Monday, January 16, 2012
Need You Now: Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Need You Now
Author James Grippando
Reviewed By Fran Lewis
One man decided to take matters into his own hands and end his life. This same man pulled off a Ponzi scheme right in front of everyone’s eyes and thought he would never get caught. Rather than face the music, pay the penalty or even divulge where the money was hidden, Abe Cushman took a leap out of a window and buried his secrets and money along with him. But, there is much more to this story as another young man, Gerry Collins who thinks he can escape the wrath of those that were swindled. After all he was what you made say or call Abe’s point man who helped get these unsuspecting investors to hand over their money thinking he was investing it when he really want not.
Patrick Lloyd is a young Wall Street guy who finds himself embroiled and caught in this web of deceit and lies. Working with the Bank Of Switzerland, thinking he was included in a special meeting for assistant Financial Advisors, what happens to him is right out of today’s headlines. As Patrick learns the real reason the Director of the bank and what information they think he has to help find what Cushman stole from so many investors summoned him to a meeting. But, there is much more as Patrick as seeing a young girl named Lilly who they think knows more than she’s admitting and was fired from her position in the Singapore branch of the bank and whom they think Patrick has linked up with. Patrick blindsided by this meeting promises to help, is not fired and then kidnapped by those who would rather have him dead asking for the same information but definitely in stronger way letting him know his life depended on his next move. Reenter Lilly who turns up out of no where hoping to connect with him taking the reader inside the mind of those who feel they can fleece the public, banks and allude the FBI’s wide net. But, Patrick’s troubles have only just begun as not only does this secret group want a piece of him, the bank and suddenly the FBI. Explaining her position with the bank, her part in the money transfers you begin to wonder why Lilly fell for this scheme. Claiming she knew nothing about the Cushman money the Treasury had a memo identifying her as the point person for all of the activities. She claimed she was feeding money into Cushman’s Fund and not taking it out. But, Times Square Tour Guide is out 2 billion dollars and will do anything to make sure they get it back. Threats both physical and worse hang over her head and Patrick’s as she promised she would find and return the funds within one week.
Enter one of my favorite characters FBI agents Andie Henning who knows what Patrick is up to and who he is secretly working for in order to investigate Lilly and fund out where the funds might be. Unfortunately, for him, the bank found out information about him he did not want divulged and they are digging into his past, his life and hope to find out just who Patrick Lloyd is and hope he does not wind up like Gerry Collins. While talking with Andie she chastises him for his indiscretions, does not answer all of his questions and tries to dissuade him from going any further into finding out why a man considered part of the mob, named Tony Martin, is in prison for a crime he might not have committed. This is just the tip of a very slippery iceberg as author James Grippando brings the reader inside the minds of those who think they can defraud the government, create these huge Ponzi schemes, watch as the SEC sits back and lets it happen and hope that the bank will have someone on the inside that will reveal what is really happening outside of its bank vault of walls. When questioning the events that led to Gerry Collins being murdered and Tony Martin’s confession, Patrick begins to realize he just might have come to one dead end but he is definitely not going to stop there. Added in is the fact he cannot go to the police. Why? That I cannot tell you or I would blow the entire case for Andie and endanger Patrick and Lilly. So, a deal is made between them and the end result remains to be seen as Patrick wants his attacker identified and protection for himself and Lilly. Blackmail, not really. Insurance that he will be protected and Andie and the FBI will have him stay on to find out what really happened to the money and where is might be. Someone wrote that treasury memo. The FBI is in the dark about it. What happens will definitely not be what the reader expects. Andie Henning was someone not to be fooled with but Patrick realized the target was Lilly Scanlon at BOS/Singapore. Now, he would have to be transferred there since he worked in New York. Let’s define his role: mole for the FBI. Not a great position to be in. Just who Patrick really is still remains to be revealed. Lilly is thought to be the agent who transferred the two billion dollars between Cushman and Gerry Collins GC Investments in Florida, one of the feeder funds as they are called.
Leaving Lilly in his apartment would set off a chain of events more deadly than he would ever expect. Returning to find her gone, clues left in several places and checking the net he learns where he thinks she might be but what he encounters along the way would cost one person her life, reveal his true identity and enlighten him the what might be behind his attacks. Reverend Manu Robledo is the rector of what he claims is the Church of Peace and Prosperity but seems like a front for something else. But upon closer reflection we learn he is an Argentine connected to South America’s Tri=Border region filled with guns, drugs and terrorists.
Contacting Andie again he relates the events that led to Lilly’s disappearance, discusses their next move and refuses the protection he needed as he finds himself on the end of another attack similar to that of Gerry Collins, winds up in the ER and needs to be rescued before things get even more out of hand.
Finding out his real name and who might be behind the attacks brings Lilly into action as she enlists the help of the only person who might bail out Patrick his sister Connie. As the truth behind their names comes out, what happened to their mother revealed and whom their father is told, both are in danger of being killed by the people their father snitched on. But, are they really behind this or does it have to do with Cushman?
As Patrick and Connie discuss their options many questions come to light, fears arise and decisions have to be made. Involving Andie Henning is next and reflecting his true feelings about Collin’s death with both Andie and Connie bring other family issues present. Just how was his family tied to Cushman and who killed his mother and why?
Replaying the incident that led to her meeting Robledo we learn the truth about who opened account 507.625RR. The author brings to light the truth behind Lilly’s involvement with this man, the threats against her and Patrick and her real involvement in this entire situation. Then the author allows the reader to find out more about Robledo and his real role in all of this and what he hopes to get from Lilly and the smoking gun he is holding against her head. She is tossed in the middle of many situations and where she winds up still remains to be seen. Learning that the SEC knew about this and was made aware we meet a computer nerd or Quant analyst named Evan who explains the rationale behind this Ponzi scheme to Patrick. The explanation and what he learns will definitely make you question whether to trust a financial advisor, what the role of the SEC really is and if you should even put your money in a bank. This novel brings to light many issues that are front and center in the news everyday.
There are many people who are not really what they appear to be. When the truth behind the conspiracy is revealed you will not believe who the players are, who is really behind what is happening to both Patrick and Lilly and the reasons behind it. What part the mob played, who is pulling everyone’s strings and just how in the dark the government is pretending to be.
Patrick and Lilly each have the other one’s records and are set up for a huge fall. What happens that reveals it all you won’t believe and the end result will send chills down your spine. Deceptions lies one man named Mongoose who seems to have all the pieces in place but not where you would want them to fall, as he pays a visit to one Tony Mandretti.
One retired FBI agent would enlighten Andie and the truth behind operation BAQ and who knew what about the fraud and cover up goes way up high and just where you just might believe when you really think about all the twists, turns and threats given to both Lilly and Patrick. The end result is another person’s life and Patrick and Lilly just might be back at square one.
From Miami, to Ciudad del Este to Singapore author James Grippando takes the reader deep inside the corruption of many different agencies where things were happening in plain sight, crimes overlooked and lives taken because money is the most powerful tool sometimes and powerful players will do anything to come out ahead.
When the conspiracy is revealed and you learn what Operation BAQ really means you still won’t believe who was behind it and what the final outcome will be. Lies, deceits, betrayals, government cover ups, high level conspiracies and one man caught in the middle as two young people used as pawns. When the players learn their fate will Andie come out on top or will she be one of the casualties? Who can be trusted? Need you Now: Lilly needed Patrick who needed Andie who needed so many others but this is one novel where everyone’s needs well you decide if they get met or what they deserve. One outstanding novel. One diabolical plot and FIVE MORE STARS FOR THE AUTHOR.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer