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Nemesis (Nameless Detective Novels) Hardcover – July 9, 2013
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“Can doing first-rate work as consistently as Pronzini really be as effortless as he makes it seem?” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review on Camouflage
“The Nameless series continues to be a wonder of great plotting, long-term character development, and insight into the chilling banality of evil.” ―Booklist, starred review on Camouflage
“Pronzini is a pro at PI fiction: he never cheats on the reader, respecting the conventions of the hard-boiled detective stories and puzzle mysteries he employs so well.” ―Library Journal on Schemers
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Top Customer Reviews
I read the first book, The Snatch, when it came out in paperback back in 1971. I was 13 years old at the time and I was disappointed that Nameless wasn't as action-packed as Raymond Chandler, Lew Archer, and Travis McGee, but there was something endearing and enduring about the character. In the beginning I loved the mentions of the old pulps Nameless collected, which hardly gets mentioned at all these days, because I was reading my share of Doc Savage and The Shadow at the time too. I was still learning about those old magazines, and I soaked up every bit of knowledge I could.
As I grew older, though, I kept reading the Nameless books, still drawn to the character for shifting reasons. Strangely enough, I began to grow old enough to understand him and his world, and finally am old enough to truly appreciate all that he's been through and all that he's seen. Picking up a Nameless novel is like sitting down over coffee with a dear friend you seldom see (only once a year for the most part).
Nemesis comes on the heels of Hellbox, last year's offering. A year has passed in the real world, but only months have passed for Nameless and Kerry and the rest of his crew. Everyone is still dealing with fallout from Kerry's kidnapping.
This book strikes really close to home on several fronts. While Nameless and Kerry try to get back to some semblance of normality, Runyon is dealing with a fading romance and Tamara has an old lover easing back into her life. These ongoing problems (not resolved in this book) are part of what makes this series so organic.Read more ›
Nameless, a San Francisco detective, first appeared in 1971's THE SNATCH. Pronzini was obviously paying tribute to another San Francisco writer and the father of noir fiction, Dashiell Hammett, who wrote short stories for Black Mask magazine featuring a nameless "Continental Op" detective. Try writing over three-dozen novels about a lead character in the first person without ever once using a name, and you will see how impossible that is. So long ago, fans of the Pronzini series found out that the ace detective's name is Bill, but as far as I can tell, there is still no last name.
It doesn't matter. The series works because of Pronzini's great writing ability. But it also works because Nameless is such a well-rounded, fully developed character that we cannot help but enjoy spending time with him. Like the rest of us, he has aged in real time, so he is no superhero like Robert B. Parker's ageless Spenser. As Bill has grown older, the series cast has expanded to include his partner in the agency --- computer whiz Tamara, a young, sassy African-American woman, and damaged investigator Jake Runyon, who is a younger version of Nameless. Each book now is told in three parts from the point of view of each of them, with Tamara and Jake in the third person.Read more ›
This gives control of the agency to Tamara Corbin and Jake Runyon, Nameless' partners. As the new novel, "Nemesis", opens, Jake goes to the home of Verity Daniels. She's a relatively young woman who recently inherited a fortune, but apparently someone has it in for her. This mysterious person has been calling her and making threatening extortion demands. Jake agrees to take the case, but right off the bat something about Verity seems odd. She seems to be in some sort of trouble, and yet she's oddly uncooperative and jeopardizes the whole operation. Jake begins to investigate Verity Daniels more thoroughly, and that's about all I dare reveal about the book.
The only unsurprising twist in Nemesis is the very first one, and it takes Jake Runyon a while to figure it out. To be fair, he berates himself for not having seen it before, but it's the only truly predictable moment, but I don't think it was ever meant to be a major shock. After this point, so much stuff goes wrong and the plot twists and turns constantly. Every time it seems like the worst has happened, something even worse happens. It makes for compelling, exciting reading: I read this book in only two days.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mystery Writer Aficionado Bill Pronzini will go down as one of the greats in my opinion. Four years ago I was given one of his books as a gift and I've been hooked ever since. Read morePublished 11 months ago by C. L. Swinney
Great to get another new book by Pronzini. His Nameless detective stories are terrific, especially with the SF locales and feel.Published 14 months ago by Irene Andersen
I love these books and this one didn't disappoint. In hope the series goes on for a long time to come.Published 22 months ago by bookhound
I've enjoyed Pronzini over the years, but I admit that I found the past few books disappointing. I really did not like HELLBOX at all. Read morePublished on February 7, 2014 by Claire McManus
Athough good, it was not the best I have read of the series. Interesting story line . If you are a fan of the series, you will like it.Published on February 4, 2014 by mlg
“Nemesis,” the newest in the Nameless Detective series, in which this is number 38, is told from three points of view: that of each of the three private detectives who work... Read morePublished on January 1, 2014 by Gloria Feit
Great mystery set in San Francisco and the Bay Area that keeps you turning pages. Just the right balance of suspense and character involvement.Published on October 19, 2013 by andy hauer
Bill Pronzini's latest "nameless" detective novel NEMESIS centers on three characters: Bill, the semi-retired head of the agency; Jake Runyon, a field investigator; and Tamara... Read morePublished on October 12, 2013 by RJPetyo
Bill Pronzini achieves his usual excellence. I love this series. Sorry, I don't have anything else to say. Good Bye.Published on August 30, 2013 by Barbara Ellsworth