Hellbox: A Nameless Detective Novel

Bill Pronzini. Forge, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2565-5
MWA Grand Master Pronzini has finally given his unnamed hero a name—Bill—but otherwise turns in a lackluster effort with the 37th entry (after 2011’s Camouflage) in a series that may have passed its sell-by date. Bill, the semiretired PI, and his wife, Kerry, who are looking for a second home in California’s Sierra foothills, are pleased to have found an attractive property in Green Valley, a modest house surrounded by pine woods on three sides with a good view of the valley. Alas, disaster soon overtakes the happy couple. While hiking alone in the woods, Kerry has an encounter with hothead Pete Balfour—who’s plotting revenge against a man who has teased him mercilessly and made him a local laughingstock—that puts her life in jeopardy. Illogical actions on Balfour’s part ensure that the ending turns out better than it might have for Bill and Kerry. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 07/03/2012
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