Spook: A Nameless Detective Novel

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9780786710867: Spook: A Nameless Detective Novel
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Roll out the red carpet. Uncap a bottle of decent beer. Nameless is back, and Bill Pronzini's much-praised Bleeders did not conclude a series that Booklist calls "a stunning and unique achievement in crime fiction" and "one of the greatest-ever detective series." Instead, in Spook, the pivotal new twenty-eighth novel in the remarkably successful award-winning Nameless series, Pronzini, working at the top of his form, takes his seasoned private-eye hero to a new phase of a still-evolving thirty-year career. Shaken after a hair's-breadth escape from death, Nameless has made changes in his professional life, but he's not put himself out to pasture. Again he enters San Francisco's shadowy underworld, this time in a search for the identity of a gentle, mentally disturbed homeless man who has been found dead in an alley doorway. Clues are few, but eventually they bring the Nameless Detective to the small California town that drove the nameless victim tragically to murder and madness.

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Review:

Deaths among the homeless don't usually provoke background probes. But when a transient known as Spook (because "he had ghosts living inside his head") is shot outside the offices of a San Francisco film-industry supplier, employees there want to know why. "He didn't have a mean bone in his body," one staffer assures Bill Pronzini's Nameless Detective in Spook. So was this just the random slaying of a street crazy, or had someone from Spook's unknown past--maybe Dot or Luke, the apparitions he was always jabbering to--finally come gunning for him?

In Nameless' 28th novel-length outing, but his first since the pivotal Bleeders (in which he almost hung up his gumshoes for good), Pronzini's classically wrought sleuth is preparing for semiretirement, turning over responsibilities to his young PI partner, Tamara Corbin. He's also breaking in a new investigator, reserved ex-cop and widower Jake Runyon, to whom he hands off the identity search--little knowing how quickly that case will turn ugly, linking the "gentle, friendly" Spook to the murder of another homeless man and a long-ago triple homicide in the California Sierras. Meanwhile, Nameless finishes up a high-profile dig into questionable practices among city employees. This secondary plot lacks the intrigue of Runyon's task; however, both investigations generate action, including a hostage situation and a not-so-merry chase during a Christmas benefit. More than two decades after this series' initial installment, The Snatch, Nameless's assignments have become less conventional, and he's been mellowed by age, marriage, and too much death. Yet, even at age 61, he's more vital than many newer, less deservedly cynical competitors. --J. Kingston Pierce

About the Author:

Bill Pronzini has been nominated for or won every prize offered to crime fiction writers, including the 2008 Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. It is no wonder, then, that Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine said of him: "Complexity of characterization, puzzle, and theme support the case for Pronzini as the finest American detective novelist in current practice." He lives and writes in California with his wife, the crime novelist Marcia Muller.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781628153323: Spook (Nameless Detective) (Volume 28)

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Publisher: Speaking Volumes, LLC, 2015
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