Cash Landing: A Novel by James Grippando

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Cash LandingThis is quite a story about how things can go wrong for even the bad guys when they pull off a supposed successful robbery of a huge amount of money. Grippando has concocted a believable story about the goings-on in the criminals’ minds and lives after they pull off the caper.

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Ruban Betancourt, who arrived on a raft from Cuba into the United States, has had a decent life but now with the economy in a deep recession he and his wife lose their business and also their home. Ruban still works in the restaurant that he used to own and his wife works two jobs to bring in needed money. Ruban is extremely mad at society for what has happened to him financially. On the advice of someone who knows how money is transferred from bank to bank via airlines Ruban devises a plan to get a goodly amount of cash.

He has a friend who is an insider at the airport, a coke-head brother-in-law, Ruban’s wife’s uncle and two other ex-cons who all come together to pull off this gigantic heist. Everything goes as planned and they get away with over 7 million in cash. Grippando takes the reader all through how they get in and get the cash, how they get out, and how they all get away.

Ruban gave the two ex-coons each a million and planned to bury the rest but Jeffrey, the brother-in-law, and Pinky, the uncle, each wanted their money. Ruban gave Pinky his but he only gave Jeffrey part of his and then buried the rest with his own share.

Exactly what he figured would happen did. Jeffrey headed out that night and blew a wad on coke, girls, and gifts for the girls.

In the meantime Andie and Liffleford, two FBI agents, get called into the crime scene to take over the investigation. They quickly decide it had to have had inside help so they begin looking at all the guards and others involved at the airport. One of the guards, Alvarez, is immediately a suspect and rightly so but they cannot prove anything.

The story then begins following the two separate entities, one being the investigators, and the other being the gang. The investigators have many problems getting good leads and following them but not anywhere near the problems that the gang members have.

Jeffrey and his coke habit gets himself “kidnapped” twice by folks who quickly realize he has come into a pot full of cash. He uses Ruban as much as possible to get him back into the circuit the first time but it doesn’t last.

All the while Ruban is trying to keep his marriage together and build a future but not only Jeffrey but other people get involved and pull him into their own problems. Little does he know what is in store for him as this all rolls along.

Quite a story. Believable and sad. Believable in that these types of crimes do get committed and sad because quite often for the perpetrators the answer is usually the same. And it is not usually good!

But the story telling and writing by Grippando are both great!

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