Written By: Bill Pronzini

Published By:
Cemetery Dance Publications

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Having had a taste of the Nameless Detective series with Kinsmen by Bill Pronzini, I decided I wanted more.  The Nameless Detective was an intriguing character and I enjoyed Pronzini’s writing style.  I couldn’t wait to read another Nameless Detective book.  Fortunately, I had been asked to review a new tale in the series, Femme.

                This installment of the series takes place years after Kinsmen.  The Nameless Detective has moved on from his old partner, taking on a much younger, computer-savvy female partner instead.  Business has been good and the firm now has a couple of associates working for it.  The Nameless Detective has married that ad executive he was sweet on and they have a daughter.

                His latest case is one involving a bail jumper.  Kenneth Beckett, former yacht club employee, has been accused of stealing an extremely expensive necklace from rich socialite Margaret Vorhees.  Rather than face the music if his trial date, Kenneth opts to skip town instead.  His bail bondsman, along with his femme fatale sister Cory, has hired the Nameless Detective to find Kenneth and bring him back before the authorities find out.

                But as the Nameless Detective soon discovers, not everything is as it seems and this seemingly easy case takes a right hand turn into extremely complex.  There is definitely more than meets the eye here and it all revolves around the deceptively beautiful yet equally cold-hearted Cory Beckett.  Can the Nameless Detective and his associates get down to the bottom of things before someone gets hurt?

                It would seem that Pronzini’s writing has improved over the years.  There is a maturity in the writing of Femme that one only achieves through experience.  Femme has a well-thought out plot and features incredibly interesting characters.   I was hooked from chapter one and couldn’t put the book down until I reached the shocker ending – and what a shocker that ending was!  I never even saw it coming!

                With his latest installment in the series, Bill Pronzini shows just why the Nameless Detective is such a popular mystery/suspense series – intriguing characters, interesting case and unexpected plot twists that will keep you guessing.  I certainly hope he keeps this series going – I’m definitely hooked!


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