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Nightcrawlers: A Nameless Detective Novel ("Nameless" Detective Novels)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Nightcrawlers: A Nameless Detective Novel ("Nameless" Detective Novels).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Bill Pronzini(Author)

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Bill Pronzini's "Nameless" detective has become one of the longest-lived, and consistently highly praised, private investigators in the annals of American crime fiction and the award-winning author proves, once again, that his skills
are unmatched.

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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Book details

  • PDF | 304 pages
  • Bill Pronzini(Author)
  • Forge Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2005)
  • English
  • 4
  • Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Review Text

  • By Harryo the K on January 14, 2009

    First off, big Nameless fan, have read every book and recently finished Mourners before Nightcrawlers and working on Savages....still behind. Anyway, Nightcrawlers is vastly superior to Mourners but here is my beef with Bill Pronzini's recent novels. The older books with the 1st person narration of Nameless are much better than the more recent three-headed Bill-Runyon-Tamara characters.First, because in the first person narration Pronzini shines, he is excellent. Second, Jake is a good character and Tamara is added on/forced upon the reader to show/ allow Pronzini to show/use the hip/tech world of today (computer searching etc.) But it is more than that. I feel Pronzini 1st person characterization, great...2nd person semi-personal narration of Jake...okay...and Tamara, the classic third person narration with reader 'hearing' her thoughts occasionaly is simply Pronzini's way of saying "see what a great writer I am...I can do all three and in three different ways and still make a great story." Well, Bill, I love you, but it doesn't work, well. If you wanna retire Nameless and have Jake Runyon do the cases--does he have a brother Damon?--okay. But you can't handle three different styles well. And I think the readers want your best. I'm sure an editor or two has mentioned all this already...anyway... Back to reading Savages!

  • By Martha's Vineyard on December 11, 2013

    Solid Nameless story--worth the read as a continuation of a fine series. Got a great deal on a used library copy!

  • By lazza on May 3, 2015

    'Nightcrawlers' is exactly what one would expect if, out of boredom, one buys a paperback mystery from the local supermarket. The writing is mediocre, bordering on amateurish. Characterizations? Two dimensional. Dialogue? Forgettable. As for the story itself, there are a couple of threads associated with a San Francisco based private investigation firm. One thread concerns with uncovering young thugs who have been brutalizing gay men, the other has to do with one of the private investigators getting kidnapped. No plot twists, nothing compelling happens to make the want the reader to progress to the next page.Bottom line: a poorly written "throw away" mystery novel. Not recommended.

  • By Donald Mitchell on April 9, 2008

    Nightcrawlers benefits from being the mature work of a modern detective novel master, Bill Pronzini. The book is one of his finest creations in one of the most interesting detective series ever, the Nameless detective.After dark, the slimiest people crawl out from under the rocks where they hide from the daylight to indulge in dark dreams and visions that involve savaging the others. Nightcrawlers displays, tracks, and squashes four such types of human vermin in a noir novel that will remind many of the 1930s California detective stories.Nightcrawlers continues with Nameless in a detective agency with young partner, Tamara Corbin, who is tired of computer hacking and yearns for field work while missing her cello-playing lover and Jake Runyan who is burnt out from losing his wife to cancer and his son to his first wife's hate. They have moved to South Park in San Francisco, and Nameless is having trouble remembering to head for the new office.In a prologue, we are introduced to two young men who like to batter homosexuals after getting high on drugs and an obsessed man who is looking for a little girl who looks like Angie. All the characters will loom large in the main story.A call from Jake's estranged son, Joshua, puts Jake into the middle of trying to stop the homosexual beatings. But will Jake find more than Joshua bargained for?Tamara has a lead on a deadbeat dad and does two nights of surveillance without success. But she does spot something that doesn't seem right and looks into it.Nameless gets a call to see Russ Dancer, a hack writer who appears in two earlier books, and is asked to deliver a mysterious package to Nameless's mother-in-law, Cybil.The cases all start as detective procedurals and soon slip into being something more, character tests. From those tests, you'll find new depths in each of the characters as the fire of hate and conflict anneals their souls.The interplay of the plot lines provides a good balance to the book and keeps the novel from depending too much on any one aspect of the stories. As a result, you get a rounded sense of the three detectives that wouldn't otherwise be possible. I was reminded of the 87th Precinct books by Ed McBain except I thought that the local color, noir overtones, and plot threads were more interesting here in Nightcrawlers.


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