Cash Landing by James Grippando (a book review)

According to the author, James Grippando, his story is inspired by actual events that happened in Miami—a heist carried out by amateurs. The heist starts out boldly and goes well. The aftermath is when things start to unravel. The amateur crew comprises Ruban Betancourt, a man disillusioned with the law; his brother-in-law, Jeffrey, an overweight, drug addict leaching off his mother; and his uncle, Pinky, an ex-convict who was nicknamed as such because of how far down his manhood reaches to his pinky. They hire two other people, both former convicts. One of them is the driver whose role is to ditch their getaway vehicles. The other one is the insider who smooths the entry for the big steal.

The insider is a security guard at Miami International Airport, where the heist happens. He was the one who told Ruban about how Lufthansa airline has a plane that regularly flies into Miami with millions of dollars.  Between the inside information and the careful planning, the five men are able to steal $9.6 million free and clear.

Ruban, Jeffrey, and Pinky later meet to talk about how long to stay low and how much cash to stash. Ruban wants to simply pay off the driver and the insider with a million dollars each and then–after a few weeks or so, until the news dies down– the three would equally split the remaining $7.6 million. (Sigh. Excuse me for salivating.)
Back to the book– Jeffrey wants some spare cash to spend on fun stuff, while Pinky wants his share now. Ruban has to make some adjustments to his lay-low-and-hide- the-cash-for-now plan. The reason: His in-laws threaten to tell his wife about his involvement in the heist.

Without saying any more, know that the book has some colorful characters. It is Miami, so some things can get outrageous. There’s sex, drugs, lots of double-crosses, and a hint of possible romance toward the end. As it turns out, this book is part of James Grippando’s Jack Swyteck and Andie Henning series. Jack Swyteck is a defense lawyer, who was adopted by an upper-middle class couple when he was a baby and later, as an adult he meets his maternal grandmother, who is Cuban. I didn’t realize until the last couple of chapters that Jack Swyteck was in this book, which mostly features Andie Henning.

With the exception of his young adult books, I’ve read all of James Grippando’s books; they are listed below in the order they first came out. The one-asterisked titles feature Jack Swyteck, while the two-asterisked titles feature Andie Henning. Sometimes both are featured together; how else could they get romantic with each other? Grippando also wrote some standalones, so they are listed below too. As you may guess, they are all suspense books.

The Pardon*
The Informant
The Abduction
Found Money
Under Cover of Darkness**
A King’s Ransom
Beyond Suspicion*
Last to Die*
Hear No Evil*
Got the Look* **
When Darkness Falls* **
Lying with Strangers
Last Call* **
Born to Run* **
Intent to Kill
Money to Burn**
Afraid of the Dark* **
Need You Now**
Blood Money* **
Black Horizon* **
Cane and Abe

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