Nightcrawlers: A Nameless Detective Novel ("Nameless" Detective Novels)
Things were quiet in the San Francisco-based agency Nameless founded and his
partners, Jake and Vanessa were itching to get back to work. A deadbeat father needed to be found, and Vanessa needed to do some field work, so she took the file and headed out to keep an eye on the last known address.
Jake got to work on something much more personal...and dangerous. The Castro had become the stomping ground, literally, of two violent gay-bashers and the most recent victim was Jake's son's lover. Father and son are estranged, but maybe helping now would help them reconcile. That was Jake's thought when he started. For Nameless it was all a matter of letting everyone know that if they needed his help, he was there.
Jake was handling his situation but for Vanessa, things got out of hand. Her perp never showed up, but when she saw a man carrying a young girl into the house across the street, she knew something was wrong....and about to get worse, because she was going to investigate what was going on.
When she doesn't show up a few days later, Nameless feels a sinking in his gut: a few years ago he'd been kidnapped, shackled, and left to die in a cabin in the woods and something about Vanessa's disappearance echoed too loudly. When he discovers the house she'd investigated on her own and sees the words TAKING US TO A HOUSE IN THE WOODS scrawled on a closet wall, the echo became thunderous.
Now it was a race against time, and the clock had begun ticking before "Nameless" and Jake heard the starter's gun.
Conceived as a lone-wolf sleuth, prowling the fog-embraced hills and criminal redoubts of modern San Francisco, Bill Pronzini's Nameless Detective has evolved over the course of 29 novels into a semi-retired family man and mentor to two younger operatives, neither of whom seems any more capable of staying out of trouble than Nameless was in his prime. Fortunately, Nightcrawlers (the sequel to Spook) packs enough grim drama and emotional traumas to go around. Starred Review. The fast-paced latest in the longest-running PI series currently published shows Pronzini at the top of his form. Nameless's beat is the mean streets of San Francisco—but it's a vastly different city from the one inhabited by Sam Spade and the Continental Op. Gay-bashers seeking a thrill brutally beat a young man ("The crack of bone breaking damn near gave him a hard-on") and stalk gay lovers in the Castro district. Enter three seasoned investigators: Jake Runyon, Tamara and "Bill" (Nameless finally has a first name). When Jake learns that the young man attacked was his son's lover, he takes on the case—on his own time and without pay, vowing to beat the night crawlers on their own turf. Pronzini handles the two main story lines and multiple, shifting points of view with aplomb while unsentimentally exploring violence against gays with understatement, righteous indignation and genuine pathos. The author's legendary pulp-collecting nameless investigator shines in a number of affecting scenes in which he visits a famed pulp writer, Russ Dancer, who's dying of cirrhosis and emphysema in a Redwood City hospital. Pronzini just doesn't get better than this. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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