He was sick of it, all “the pain and the sorrow and the blood,” said the 60-year-old Nameless Detective at the end of his previous (we assumed final) adventure (Bleeders, 2002, etc.): a valedictory after 30 years and 28 novels. Well, forget that, because Nameless, now 61, is back with renewed vigor, in fact with his dad-blasted best outing in years. True, the once workaholic Nameless has made some accommodations. To begin with, his star investigator, young Tamara Corbin, her attitude tempered, has been moved up to partner, sharing the load while creating an opportunity for a new star investigator: tough, taciturn ex-cop Jake Runyon. Nameless—actually, he’s not exactly nameless anymore (textual evidence is slipped in cagily)—has announced his semi-retirement, but just how semi remains open to question. Energetically, at any rate, he signs on to discover the identity of a seemingly harmless homeless man whose violent death has shocked and mystified a group of well-disposed businesspeople. Though virtual strangers, they’d come to know and like Spook—the street name he earned by nonstop conversations with certain ghosts hanging out in his head. When semi-Nameless and Runyon set to work, they find secrets at first unexpected and unsettling, then dangerous and deadly, and so close to fatal that the effect will be to forge them, Tamara comes to believe, into a “professional ménage à trois.”
Nameless fans will find their hero cheerier than usual—for him, downright upbeat—and they’ll love him that way.