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Review: Nemesis, by Bill Pronzini

HERB JOHNSON – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
sThis is one of a series by Pronzini featuring the nameless detective. We know his first name is Bill because that’s what people call him. But his last name remains a mystery. As a hook to get readers into the novels, it’s not much. Luckily, the stories themselves would work just fine even if we knew Bill’s last name.
This latest book stars a total whack job named Verity Daniels. She is good looking and newly rich, thanks to an inheritance, and seemingly devoted to making people miserable because it’s fun to do. She could be bipolar. She could be just anything in the Big Book of Mental Disorders. She has decided to make life miserable for Jake Runyon.
Jake is a retired cop who works for Bill Nameless as an investigator. Verity’s plan is to convince Jake she is being threatened by an unknown person who demands money from her.
She claims there have been phone calls, but when Jake attaches a recorder to her phone, it somehow becomes unplugged.
She tells Jake she’s been told to deliver the money at such and such a place. But no one evers shows up to collect.
For her big finale, she invites Jake to her apartment, where she throws herself at him. When she is rebuffed, she gets into a major snit and Jake walks out.
The next thing Jake hears about Verity is that she is going to sue him and the company he works for. (She’s suing the company because the secretary was not polite,) The next thing Jake hears is that Verity has been murdered.
This removes the threat of a lawsuit, but also puts Jake in jail as the main suspect. So now it is up to Bill to find the real murderer and get Jake out of the hoosegow, which he does. There is a list of men with whom Verity has messed in the past and Bill goes through the list until he gets to the last one . . . and that’s the guy.

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