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Illusions by Bill Pronzini (Print)

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In his 24th and most intriguing appearance, the "Nameless Detective" finds himself involved in two intricate and emotional investigations. The first is intensely personal: the unexpected death of his estranged friend and former partner, Eberhardt. Although there seems to be no question that Eberhardt committed suicide, "Nameless" becomes obsessed with the reasons behind the act. "A man doesn't just all of a sudden trade living for dying. Something prods him across the line between thinking about it and actually doing it. Every suicide, every homicide has its trigger. What was Eberhardt's?"

Meanwhile, he is hired by a Santa Fe businessman to find his ex-wife, who disappeared three years earlier. Locating the woman turns out to be fairly simple; she is living and working in the northern California wine country. But just when the case seems finished, it takes on bizarre dimensions—a fatal shooting that may or may not be accidental, hidden motives, and a web of lies and deception. "Nameless" is compelled to continue his investigation when it becomes clear he is partly, if inadvertently, responsible for the victim's death.

The keys to both cases lie in illusions—those people create about themselves and those they perceive in others. Additional similarities also emerge, leading "Nameless" to a series of startling revelations and ultimately to the two most difficult decisions of his career.

Both a fair-play detective story and a novel of psychological and moral complexity, Illusions is another triumph for the sleuth praised by the Chicago Sun-Times as "the thinking person's detective." It is also further proof that Bill Pronzini is "an exceptionally skilled writer working at the top of his ability" (Denver Post) and an innovator in the field of crime fiction.

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Nameless Detective
6x9 in

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