Monday, January 7, 2008

Landmark Status with Alan Rolnick

ISBN 9780595681426 - iUniverse (2007)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (11/07)




Walter Marsh, owner of the historic and legendary Century Club found himself in a dilemma. His deposit from an out-of-state investor's group on their option for the club property was nearly all spent. The option was ready to expire. Business was at its lowest ebb.  A major convention center complex was in the planning stages.  Local political forces were in a battle for control and needed Walter's property.
 
Rolnick has fully developed a cast of colorful characters to keep a fast-paced plot moving forward.   Walter Marsh calls on lawyer Benjy Bluestone for advice. Smart and stunning, Delia Torres represents a local developer.
 
Add a few high rollers in Miami real estate and political circles, a mentally-challenged bodyguard chauffer, a novice newspaper reporter, a Bahamian-American politician, and a Cuban cigar importer, and you get the idea of the complex direction and zany antics that follow. Greed, political power, legal maneuvers, and romantic trysts are interwoven into an engrossing plot that replicates the TV series "Miami Vice," with an on going comedic, satire and tongue in cheek humor.
 
The setting is Miami with Ponzi schemes; investment fraud and real estate deals draw people from the Midwest, the Northeast, and the state of Texas to get into the action and to own their bit of Florida's paradise. The plot is powered by quick-witted dialog which reveal the character of the protagonist. Benjy is laid back, with a basic inner sense of doing the right thing. He is loyal and stubborn in addition to laid back but has a fear of failing by following in his father's footsteps.
 
Alan Rolnick is a practicing attorney, influenced and motivated by the writing of Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard, and Dave Barry. Alan feels that the legal profession produces natural storytellers, and felt compelled to write a novel.  "Landmark Status" is the result.
 
Alan's writing is entertaining, and witty. Transitions flow naturally, his characters are easily recognizable and memorable.  I was pleasantly surprised at the insight I gained into the land development and real estate industry in South Florida. Another aspect I enjoyed was a glimpse into the historical origins of Miami, and the ethnic influence in the politics of Miami.
 
I was hooked from the opening wrecking ball to the final explosion.
I am sure that in the near future, attorney Alan H. Rolnick, will be reviewing contracts for the movie rights to "Landmark Status" and will be moving on to write a series of stories based on the legal shenanigans of lawyer  Benjy Bluestone. I am looking forward to the sequel.
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