It's a lazy mid-August Sunday afternoon. The "Nameless Detective" and his old friend Lieutenant Eberhardt are relaxing on the patio, drinking beer and shooting the breeze, when the doorbell rings. As Eberhardt answers the door, Nameless hears two sharp echoing reports - gunshots; they could only be gunshots. Rushing into the house, Nameless glimpses the bloody body of his friend sprawled on the floor - just before he feels a bullet strike his own chest.
While Eberhardt lies in a coma, Nameless is released from the hospital and hits the San Francisco streets, determined to track down the gunman. Facing the toughest case of his career, Nameless doggedly pursues the secret behind his friend's shooting - only to find himself plunged into an action-packed intrigue involving murder, bribery, violence, and the forces of organized crime in San Francisco's Chinatown.
The inimitable Nameless Detective, an overweight private eye of Italian descent with a penchant for pulp magazines, is in top form in this gripping, fast-paced tale.
"Pronzini is a pro."
- The New York Times
My 9th outing with Bill Pronzini and his PI - Nameless was a blast. Is there anything better than a lazy Sunday and reading a great tale cover to cover over the course of a day?
Probably fair to say I enjoyed this one a bit more than the last couple I read, perhaps it was slightly more straightforward as there was a focus on a single case – the shooting of Eberhardt and Nameless – rather than a few cases being juggled by our main man. I was less irritated by the re-emergence of Kerry – Nameless’ on-off, latterly off love interest as a possible on again back story. Perhaps it was Nameless himself being less of a sad-sack love-lost puppy dog that had me reaching for the sick-bag in the last couple of books. This time around he seems more assured and determined.
Nameless digs around Chinatown to get to the bottom of the mystery and butts heads with some of the less salubrious members of the Chinatown community. All this set against the back drop of an official police investigation getting nowhere and Nameless currently with his PI license suspended.
Roll on book 10 in the series! (Bindlestiff from 1983)
4.5 from 5
Bought copy – second hand a couple of years ago.