When Pronzini takes leave of the Nameless Detective (Boobytrap, 1998, etc.) for his noir studies of life's losers, you can be sure that blue skies aren't in the forecast, but you can't be sure of much else. This time, it's obvious from early on that Nick Hendryx, a self-described ""night rider"" from Denver, will soon find that the laminated sketch he's carrying in his pocket--a police-artist drawing of the hit-and-run driver who put his wife Annalisa into a coma six years ago--matches the face of Cameron Gallagher, a well-to-do Paloma Country wine merchandiser whose demons are equally active. As the man determined to avenge his wife draws near to the man who can't forget the night 25 years ago when he heard his father shoot his mother and then himself, it's clear that nothing can keep the two of them apart. And it's clear that every time Cam, wrestling with the temptation to cheat on his beloved wife Hallie with come-hither Jenna Bailey, agrees to meet Jenna for another drink, he ought to be looking over his shoulder instead. What isn't clear is how Nick's scheme--which depends on stalking haunted Cam, getting friendly with his reclusive sister Caitlin, and renting the house Cam's parents died in--is going to go wrong, as it's certain to do. If the payoff doesn't quite justify the buildup, the doomy first half of the tale, as Pronzini watches his Titanic and its iceberg draw ever closer, is worth the price of admission.