A missing-persons case takes Pronzini’s San Francisco PI to California’s sparsely settled northeast corner in this taut novella first published in 1993 and later expanded into the 1996 novel, Sentinels. Marian Shay retains the gumshoe after her college-age daughter, Allison, who was driving from the University of Oregon to her home in the Bay Area with a new boyfriend, goes missing. Marian knows nothing about the boyfriend, adding another layer to the disturbing mystery of Allison’s whereabouts. Allison and boyfriend were last seen at a motel in the town of Creekside (“population 112”), where their car broke down. Nameless has a bad feeling about the answers he’ll find, which is enhanced by the less than friendly reception he gets from the motel proprietor and other locals he interviews. Pronzini’s lean prose effectively moves the action along, capturing the feel of a close-knit community like Creekside. (Dec.)
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