Friday, December 14, 2012

Review: Who's Got the Money?

After coming back from winning a well deserved award, Jennifer finds the company she works for in utter chaos. The company's accounts have been drained by their nowhere to be found head honcho. The sign posted on the door says the building is being seized in just a few hours. And to top it off, Jennifer goes home to find her boyfriend has stolen all her furniture and helped himself to some "spending money." A lot of it. 

Looming bills convince Jennifer to take the first available job, working as a controller for a company in charge of manufacturing goods with the help of federal prisoners. The job sounds dismal enough, but sneaking suspicions that her new boss is skimming a personal cut of the 800 million dollar profit really sets Jennifer back on her heels. The hunt to prove her boss is cooking books isn't only the right thing to do, but it may also be the only that keeps Jennifer from taking the fall. 

The characters created by Meredith and Morgan  were very well done. The main character, Jennifer, was very realistic. Her responses to situations made sense and I could see myself in her place, being scared, wanting payback, etc. The girls joked about being Charlie's Angels, but for the most part I felt like I was watching three pretty normal women trying to work through a scary and potentially dangerous mess the best they could. This "average girl" image did slip a little at the end for Jennifer's two accomplices, but Jennifer stayed true to who she was. 

The progression of the story flowed well for the most part. There was only one section when the ladies were going over all the information they had found at Abby's house were there was so much information and dialog that I needed a break. Other than that one part the action was balanced well with the character development. I thought the storyline progressed at a good pace with just enough being revealed at a time to keep me interested. 

While a few of the stories told by the girls about their exploits as scantily clad sales reps were a little outlandish, the overall plot was pretty believable. Fraud and exploitation of company money happens all too frequently. The details stayed very true to real life. It was obvious these authors knew what they were talking about as far as the workings of government systems. The only issue I had with the investigation was how easy it was to get the information that seals the case against their bosses. Abby is smart enough to pull this off, but not smart enough to put a password on her computer? I found that very unbelievable. I have a password on my computer. everyone I know has a password on their computer. This did feel like the authors didn't want to make the plot more complicated so they took the easy way out by explaining that Abby simply must have felt safe enough. Also, except for "Ghost," the other two all used their own emails to send incriminating messages. I don't think any of the players would have been that foolish. 

Through most of the story the details and hints were doled out at a good pace. Readers got a little bit at a time, enough to keep them reading. I thought the authors did a good job of making the characters intelligent in their search with the exception of one aspect. In most cases the ladies made logical guesses and seemed to be figuring out clues that made sense and getting stumped on some of the trickier ones. The only time I didn't see that was when it came to identifying "Ghost." The first time the character made an appearance after this "Ghost" email address was discovered I thought it was pretty obvious who it was. I thought this aspect could have been delivered a little more subtly. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable story. It wasn't one I couldn't put down, but I had fun reading it. There was a romantic element introduced toward the end of the book that I thought could have been developed further, and introduced earlier to add to the appeal for readers. I know the authors have a novella to explain more about what happened to Jeff the Jerk, but I felt in this book they could have gone into a little more detail to make it more than a passing comment, or not have mentioned it at all to keep it from being a distraction. Also, the editing was not as good as it could have been. It proved to be a distraction in some areas when half a random line would appear after a scene break. 

Would I recommend this book? Yes, but mainly as a casual read. It's one you can pick up and put down. It would be a fun series to follow. The characters were enjoyable, and the overall plot was entertaining. 

Who would I recommend this book to? This is mainly going to appeal to chick lit readers. The mystery isn't strong enough to pull in hard core mystery readers. This story is mainly about Jennifer and her life.

Who's Got the Money? is available now from Amazon in paperback and Kindle,  as well as from Barnes and Noble