JACKPOT by Bill Pronzini


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Nameless"" returns, somewhat the worse for wear after his kidnapping (Shackles), with intermittent panic attacks and a more deadly nature. Here, he agrees to help one of girlfriend Kerry's co-workers discover whether--and why--her brother, Dave Burnett, committed suicide after winning a Vegas jackpot. Burnett's fiancÉe, also devastated by his death, hasn't a clue; but his best buddy Jerry, a sleazy jerk, knows more than he'll admit to--which ""Nameless"" soon discovers is Burnett's Vegas high-rolling, high-scoring (with casino girls Janine and Wendy) other life. It turns out that Burnett didn't win the $2,000--he lifted it from a mob driver, who jotted down his license-plate number before succumbing to a heart attack. Mob boss Arthur Wexler wanted the money back, at any cost. Meanwhile, Janine disappears; Jerry lies dead in his cabin at Fallen Lake; and ""Nameless"" and Janine's dad connive to make Wexler pay by phoning in an anonymous tip. Not much of a puzzle for ""Nameless"" this time, and his angst, fears, and harder edge (""You're. . .different,"" Kerry tells him) since his own abduction make him morose company. Still, the final payoff here is a nice touch, and the minor characters are well rendered.

Pub Date: April 16th, 1990
Publisher: Delacorte