RARA-AVIS: Anyone's My Name

From: Jeff Vorzimmer ( jvorzimmer@austin.rr.com)
Date: 16 May 2007

Finally got around to getting a copy of this. Like Bill C I got a copy for 99 cents, which seems to be the going price for it on eBay. Which, IMHO, makes the best value in hardboiled fiction for the money. While perhaps not in the top-tier of great hardboiled novels of the Twentieth Century, it's certainly near the top of the second tier.

The only other book I'd read previously by Seymour Shubin was Witness to Myself and I must say they have one aspect in common and that is the idea put forth that, under the right circumstances, anyone can become a murderer. The problem I had with Anyone's My Name, in fact, the only problem I had with it, was that I believe this premise is flawed.

The main character is not really the "Anyone" he claims to be just for the simple fact that he is a writer of true detective crime stories, which puts him regularly in the company of criminals, which, of course leads directly to the circumstances of him becoming the same kind of criminal he writes about. I'm not giving anything away here that isn't stated on the back cover of the book.

My problem with Witness to Myself was just the opposite. It reminded me a bit of the Michael Skakel story and probably would have been a better novel if the main character hadn't been just anyone, but rather someone a little more high-profile such as member of the extended Kennedy family. It would have made the plot turn more plausible and the d鮯uement more sensational.


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