Zigzag: A Nameless Detective Collection
Forge, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
hough I'm not normally a fan of mystery short stories, who could resist Bill Pronzini's
Nameless Detective Collection
? This is actually the 45th in the series, quite an achievement! It includes four noir novellas:
, the first and last originals.
, takes a semiretired Nameless from San Francisco to Northern California's Russian River for what seems at first a simple accident investigation. Nameless is to interview witnesses. After being given the name of another possible witness, Nameless stumbles '
onto a shed full of marijuana and a dog and two strangers shot to death.
' Marijuana deal gone bad or connected to his case? He assumes the former. One of the victims was an ex-con whose wife hires Nameless to find out how her husband dies. It turns into a real
of a case, and it nearly gets him killed.
, an elderly street musician asks Nameless and his energetic young partner Tamara to find his niece, Robin Louise. Turns out that he's a fugitive and Robin Louise is his daughter. He wants to tell her the truth of what happened to her mother, whom he was convicted of killing. In
, Nameless and Jake Runyon are after a deadbeat dad, waiting in an all-night diner - they get their man but also stop a kidnapping and '
collar two violent, abusive fathers in the space of about three minutes.
' A great night's work!
is the '
weirdest damn case
' ever for Nameless. A financial advisor in Atherton asks to see him at his home, concerning his sick wife. They believe their lives are in danger from a
, that they've been cursed by a dead man. Nameless investigates against his better judgment, and begins to suspect manipulation and deceit. Then the wife dies - the perfect crime? But the ending leaves questions.
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