THE MAN WITH MY NAME by Paul Engleman


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 The 3 a.m. phone call that wakes up former Chicago Fire Department paramedic Phil Moony and his wife, Frankie Martin, is from one Larry Little looking for Phil Moony--but it isn't our Phil, it's some other guy in town who spells his name the same funny way, and who'll want to hear (says Larry) that Tony Rio's just gotten back from ``vacation.'' Just to keep the conversation going, Phil offers to help Larry find the other Phil for $500. Next day, when Tony phones him from a few blocks away to say he's got a souvenir to give the other Phil, Phil treks over to his hotel to find that Tony died before placing the call. In fact, soon after the other Phil calls him in search of that souvenir--an aluminum briefcase full of pricey baseball cards--Phil finds out he's already dead too. (Eventually we learn that even Larry has been dead for 20 years. Frankie's helpful comment: ``You're starting to make a habit of talking to guys on the phone after they're dead.'') Obviously somebody's set Phil up for the murder of Tony, and Phil needs major assistance: But who can he trust? Mitch Michaels, his neighbor at home, may have broken into his house; Artie the Artist, who shares a floor of his seedy office building, may have broken into his office; Jerry Gabriel, his office landlord, is dating the late Phil Moony's daughter; and whoever framed Phil for the drug rap that got him tossed out of the fire department may be at it again. Engleman (Who Shot Longshot Sam?, 1989, etc.) sets up an irresistibly paranoid Act One for his new hero before spiraling into an absurdly complicated Act Two it would have taken a Lawrence Block to tame.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-09867-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1994


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