MONEY TO BURN
BY JAMES GRIPPANDO
In this timely stand-alone thriller ripped from the headlines, bestselling author James Grippando (Lying with Strangers, Intent to Kill, Born to Run) explores a world in which the destruction of financial institutions and the people who run them can occur in a matter of hours—even minutes. Fans of John Grisham’s The Firm and the thrillers of Lisa Scottoline and Phillip Margolin are sure to love Money to Burn: a “perfectly mixed cocktail of dry wit, sophisticated voice, believable characters, [and] non-stop suspense” (Joseph Finder, author of Vanished and Paranoia).
In this timely stand-alone thriller ripped from the headlines, New York Times bestselling author James Grippando, whom the Wall Street Journal calls "a writer to watch," explores a world in which the destruction of financial institutions and the people who run them can occur in a matter of hours—perhaps even minutes.
At thirty-one, Michael Cantella is a rising star at Wall Street's premier investment bank, Saxton Silvers. Everything is going according to plan until Ivy Layton, the love of his life, vanishes on their honeymoon in the Bahamas.
Fast-forward four years. It's the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday, and Michael is still on track: successful career, beautiful new wife, piles of money. Reveling in his good fortune, Michael logs in to his computer, enters his password, and pulls up his biggest investment account: Zero balance. He tries another, and another. All of them zero. Someone has wiped him out. His only clue is a new e-mail message: Just as planned. xo xo.
With these three words Michael's life as he knows it is liquidated, along with his investment portfolio. Saxton Silvers is suddenly on the brink of bankruptcy, and he's the leading suspect in its ruin. Michael is left alone, framed, and facing divorce, with undercover FBI agents afoot, spyware on his computer, and mysterious e-mails from a "JBU." Embroiled in corporate espionage, he's desperate to clear his name and realizes that several signs point to his first wife, Ivy, as a key player. But what if Ivy has come back from the dead, only to visit on Michael a fate worse than death?
With echoes of The Firm, James Grippando's newest thriller takes readers to the inner circle of Wall Street, illustrating the very real dangers of what Warren Buffett called "financial weapons of mass destruction."ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The first thing you need to know about James Grippando is that he is no longer clueless. This transformation occurred on June 14, 2005, when "A James Grippando Novel" was the clue to number 38 Across in the New York Times crossword puzzle. (The correct answer: Under Cover of Darkness.)
Here are some other interesting things about James, most of which happened while, sadly, he was still clueless…
James Grippando is the national bestselling author of sixteen novels that are enjoyed worldwide in twenty-six languages. His latest releases in the acclaimed series featuring Miami lawyer Jack Swyteck are Last Call (available now in paperback) and Born to Run (now in hardcover.) Intent to Kill, a stand-alone thriller, will be released in May 2009. James is also the author of Leapholes—a book written for young adults, which was a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award.James’s first job out of law school plunged him headlong into death penalty cases. That experience was an inspiration for his debut novel, The Pardon, a legal thriller that critics heralded as a “bona fide blockbuster.” Before The Pardon, James was a successful trial lawyer in Miami, and he is now Counsel to the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP.
As a lawyer, James was a frequent volunteer in the Miami-Dade County guardian ad litem program, where he represented neglected children in custody proceedings. As a writer, James lectures frequently to schoolchildren about his book Leapholes and about writing in general. He is an active participant in the “Kids Love a Mystery Program” sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America, and he was the 2005 recipient of the Distinguished Author Award from the University of Scranton. He serves on the Board of Trustees at St. Thomas Episcopal Parish Elementary School, where he takes aspiring young writers with him on research trips to fun places like crime labs. He is also coach of the soccer team.
James lives in south Florida, where he writes beneath a big shade umbrella on his deck, right next to the hot tub and swimming pool. He is married to Tiffany, who holds a degree in English Literature major. They have three children and three cats, and they are looking for a dog.
James Grippando takes readers on a roller-coaster ride in MONEY TO BURN with so many breathtaking twists and turns that you better hold on tight until that last page when you can finally put this thriller down. The story takes off when Michael Cantella is on his honeymoon and his bride, the former Ivy Layton, disappears. Ivy and Michael, both on the fast track in the ever changing world of finance and investments, were married after a short courtship because they were so compatible. Michael is in shock and doesn’t realize it, but this is the first act of betrayal that will soon wind up involving everyone and everything he knows.
Diving into his work, Michael tries to rebuild his life and thinks he has done so when a few years later, he marries his high school sweetheart and life is good again. He achieves success with his company and is making more money than one would know what to do with. However, all this comes to an end when Michael finds that he has been taken by someone very much in the know and is being framed. An after-hours trade shows that via the internet, all his assets were sent to an offshore bank account. This was not done by Michael but rather by an undisclosed Internet procedure. However, all of the evidence points directly to Michael. He is sought now by the FBI for corporate espionage as in less than 2 days, he is fired from his job, everything is gone, including his wife who abandons him and locks him out of their NY apartment when they lose their home. The stock market gets wind of this and reacts to the rumors taking them for truth. Investors panic and his company is ruined. Michael is guilty in the public eye and totally on his own and on the run.
As Michael analyzes what has happened, things all seem to point to his first wife and the financial “opportunities” they got into on their honeymoon. When Michael recanted on those and removed his money and support, someone from his firm must have been involved. Who had the most to lose and who would now want to ruin him? Could Ivy have come back to haunt him and be involved in some way?
The story is so believable as Grippando writes in a logical way so that you believe everything that happened and all that Michael does could actually have taken place. I think that is what makes this such a compelling read. I really had a hard time putting it down and when I was forced to, was back to it as soon as I was able. So much of our current economic situation is replayed in parts of Michael’s story so I wasn’t “in the dark” when expressions like short-sell , the bubble burst, or government bailout are part of the story. If you like a real-life, edge of your seat thriller, then MONEY TO BURN by James Grippando will not disappoint!
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