Thursday, 13 December 2012

Bleeders by Bill Pronzini

Started: Dec. 6, 2012
Finished: Dec. 12, 2012
Pages: 213

Yet another mystery, and yet another mystery from a series I'm familiar with.  I have to admit that I've read fewer of the "Nameless Detective" books than most of the other series that I've covered, mostly because Pronzini's books are harder to find.  I've never seen a paperback, and only sought out the first of his books because I'm familiar with his wife's.

What are the "Nameless" books like?  Standard private eye fare, set in San Francisco.  I've come to the series late, so "Nameless" is no longer a loner running a one man agency.  But you get the idea.  Missing people, small time hoods, stakeouts, and bars that have never seen better days.  But although Nameless is introspective he's not hard-boiled.  The title of this one reflects his emotional state as he works his latest case:  one he survives only because a gun held to his head mis-fires.

Why is the detective nameless?  I don't know if the schtick was deliberate, or if Pronzini ran with it once he noticed that a story told in the first person does not necessarily need to spell out who the protaganist is.  Either way, it's not obtrusive.  If the cover didn't say "a 'Nameless Detective' novel', you might not notice.

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