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Blowback

(Nameless Detective #4)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  226 ratings  ·  25 reviews
He's just gotten some bad news, and its impact has made him immobile and fearful. He's always known that the racking cough was not just something that was going to go away, that the ache in his chest was indicative of something more serious. And now he's found out that he has a lesion on his lung which could be malignant. He's set to sit and wait and do nothing else until ...more
Hardcover, 154 pages
Published (first published September 1st 1981)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  226 ratings  ·  25 reviews


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Bill Kerwin

Don’t know why exactly, but I just can’t seem to quit Bill Pronzini. I’ve read his four earliest “Nameless Detective” books so far, and none have delighted me. On the other hand, none have disappointed me either. Although his prose, even at its best, is unremarkable, and his plots are deliberate and often uninspired, he constructs real honest-to-god mysteries with real solutions and features a hero who is not only likable, but who embodies, in his own earnest, pulp-fiction-loving way, all the qu
...more
The Shayne-Train
Jun 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best Nameless Detective story so far! All of the introspection and twisty turns, with a new level of some fearful mortality denial. This series is pulp-tastic.
Col
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: p, 2013
Synopsis/blurb.....
He's just gotten some bad news, and its impact has made him immobile and fearful. He's always known that the racking cough was not just something that was going to go away, that the ache in his chest was indicative of something more serious. And now he's found out that he has a lesion on his lung which could be malignant. He's set to sit and wait and do nothing else until he gets the results, but is swayed into action by a call from an old buddy of his from the service, Harry
...more
Michael
Mar 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, detective, mystery
After three books of Nameless coughing up his lungs he finally decides enough is enough and gets it checked out. The doc finds a lesion on his lungs and tells him further testing would reveal whether it was malignant or benign. This sets up the situation of Nameless worrying himself to death in anticipation of the results. In the meantime a friend calls him asking for a favour. Desperate to push his anxiety to the back of his mind our lonely detective agrees. The setting: a lakeside fishing camp ...more
Thomas Todd
3 1\2 stars on Blowback. I liked him getting out of San Francisco for a break if that's what one would call it. ...more
Lee
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This case didn't tickle my fancy, quite like the first three. In this it sounded like Mr. Pronzini, suffered what Mr. Nameless was going through at almost turning 50. Still nice detective work and will for sure continue on with the series. 3.5 Stars ...more
Helen
Mar 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
short, nasty, depressing
Clark Hallman
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2017
Blowback (The Nameless Detective Book 4) by Bill Pronzini – Nameless discovers that he has what is believed to be a nonmalignant lesion on his lung, and further testing is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Of course, he is terrified about that and has curtailed his smoking to almost none. Sitting around doing nothing is only escalating the situation. However, luckily a friend hires him to chaperon a small group of people who are staying at his isolated fishing camp. He believes someone needs t ...more
John Grazide
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't get enough of this guy! Both Pronzini and Nameless. This one finds Nameless off to help one of his oldest friends. This friend owns a nice little lakeside campsite and is having some problems with the guests. When Nameless arrives he gets a look at the some of the characters and then the bodies start to pile up. All while this is going on he is dealing with some personal health issues and they are as riveting as the story itself. Wow! Bring on the next one! ...more
Keith Lytton
I really love Pronzini....but this one was a disappointment...it had a personal side and that is fine...I want that..but it dwelt way too much on it...and solving the crime...the detective didn't have real clues ...it was all deduced...and theory...so there was no way to solve this one myself...still was glad to have read it but glad his others have not been this way...not near as enjoyable... ...more
Kris
Apr 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
The book is slow paced, a little too much at the begininng, but still a steady read. The mystery is nicely blended with Nameless's concerns over his own mortality. There are a couple of well done red herrings and the final twist is well done and plausible. ...more
LJ
First Sentence: Sunday Morning Coming Down… That’s the title of a sad popular song by Kris Kristofferson, about a man with no wife and no children and nowhere to go and not much to look forward to on a quiet Sunday morning.

“The Nameless Detective” is about to turn 50, and is waiting to learn whether the lesion on his lung is cancer. He receives a call from a old Army buddy who now owns a fishing camp in Northern California Gold country. He is concerned his current group of guests, consisting of
...more
Maddy
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2002-reads
RATING: 3.5

He's just gotten some bad news, and its impact has made him immobile and fearful. He's always known that the racking cough was not just something that was going to go away, that the ache in his chest was indicative of something more serious. And now he's found out that he has a lesion on his lung which could be malignant. He's set to sit and wait and do nothing else until he gets the results, but is swayed into action by a call from an old buddy of his from the service, Harry Burrough
...more
Karl
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here is a list of all the books (in order) Happy Reading.

