cover image Zigzag: A Nameless Detective Novel

Zigzag: A Nameless Detective Novel

Bill Pronzini. Forge, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8103-3

This so-called novel in MWA Grandmaster Pronzini’s consistently superior Nameless Detective series (Vixen, etc.) consists of two new novellas and two previously published short stories set in the San Francisco Bay area. In the titular novella, the character known as Nameless investigates a car accident in the Russian River area when he stumbles upon two bodies. It looks like a fatal gun battle over marijuana and money, but when the wife of one of the victims asks him to investigate further, the action zigs and zags to an unexpected and satisfactory conclusion. In “Grapplin’,” street musician Charles Anthony Brown searches for his long-lost niece, only his name isn’t Brown, and she isn’t his niece, and the story is a study in compassion. “Nightscape” is a deftly handled study of how two unrelated things can come together. “Revenant” explores how an evil man can use a belief in the occult to his advantage. Pronzini is economical with his details, providing just the right ones to bring each scene to life. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (May)