cover image Fever: A Nameless Detective Novel

Fever: A Nameless Detective Novel

Bill Pronzini, . . Forge, $24.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1818-3

Once again Pronzini, soon to be designated an MWA Grand Master, captures the quiet despair of his characters’ lives in the 33rd entry in his noirish whodunit series featuring the Nameless Detective (after 2007’s Savages ). Mitchell Krochek, who’s worried about the gambling addiction of his wife, Janice, hires Nameless to trace Janice, who’s disappeared for the fourth time in four years. When Jake Runyon, Nameless’s associate, traces Janice to an apartment hotel near their San Francisco office, Nameless and Jake decide to honor Janice’s request not to reveal her location to her husband. Later, a battered Janice shows up at the detective agency’s office, where she agrees to go home, only to vanish again amid circumstances strongly indicating foul play. In an affecting subplot, Jake investigates the mysterious beating of a devoted churchgoer’s son. This insightful novel will appeal to those who like the mean streets portrayed with understatement and subtlety rather than gory violence. (June)