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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Schemers - A Review

I have been reading Bill Pronzini's nameless detective books since I was in high school. During that span of over 25 years Pronzini has been cranking out these noir classics of the pulp collecting detective. Over the years Nameless has gone from a single operative to a family man who has operatives working for him.

This has allowed Pronzini the ability to write multiple cases at once intertwining a theme throughout the narrative. The 2009 nameless installment Schemers has two cases involving nameless and his operative Jake Runyon matching wits against an emotionally unstable stalker and the perpetrator a seemingly unsolvable book heist.

Pathos and description are two of Pronzini's signature traits. He deftly handles both in Schemers. From the eerie prologue to nameless's closing victory over an old friend/nemesis, Pronzini shows why he was recently named A Mystery Writers of America Grand Master.

In terms of storyline and character development Pronzini was not at his best. There were some plot points that I thought were not as fully explained as some of his previous points. There was some ambiguity that I thought would make the story more palpable if it could have been resolved. That being said, Bill Pronzini's Schemers is still a worthy addition to this long running series.

Next Time: You only have what they wrote.

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