James Grippando writes an interesting spin of financial chicanery inspired by the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme in his latest novel, "Need You Now." (HarperCollins, 357 pages)
The plot centers on a $60 billion Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Abe Cushman, who killed himself when the federal agents were closing in on him.
Patrick Lloyd, a Wall Street financial advisor and his former girlfriend Lilly are embroiled in this mess. After Cushman's demise, they are approached by an unsavory group of investors who want their money back and won't take "no" for an answer.
Did Abe Cushman fleece the mob? Patrick Lloyd and Lilly are faced with the impossible task of trying to retrieve the mob's money.
But the plot thickens when they find that Cushman's scam may not have escaped notice by the federal government. Had this been part of an elaborate ruse to uncover secret Swiss bank accounts of tax evaders or something even more daring as suggested by the strange encryption "Operation BAQ?"
While labeled a "stand alone" novel, "Need You Now" does feature FBI agent Andie Henning ("Afraid of the Dark") who helps Lloyd and Lilly solve the riddle of Cushman's scam and decipher the message of "Operation BAQ."
Grippando's "Need You Now" is a brilliant blend of financial chicanery and government conspiracy which yields a story that is all too believable.