Manhunt by Janet Evanovich
Reviewed by Gerti
Janet Evanovich has the ultimate recipe for writing success in her numbered series of novels about bounty hunter Stephanie Plum (“One for the Money”, “Two for the Dough”, etc.) She tries to use a similar formula here in “Manhunt” - take a sexy but hapless career woman and put her in the craziest situations imaginable. In this book, successful NYC stockbroker Alexandra Scott decides to pitch it all, all her money and all her success, and head to Alaska on a whim to find a husband. Perhaps it is my status as a housewife, but I don’t believe that story for a minute. It is utterly implausible that a modern woman would trade her gorgeous clothes, fancy condo, etc. for an uber-rustic cabin and a broken-down store in the wilderness in order to catch herself a man.
While that may have worked as the plot of a 1950s Doris Day/Rock Hudson film, it is in fact the setup for the novel “Manhunt”, originally published as a Loveswept paperback in 1989. The 2005 re-issue (which is the edition that I read) is in slightly larger print, which is pretty easy on my over-50 eyes, which is why I chose it as a beach book. I wasn’t really looking for a romance book, but knowing its origins does explain the few steamier love scenes in the book which differ from the other half-dozen Evanovich books I’ve read already. Thankfully, the humor with which she writes is unchanged, and it is in fact the writer’s humor and charm that gilds this highly implausible turd of a tale.
I know I’m not alone when I admit that I read Evanovich books because they are great fun, and “Manhunt” is no exception. Her characters are vastly entertaining and appallingly unique. Her books are as easy to digest as a Twinkie and just as substantive, but I don’t care when I’m reading one because sometimes I don’t want to work that hard with a book. This one goes down easy, and I enjoyed reading about the Alaskan version of Mr. Darcy, hero Michael Casey, who saves Alex’s dog, gives her shelter after she burns down her own outhouse, and eventually proposes, because who doesn’t love a broke, beautiful airhead with spunk? Or maybe there really are no women in Alaska! Lucky for Alex, he’s rich and hunky, so all’s well that end’s well. You won’t be placing this book on your classics shelf next to Dickens or Tolstoy, but it will certainly warm up your beach blanket for a few hours! Read it and laugh, thankful that all the misfortunes that Alex has to face are not yours!