BLUE LONESOME by Bill Pronzini


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 For three months jazz-loving accountant Jim Messenger has watched the woman he's dubbed Ms. Lonesome order the same supper in San Francisco's Harmony CafÇ and leave every night without talking to him or anyone else. Then one night she fails to show up because she's dead, a sad suicide in a bathtub. The police aren't interested in who Ms. Lonesome really was or why she killed herself, but Messenger, who feels in her despair an echo of his own deep loneliness, is driven to find out more about her, even when his quest makes him persona non grata in tiny Beulah, Nevada, a desert town still reeling from the ugly murder of Ms. Lonesome's philandering husband and her eight-year-old daughter. Although there was no proof against Anna Roebuck for killing her husband, a member of Beulah's first family, everybody assumes she was guilty. And although nobody thinks Dave Roebuck was much of a loss, they can't accept the death of his daughter, Tess, who was carefully dressed up after death and thrown into a well. With the laconic help of Anna's sister, rancher Dacy Burgess, Messenger painfully wrestles the truth from Roebuck's powerful family--and from a town determined to shut its eyes to its darkest side. Veteran Pronzini (Hardcase, p. 744, etc.) turns in a spare, beautifully controlled retake on Bad Day at Black Rock that's a- twang with piercing loneliness from the title to the last sorry secret.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1995
ISBN: 0-8027-3268-2
Page count: 216pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1995


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