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Camouflage ("Nameless" Detective Novels) Hardcover – June 7, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
Book 36 of 35 in the Nameless Detective Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“One of the best in the mystery-suspense field."--The Washington Post Book World

“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

“Pronzini is justly celebrated as a chronicler of San Francisco, but this novel also showcases his deft touch with interiors—how an unmade bed, the stench of cigarette smoke, or an antiseptically clean and empty home can say volumes about the tail ends of desperate lives. Another Pronzini winner.—Booklist on Fever

“Pronzini is a greatly gifted storyteller who never fails to deliver topflight entertainment.”--The San Diego Union-Tribune on Fever

About the Author

Bill Pronzini’s novel, Snowbound, received the Grand Prix de la Littérature Policière. In addition to six Edgar Award nominations, Pronzini has received three Shamus Awards, two for best novel and the PWA Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008, the Mystery Writers of America named him Grand Master.  He lives in northern California with his wife, the crime novelist Marcia Muller.

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Product Details

  • Series: "Nameless" Detective Novels (Book 38)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765325640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765325648
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,616,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of the this series for about 20 years. The last book before this one, while decent, just did not do it for me but this one kept me reading in to the wee hours of the night and to top it off there was a bit of humor here and there.
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Format: Hardcover
Bill Pronzini has earned a living writing mysteries for a long time, publishing his first novel, "The Stalker," over 40 years ago. In addition to stand-alone crime stories, Pronzini has carved out a niche for himself by creating the Nameless Detective series.

"Camouflage," released on June 7, is the 35th adventure for the aging San Francisco private investigator.

This time around, Nameless is hired by David Virden, a social climber who intends to marry Judith LoPresti, the very rich, very Catholic daughter of Virden's boss.

There's a problem, however.

Virden needs to find Roxanne L. McManus, his third ex-wife, and get her to sign annulment papers. He hires Nameless to do the job.

With the help of Tamara, his partner and a computer whiz, Nameless finds the ex, calls his client to let him know and closes the case, thinking all's well that ends well.

Within a couple of days, the client calls and says the woman may be calling herself Roxanne L. McManus, but she's not the woman he was married to. When the unhappy client goes missing, the real detective work begins.

While Nameless and Tamara are occupied with Virden's disappearance and the mysterious ex, their colleague Jake Runyon is dealing with personal issues. His new girlfriend, Bryn Darby, suspects that her son, Bobby, is being physically abused. Bobby lives with his father, a high-powered attorney and his new girlfriend, and Bryn feels helpless to stop the abuse.

Runyon has his own set of miseries. His beloved wife, Colleen, died of ovarian cancer and he put himself on a shelf - until he met Bryn. Now, he's willing to do anything to protect her and her boy.
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Format: Hardcover
The Nameless Detective in this long-running series is supposed to have semi-retired. It just isn't so. He's still working four or five days a week, and it's a good thing, because it makes for good reading. In the first of two cases described in this novel, he takes on a new client with what at first appears to be a simple `trace' case. The oft-married client asks Nameless to locate his ex-wife so he can get her to sign a Catholic Church form to pave the way for an annulment, so he can marry the next, an apparently well-to-do prospect. Tamara, who is now running the agency in wake of Nameless' "semi-retirement," locates the ex-wiife, and after she refuses to sign the papers the client visits her, after which he storms into the office saying that it's the wrong person. This leads to the ensuing mystery to be solved.

The second plot line involves Jake Runyon, Nameless' partner, who has finally developed a relationship with a woman, Bryn, who has a nine-year-old son who is in her ex-husband's custody. It appears that the boy is being abused, but by whom? The father, or his fiancée, who is living with him and the child? The complication of the girl's murder and the subsequent admission by Bryn of having committed the deed lays the groundwork for some detective work by Jake to find the real culprit.

As in the previous more than two score books in the series, the tightly written novel, accompanied by terse dialogue and seamless transitions, take the reader forward effortlessly. The author's eye for detail is penetrating, and the novel is recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Nameless Detective is retained to trace a client's first wife in order that he can obtain an annulment from the Catholic Church and marry a rich woman who is devout. At the same time, a Nameless associate, Jake Runyon, is forging a relationship with a stroke victim, whose child has obviously suffered physical abuse while living with his father.

The plotlines do not mesh, for while Bill Pronzini writes about complicated people, and does so especially well with the psychologically damaged, his stories are clear, distinct and satisfying.
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By CopShop on February 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Again same cast of characters (we love) in S.F. detective agency. Here we have two unconnected murder plots (hence 2-4-1); a family situation and a stolen ID scheme. My only criticism is Mr. Pronzoni's over descriptions of unimportant facts and situations (almost like page fillers), but withthat said the pacing is good, a very enjoyable read. I am a real fan of 'Nameless'.
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By JJares on May 11, 2016
Format: Hardcover
This is my first book by Bill Pronzini and I really wasn't impressed. The characters just were not compelling; some were boring. At least Alex Chavez bled; the other detectives just seemed to be going through the moves.

Fortunately, there are two mysteries operating at the same time, requiring the skills of different members of the detective agency. Detective Jake Runion is emotionally involved with a stroke-victim who is divorced and who believes that her son is being abused by her former husband. Bryn didn't do well during the determination of the custodial arrangements for their child, Bobby. This nine year-old lives with his lawyer-father instead of with his mother as he would prefer. The relationship between the parents is antagonistic.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: David Virden comes into Nameless's office with a simple problem: Find his first wife and give her some papers. But Virden's former wife isn't interested in his problem, refuses to help and tells the detective and Virden never to contact her again. When Nameless tells Virden the result of his visit with the former Mrs. Virden, David decides to go see her, to explain the seriousness of his need. After his confrontation, David calls the detective agency in a royal snit. He says that the person he met was NOT his former wife. Then David disappears.

With these two problems, it would seem that there's plenty to do. The characters go through the motions, but I wasn't convinced that anyone cared,. Fortunately, the author kept the action coming so the plot moved at a fast clip.
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