" runs strong in the style (good dialogue, nice touches of humor, accomplished pacing), story (relevant and informative, without getting too technical), character, and setting departments, offering the suspense of vintage John Grisham with the best of Stephen Frey's financial-insider-flavored plotting.
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