PHANTOM ANGEL by David Handler

PHANTOM ANGEL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A legendary Broadway producer’s attempts to fund a musical ring down the curtain on his own life in a sequel to Runaway Man (2013).

The great Morrie Frankel may be Mr. Broadway himself—the last of the independent producers. But his attempts to stage Wuthering Heights, the musical, are definitely not going his way. Plagued with a male lead who sings like one of the Chipmunks, a female lead who’s broken her ankle, a director with whom Morrie had a lover’s quarrel, and worst of all, sinking funds, Morrie depends on the backing of hedge fund billionaire R.J. Farnell. When Farnell disappears, Morrie hires Benji Golden, a baby-faced 25-year-old, who, after a brief acting career, is working for the family business, Golden Legal Services. Morrie wants Benji to find Farnell, who’s supposed to be bait for other backers and fend off rival producers salivating to take over Wuthering Heights. The best Benji can do is to track down Farnell’s girlfriend, Jonquil “Boso” Beausoleil, a young, pretty aspiring actress who’s currently a webcam girl for an online porn site run by one of the biggest crime bosses in New York. Benji’s drawn to her not just because she’s a few inches shorter than his own slight self, but because he sees something in her big blue eyes that he understands all too well. After Morrie is shot in broad daylight in front of witnesses, Benji and a detective friend of his fight their way through the tangles of a government sting, a news blog run by Benji’s sort-of ex-girlfriend, a scam that proves how desperate Morrie really was—and a betrayal that puts Benji’s and Boso’s lives on the line. 

Veteran Handler (The Coal Black Asphalt Tomb, 2014, etc.) has a knack for lively plots and quirky yet believable characters. Despite one hint too many about the murderer, Benji’s second adventure is no exception.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-250-05973-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2014




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