In his 23rd Nameless Detective novel, Pronzini (Spadework) sends his PI out to do battle with racism in rural Northern California. Nameless this PI may be, but he's not changeless. Over the years, he's given up smoking and changed his eating habits. After a long relationship, he's even married his girlfriend, Kerry, although they maintain separate places. But Nameless is still a knight errant in the best PI tradition. Here, he leaves San Francisco to try to find Helen McDowell's missing daughter, Allison, a University of Oregon student who was driving home to visit and bringing with her a surprise. But she and her surprise, a black boyfriend, had car trouble in the tiny town of Creekside, Calif., on the Oregon border. Allison had called her mother, saying they should be on their way next day, but she never arrived. In his trademark taut style, Pronzini's detective relates his encounters with the isolated denizens of Creekside: the bully, the crazy, the aging hippie, the sullen waitress, the gin-soaked Bible-reading motel owners. In this fertile ground, white-supremacists have taken root, including a paramilitary group called the Sentinels. Pushing, prodding and provoking, Nameless counters the secretiveness of the townspeople, bringing out a little courage in this person, a little pride left in that one, the festering evil in another. There are no signs that age is diminishing Nameless: Sentinels shows both author and detective in top form. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996 Release date: 08/01/1996 Genre: Fiction
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