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Found Money

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For anyone who's ever dreamed of finding a cash windfall, Grippando's (The Abduction) new crime novel offers a cautionary tale of greed, family secrets and the dangers of getting what you wish for. Just before Frank Duffy dies, he tells his physician son, Ryan, that there is $2 million hidden in the attic, and that Frank got the money through blackmail‘albeit off someone who "deserved it." The level-headed Ryan considers both claims unbelievable‘until he finds the money. What secrets had his mild-mannered, hard-working father been hiding? Meanwhile, Amy Parkins, while struggling to support her daughter and her grandmother and to put herself through law school, receives $200,000 from an anonymous benefactor, apparently Frank Duffy, whom she'd never met. Why? Could the gift have anything to do with her mother's mysterious suicide 20 years earlier? Troubled by the criminal implications of his father's legacy, Ryan decides he can't touch the cash until he knows where it came from. His questions kick off a wild ride involving lawyers and guns, Panamanian banks, seductive strangers and too much FBI interest for comfort. Amy, too, tries to trace the money, putting her on a collision course with Ryan and his greed-maddened family. As Ryan and Amy search for the money's source and meaning, they uncover a conspiracy involving high-ranking government officials, multi-billion-dollar corporations and a hidden crime committed on a hot summer night years ago. The final revelation is a real kicker, but it would carry even more force if overly tricky plot contrivances hadn't diluted the suspense of what came before. (Feb.)

Grippando (The Abduction, LJ 3/15/98) has done it again, crafting a thrilling scenario filled with terrifying images of money's dark side. Dr. Ryan Duffy returns home to attend his father's funeral, expecting to console his mother. Instead, his father's dying words, wrought with allusions to blackmail, encourage Ryan to seek out an unexpected pile of cash squirreled away in the attic. Mom is not talking about the millions there, and Ryan's pregnant sister and abusive brother-in-law turn sinister. Meanwhile, single mom Amy Parkens receives an anonymous package from the dying Duffy Senior‘$200,000 in cash in a crockpot box. Amy traces the money to the Duffys through the crockpot warranty, and this results in an immediate but wary attraction between Amy and Ryan. The pair circle around a decades-old mystery involving their parents and those they considered their most trusted friends and allies. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/98.]‘Susan A. Zappia, Maricopa Cty. Lib. Dist., Phoenix

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