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Financial conspiracy at heart of thriller

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 03:38 PM

"Need You Now" (Harper/HarperCollins), by James Grippando

James Grippando's new stand-alone novel, "Need You Now," shines the spotlight on Wall Street and Ponzi schemes.

Abe Cushman runs a Ponzi scheme that has netted billions of dollars. When the pyramid begins to fall, Cushman takes his own life. Patrick Lloyd, a financial adviser on Wall Street, learns that his girlfriend, Lilly, is directly involved in how the money was funneled, and they break up.

Lilly becomes scared for her life. Some of the investors are demanding their money back and will kill to make sure it happens. Soon after talking to Lilly, someone puts a gun to Patrick's head.

Patrick and Lilly, who aren't sure if they can trust each other, must use their skills at handling financial transactions to find the lost money and the people who are trying to kill them.

At first glance, Grippando seems to have written a thriller that reflects the public's distrust of Wall Street. But once the twists start flying, the narrative becomes something altogether different.

Readers looking for a great thriller will see a master at the top of his game in "Need You Now." Folks looking for an in-depth look at the machinations of Wall Street mixed with suspense will be disappointed, since little of that world is revealed.

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