A simple case of blackmail gets lethally complicated when "Nameless" exposes a nasty scam that involves junior accounts executive Jay Cohalan, his unhappy wife, and a mistress with a serious drug problem. It's the kind of case Nameless likes, because bleeders-the blackmailers, extortionists, small-time grifters, and other opportunists who prey on the weak and gullible-sit near the top of his most-worthless-human-beings list. But soon Nameless finds his client shot dead in the middle of a four-poster bed, and only by a hair's breadth escapes a similar fate. During a relentless hunt for his unknown assailant in San Francisco's shadowy underworld, he encounters bleeders of every ilk, and, in a climax as powerful as it is unexpected, finally confronts his own demons.
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by Bill Pronzini
"What may be the final outing in the 30-year career of Pronzini's "Nameless" Detective begins with an easy-to-spot blackmailer's scam, one that almost gets Nameless murdered and forces him to examine his past, present, and future. The novel ends with the implication of his retirement. Gregory Gorton handles the novel's characters well: the villains (many), the good guys (few), and Nameless's wife and newly adopted daughter. Gorton's narration is particularly effective in the descriptions of the mean streets Nameless travels and the motley humans who inhabit them, right down to onion breath and missing teeth. All told, a well-delivered adventure, by writer and reader. If this is Nameless's exit, we shall miss him. T.H. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine"
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