Friday, October 11, 2013

Nemesis by Bill Pronzini

Jake Runyon is carrying most of the weight at the San Francisco detective agency these days.   Tamara is the office person who does the computer research.  Bill, the agency's founder, is only working once in a while.  Kerry, his wife, is recuperating and he is taking care of her while she does so. 

Verity Daniels comes into the agency with a big problem.  Newly wealthy due to an inheritance, she has only lived in San Francisco a few months.  She reports that she is being extorted by a man who calls and threatens her harm if she doesn't pay him money.  Verity has no idea who it could be, or what they think they have on her.  Runyon begins the case, putting traps on her phone and covering her on an attempt to deliver the money.  No calls are coming in, or at least none that show up on the recorders and the drop-off is a no-show.  Verity seems more interested in Jake than in her danger and things just aren't adding up.

When Jake decides to back off, Verity is incensed.  She files an assault case against him and then a civil case against the agency.  When she is murdered a few days later, the obvious suspect is Jake, who is arrested.  Bill must return to work and try to find out what Verity's game was, and who could have wanted to kill her.

Bill Pronzini has been writing about Bill, better known as 'The Nameless Detective' for many years, and this is the latest in the series.  Fans will be quick to obtain and read this novel, as the cast of characters are old friends.  Those who have not yet been introduced to Pronzini's detectives have a treat in store.  Pronzini has written thirty-five Nameless novels, mostly alone but some in collaboration with his wife, mystery writer Marcia Muller, and other collaborators.  He is a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master and no one writes better about the life of a private investigator.  This book is recommended for mystery fans.

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