Nicholas Palihnic is a natty, tweed-suited hustler who knows every nook and cranny of New York-and a thousand ways to break a girl's heart. Beatrice Belarus is a Manhattan art dealer with an insatiable appetite for money-and for anyone who gets in her way. And a painting titled Trampoline Nude, 1972 has neither nudity nor a trampoline. But when Nicholas is hired by an insurance company to find the recently stolen painting, a murdered art thief points him to a trove of gold buried beneath Manhattan-and suddenly all roads are leading back to Beatrice. As fortune hunters, lovers, and other strangers gather around him, there's one thing Nicholas must remember above all else: in this business, it's better to be crooked than dead....