Spook: A 'Nameless Detective' Novel Hardcover – Nov 25 2002
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
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
From Publishers Weekly
Hints of the Nameless Detective's death or forced retirement in his last book, Bleeders (2002), turn out to be premature. (He isn't all that nameless, either-everyone calls him Bill. Could his last name be an Italian one ending in "ini"?) Nameless is slowing down, though, while the central plot of this 28th book in the honored series is one or two twists short of exciting. Hired by a San Francisco filmmaker to discover the identity of a gentle, spook-haunted homeless man shot to death in the production company's doorway where he camped out at night, Nameless spends far too many pages doing just that and far too few offering alternative possibilities for the murder other than the glaringly obvious one: realistic, maybe, but certainly not riveting. Perhaps building a foundation for a series without Nameless, who talks often about "semi-retirement" as he approaches 60, Pronzini gives his hero's young partner, Tamara Corbin, more to do this time out. Unfortunately, it mostly involves being nasty to her family and associates after hitting a speed bump in the road of love. A new addition to the agency staff, Jake Runyon, a seasoned Seattle investigator trying to connect with a lost son, is more appealing here. Three-time Shamus Award-winner Pronzini can still capture the sleazy underside of San Francisco's glitz as quickly and as well as anyone, so, Nameless lives-at least for one more book.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The man case concerns the death of a harmless street person ,Spook ,who is murdered in the entryway to a low rent film company whose proproetor engages the agency to trace his identity .
The bulk of the investigative work is undertaken by Runyan who , after encounters with the more violent and psychotic aspects of the homeless world ,in thr form of the vicious " Big Dog " traces the origins of the killing to an incident some 20 years previously in which 3 people were gunnned down in a remote Clifornia town .This not only points up the true identity of the deceased Spook but enables his slayer to be traced .
This is polished and proficient in its unravelling but is not the only starnd to the book -there is a sub -plot which sees Nameless co-operating with Sharon McCone ( a creation of the authors wife ,Marcia Muller ) in acase exposing City corruption .Read more ›
Nameless is back (and called "Bill"). He's in the process of moving towards retirement . . . beginning with semi-retirement. To facilitate the changes, he's taken his former assistant, Tamara, as his partner. They need to hire a new operative to help handle the street work that Nameless did in the past. After considering two potential men, Tamara insists that they hire Jake Runyon, a silent-as-the-grave ex-cop, ex-detective who looks like he's just lost his last friend.
Jake turns out to be the kind of dandy character that Raymond Chandler would have been glad to write about. He loves the grime of the streets and the challenge of the chase. He's smart, tough, focused and self-contained. But he hurts, and his work is his therapy. You'll enjoy learning about him.
The action in the book centers on the murder of a street person named Spook who talks to ghosts. I especially enjoyed the way that several people contributed to identifying Spook. It's imaginative problem solving at its best.
Each of the detectives has personal issues that develop in interesting ways. Bill is having trouble deciding how to wind down his work and deal with his need to be a lone wolf. Tamara is shaken to the core when her boyfriend decides to move to Philadelphia and proposes marriage. Jake is looking to make a connection with his estranged son while grieving for his lost love.
I don't want to say any more because the prose and story line are so smooth and balanced.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Detective Nameless, whose name is Bill, has reached the age of 61 and plays with the idea of retirement. For a start, he promoted his investigator Tamara Corbin to partner. Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2003 by lvkleydorff
Despite rumors that Pronzini's Nameless detective may be no more, Spook proves this wonderful character still has a lot of life in him. Read morePublished on March 27 2003
This book contains a very nice plot, leading up to an excellent ending. My only criticizm is that now and then he gets to moralizing, almost preaching, - do not believe that has a... Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2003 by Clarence R. Castor