1971 The Snatch Random House
1973 The Vanished Random House
1973 Undercurrents Random House
1977 Blowback Ramdom House
1978 Twospot Putman
1980 Laybrinth St. Martin's Press
1980 A Killing In Xanadu Waves Press
1981 Hoodwinked St. Martin's Press
1982 Scattershot St. Martin's Press
1982 Dragonfire St. Martin's Press
1983 Bindlestiff St. Martin's Press
1983 Casefile St. Martin's Press
1984 Quicksilver St. Martin's Press
1984 Night
...more
Shannon Appelcline
One of the things I like about detective novels is that they're often quite short. Thus, I can almost always read a single novel within a weekend. I think I picked this up on Saturday night and finished it up Sunday night. Given the intricate relationships and mysteries implicit in the genre, it's nice to have it all together, thus giving you an opportunity to figure things out.

And that's definitely one of the things that I like about the Nameless Detective. Though detective novels always seem t
...more
Cat.
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
I love the concept of this series, which is 25 years old now: the main character, a P.I., is never named. Sometimes, it's rather jarring, but by and large Pronzini makes it unobtrusive and you don't really notice the missing name.

This is one of the earlier stories, which finds Nameless facing his own mortality while helping out an old Army buddy. Said buddy has asked him to come up to his lakeside cabins and try to sort out an explosive situation that has developed around the wife of one of his
...more
Ed
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nameless Detective #4 has Nameless about to celebrate his 50th birthday while awaiting lab results to find out if the lesion on his lung is malignant.
He answers a war buddy's call for help to defuse a tense situation at the buddy's fishing camp. A femme fatale has the attention of all the men in the camp which sparks the outrage of her hard-drinking husband.
The murder of a truck driver and the theft of a valuable rug add a sub-plot (and a short treatise on oriental rugs) which will seamlessly me
...more
Nat Kidder
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nameless' old friend runs a hunting & fishing camp where the only female guest is there with her jealous husband, and several unattached males. The bass aren't the only ones being fished, and the bears may not be the only ones shot at.

Nameless is asked to use his detective skills to discover what infidelity is really going on and perhaps keep the tension to a slow boil. Things get hairy when a total stranger is found dead on the lake--is it unrelated or a portent of things to come?

Combines the a
...more
Karen
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No Name is called to the Mother Lode to watch some suspicious people. He's waiting for medical tests so he decides this will distract him from sittng round San Francisco.

There is one female and several males. One married to her and the rest tempted to bed her. A van goes of the cliff of the lake, with a rug thief inside and one of the group of cabin campers goes missing and the husband dies in a gun blow back explosion.

No Name hates to admit that the woman and his friend appear to be together
...more
Wendy
First one of Bill Pronzini's "Nameless" detective books I've read. (I wanted to read them in order, but haven't found the first two.)I'm impressed so far. It's nice to read about a detective who is human. As opposed to the type who get beaten to a pulp but bounces right back into action.

I wonder, is the "Nameless" thing a tribute to Dashiell Hammett's "Continental Op" stories? We never learn the Op's name in those.
...more
Taco Banana
Apr 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short and thrilling beneath some grim undertones.
Pretty damn all right!
It's not great mystery or shocker when it all unravels, but it leaves lots of room for speculation while racing to the conclusion.
...more
Colleen Lahey
Good detective novel.
Sally Plunkett
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fourth of the Nameless Detective Series
Eliana
Old style detective series with excellent writing, plots and characters throughout
Raenell Kent
A great, easy read, detective novel. Rather short, but keeps you interested right to the end.
Bill Glenn
rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2017
Eddie Generous
rated it liked it
Nov 13, 2016
Adam Christopher
rated it it was amazing
Apr 25, 2020
Irene
rated it really liked it
May 10, 2013
Shannon
rated it liked it
Dec 14, 2012
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Goodreads Librari...: Please update page number for the 1977 release 5 185 Apr 12, 2021 12:31PM  

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187 followers
Mystery Writers of America Awards "Grand Master" 2008
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1999) for Boobytrap
Edgar Awards Best Novel nominee (1998) for A Wasteland of Strangers
Shamus Awards Best Novel nominee (1997) for Sentinels
Shamus Awards "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) 1987
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1982) for Hoodwink

Married to author Marcia Muller.

Pseudonyms:
Robert Hart Davis (collab
...more

Other books in the series

Nameless Detective (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Snatch (Nameless Detective, #1)
  • The Vanished (Nameless Detective, #2)
  • Undercurrent (Nameless Detective, #3)
  • Twospot (Nameless Detective, #5; Lt. Hastings, #9)
  • Labyrinth (Nameless Detective, #6)
  • Hoodwink (Nameless Detective, #7)
  • Scattershot (Nameless Detective, #8)
  • Dragonfire (Nameless Detective, #9)
  • Bindlestiff (Nameless Detective, #10)
  • Quicksilver (Nameless Detective, #11)

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