From Publishers Weekly
A missing 17th-century deed to the island of Manhattan has a young advertising executive, a pretty law student and a couple of mobsters in a tailspin in Blanchard's featherweight debut novel. Twenty-three-year-old Jason Hansvoort, a grunt at an advertising firm (he's currently working on a campaign for "Hair Peace," a toupee that's "supposed to soothe itchy scalps and provide an appetizing `wet look'"), is approached by a mysterious, sexy-voiced law student named Amanda. Her research has led her to believe that Jason is the last living descendant of a Dutch family that was deeded the island of Manhattan centuries ago-in other words, Jason stands to inherit the mother lode. The proof is in an ancient scroll, hidden somewhere in the city. Is all this for real? After much skepticism, Jason indulges the possibility of a potential windfall-but first, he has to find the document. Two stereotypically slapstick mobster goons with big casino plans are hot to find the deed as well. A treasure map, a graveyard, a charming if fairly tame romantic interlude and a showdown in the shadow of Lady Liberty drive the quest to its somewhat anticlimactic finale. The premise is silly and the resolution much sillier, but Maxim magazine editor-in-chief Blanchard is on solid ground depicting the worldly routine of contemporary New Yorkers and the inner life of a male in his early 20s. He keeps the pace fast and the dialogue light and mildly amusing, though not quite razor-sharp. The babe quota is relatively low, but Maxim readers should enjoy this literary confection anyway.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Jason Hansvoort lives an all-too-common 20-something existence: he has an unfulfilling job at an uncaring corporation, too many evenings spent in bars with friends, and a string of one-night stands to his credit, but very little direction in life. Then the beautiful Amanda, a Native American law student, finds him and tells him he may stand to inherit Manhattan Island if a 350-year-old deed can be found. Suddenly Jason finds himself with two goals worthy of pursuing. Despite the implausible premise, Blanchard's first novel does make for entertaining reading. The natural "what if" line of thought and the presence of scheming mobsters inspire a degree of suspense in the reader's mind; however, the story focuses on the search, the effort to connect the genealogical dots, and the unfolding relationship between the two main characters, leaving one with the feeling that parts of the novel were perhaps underdeveloped. While not destined to become an instant classic, it is nevertheless a respectable offering and a fairly quick read. Gavin QuinnCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved