The Nameless Detective, now back in San Francisco business after the unfortunate events of Dragonfire (Pronzini summarizes that whole plot here), is hired by businesswoman Arleen Bradford to find her father--who's been a hobo ever since losing his government job some years back. Working from a photo in a newspaper story on hobos, the Nameless trails Bradford to a hobo jungle, and from there, almost step by step, to a nearby town, the local library, and a nearby train museum. . . where the trail disappears. Then, putting a few clues together, the Nameless becomes convinced that bearded train-museum-owner Dallmeyer has killed Bradford--who recognized Dallmeyer as Lester Raymond, an acquaintance who murdered two people back in 1967 and disappeared! And the Nameless is right, because Dallmeyer/Raymond now nearly kills the Nameless, escaping yet again. . . after which Arleen Bradford's brassy sister Hannah disappears. Is there a connection? Of course. So the Nameless must figure out where Hannah is, discover more bodies, and finger a not-very-mysterious second culprit (after getting stuck clown a well with stagnant water and two corpses). Very little detection, virtually no traditional mystery--but a lively, active outing for the Nameless, with enough varied, atmospheric legwork to balance his broodings about clinging chum Eberhart and girlfriend Kerry.