Need You Now - James Grippando

January 2012

James Grippando

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

The toughest part of this review really is just how much of the plot to give away to present the plot. There are lots of layers involved that the book jacket doesn't touch upon, but the book jacket really doesn't go into the full implications of the story at hand either and that makes it tough.

Things start with Abe Cushman and Gerry Collins. Cushman is a NASDAQ chairman who is arrested for a massive Ponzi scheme that nets him billions of dollars. Rather than face jail, he commits suicide. Cushman was like a father to Gerry Collins and Gerry now has very some very angry investors on his hands. Gerry also winds up dead, but his death is at the hands of a murderer.

Three years pass, financial advisor Patrick Lloyd is in Switzerland to supposedly meet the Bank of Switzerland's managing director, though he cannot imagine why they want to meet with a Wall Street newbie.This begins a nightmarish quest to unravel where Cushman's millions are because someone is convinced Patrick's ex-girlfriend, Lilly Scanlon, knows where Gerry hid the money and that Lilly revealed everything to Patrick.

With Lilly and Patrick not sure who they can really trust, Patrick knows one thing, he needs to unravel what really happened with Cushman's Ponzi scheme if he's going to get out of this situation alive.

There are other things going on within Need You Now too. A strong part of the story line involves Patrick's real identity and the reason he met Lilly in the first place. That aspect is revealed a few chapters in, so readers know things other characters don't early on. This leads to complications on which characters within the book are really trustworthy. I found myself questioning a few of their motives many times.

As the story does rely heavily on aspects of Ponzi schemes, something that I got sick of with Bernie Madoff, I found my hardest time was staying involved in the story. There were times when I felt like I'd seen it all before, yet I am a huge fan of Grippando's novels, so I had to keep reading. There's also the issue of the overplayed Lady Antebellum song, "Need You Now," coming up in the story and after that I couldn't get that song out of my head.

In the end, I still enjoyed the story, but not as much as I do the Jack Swyteck novels. For me, that series remains a favorite.


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