Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Camouflage-Bill Pronzini

Bill Pronzini
Forge, Jun 7 2011, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765325648

Businessman David Varden hires San Francisco private investigators Jake Runyon and his nameless partner to find the first of his three former wives. Varden needs her to accept papers annulling their relationship so he can move on with his current fiancée.

Nameless finds the first ex wife, but she refuses to accept the papers and tells the sleuth to tell his client to go to hell and leave her alone. He delivers the message, which angers Varden, who stops payment of his fee and that the woman Nameless located is not his former spouse. Soon afterward Varden vanishes and his present woman hires Nameless to find him. At the same time, Runyon fears Bobby, the nine years old young son of his girlfriend Bryn, is being abused by the boy’s father as indicated by a broken arm at the same time a nasty divorce between the Darby duet occur.

Rotating lead between Nameless and Runyon (as done in the Betrayers) provides fans of the long running series with two interesting dark story lines. Although both well written subplots seem over the top of Nob Hill with insuring the villains lack any redeeming qualities, readers will appreciate the efforts of the sleuthing partners to resolve matters their way.

Harriet Klausner

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