cover image Demons


Bill Pronzini. Delacorte Press, $19.95 (230pp) ISBN 978-0-385-30505-1

The 22nd addition to Pronzini's Nameless Detective library fits securely and gratifyingly into the classic detective story mold. So does the unnamed narrator: a tough, terse, hardworking and honorable PI who isn't very successful. Nameless doesn't like divorce cases, which usually mean chasing down men in the hopes of photographing them in flagrante . Kay Runyon, however, doesn't want her husband caught in bed, but, rather, saved from an obsession. Nameless learns that the object of that obsession, Nedra Merchant, has a string of broken hearts to her credit. As described by her ex-husband and various former lovers, Nedra emerges as manipulative, cold and with a history of dumping men just after they've committed themselves totally to her. But now she has disappeared. Has she fled the ex-con who has been hanging around her house? Has she been abandoned by Kay's feckless husband or become the victim of foul play? And, in a subplot, is Nameless losing his beloved Kerry? Solid detective technique takes Nameless to a gruesome solution that echoes his plight in Shackles . Colorful, gritty characters add depth to this tale from a sure-handed pro. (Sept.)