Saturday 5 March 2016



A weekend fling turns into a week-long manhunt as the Nameless Detective's last solo case involves him in a cat and mouse chase through San Francisco's Japantown that ends in a confusion of murder, rape, and suicide.

It is Friday, and on Monday, Nameless will grudgingly welcome Eberhardt, a retired cop and old friend, into his detective agency. The weekend should give him just enough time to wrap up the little mystery of Haruko Gage's secret admirer who sends her expensive jewels, but doesn't sign his name. With Gage, a domineering designer, as a client, Nameless figures a little light work will bring him a little extra cash. But instead of uncovering a mopey lover, Nameless stumbles on a violent ritual murder and finds himself enmeshed in a bizarre case of confused identity and perverse kidnapping whose roots stem from the Tule Lake Relocation Center - one of the World War II camps for Japanese-Americans - and a long buried secret that would never have happened if a different crime against 100,000 people hadn't been committed in 1942.

While Eberhardt is pressing Nameless to set up shop, a kingpin in the Yakuza - the "Japanese Mafia" - is brutally butchered in his bathhouse, a rancher is killed in a hit- and-run accident, and a mausoleum is burglarized and filled with fresh-cut roses.

The best clue Nameless has is a grainy black-and-white photo of three young Japanese men standing in front of a wire-mesh fence. To unmask the killer, Nameless must unravel a web of guilt and intrigue that spans many lives and forty years.

Currently I’m reading them a bit faster than he’s writing them but having given the author a 40 book head start it will be a while before I’m caught up.

Quicksilver is the 12th full length entry in the series.

I find it quite interesting how in a fair few of his cases, Nameless has an almost instant dislike for his employer. This time around the situation is the same. He’s engaged by Haruko Gage; she’s been receiving anonymous gifts from an admirer and wants Nameless to discover who. That said she’s quite taken with her expensive jewellery and wouldn’t mind the flow of presents to continue.

Dropped into Japantown, one of the first witnesses Nameless wants to interview is employed at a Japanese bathhouse. Nameless visiting the premises discovers a brutal murder by Samurai sword and comes to the attention of some members of the Yakuza who begin to follow him.

In the background we have a relatively stress free continuation of our romance with Kerry Wade and our fledgling partnership with Eberhardt is eventually consumated. Eberhardt assisting Nameless in his dealings with the San Francisco police and the hard-headed detective investigating the bathhouse murder.
Further violence and deaths follow, somewhat puzzlingly and seemingly randomly. The source of the gifts given to Haruko and a photograph of the first murder victim providing a connection to all our deaths. Nameless digging back into the shameful past and the Japanese internment camps during the war. Our anonymous benefactor, may not be quite so benevolent.

Another interesting and satisfying read without being the most enjoyable book in the series. I enjoyed the minor history lesson regarding Japanese camps and I think I’m going to enjoy seeing Nameless work in tandem with Eberhardt in future books, for however long the partnership survives.

4 from 5

Bought copy secondhand online a couple of years ago.  


  1. You have a point, Col, about Nameless and his employers. So often, he takes a dislike to them, and in a lot of cases, I don't blame him. Glad you enjoyed this one; I like it that Pronzini sets his cases in different parts of San Francisco.

    1. I do like the "grumpy old man" aspect of Nameless and the fact he doesn't suffer fools gladly. He'll still take the job and do his best. Finances never seem to allow him the luxury of picking and choosing his jobs. And yes the different aspects and communities of San Francisco are enjoyable for me.

  2. I have forgotten all of these earlier Nameless books. This one sounds interesting.

    1. I liked the lack of tension between him and Kerry and I'm hopeful his partnership can work out, but I guess I'll see.

  3. I have got to read the Nameless series one of these days. I think I have got myself a lifetime of these books.

    1. I've probably got enough for more than one lifetime!