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Nameless: Season One #3

The Praying Mantis Bride

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A deadly black widow has eliminated three husbands and counting. But Nameless knows her one weakness. To bring truth and its consequences to her crimes, the vigilante must spin a web of his own in part three of the Nameless series.

Lucia—current last name, Rickenbah—has made a fortune by marrying rich men who tend to drop dead. But the superstitious blonde believes in more than money and murder. Nameless’s job is to scare a confession out of Lucia, and as the psychological warfare escalates, even he may be in for a shock.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz comes The Praying Mantis Bride, part of Nameless, a riveting collection of short stories about a vigilante nomad, stripped of his memories and commissioned to kill. Follow him in each story, which can be read or listened to in a single sitting.

61 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 12, 2019

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About the author

Dean Koontz

955 books35.1k followers
Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

Facebook: Facebook.com/DeanKoontzOfficial
Twitter: @DeanKoontz
Website: DeanKoontz.com

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5 stars
10,518 (40%)
4 stars
9,364 (35%)
3 stars
4,905 (18%)
2 stars
1,018 (3%)
1 star
360 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,041 reviews
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,201 reviews3,046 followers
December 4, 2022
The Praying Mantis Bride (Nameless: Season One #3)
by Dean Koontz, Edoardo Ballerini (Narrator)

Not all of Nameless's commissions are men. Women can be just as psychopathic as any man and it seems that this commission might even be personal for Nameless's mysterious handler. Each of Nameless's commissions is set up in such an intricate manner, focusing on the horrible crimes of the individual predator, so that when their time comes, it will be in the most meaningful connection to their past actions. You deserve it, Lucia, let's see just how smug you are when this is over!

This is the third book in the six part short story series about a vigilante nomad whose memory only goes back two years. He's beginning to think he may have volunteered for this job and to have his memory wiped. His unknown past is hinted at in each story and I'm scared to know what happened to turn this man into the man he is now.

A Kindle Unlimited audiobook selection.
Profile Image for Sandra.
682 reviews6 followers
May 16, 2022
In the third short-story in the “Nameless” series, Nameless (a vigilante nomad, stripped of his memories and commissioned to kill) has a new case, to take down a beautiful woman (Lucia) who marries rich men and then kills them for their wealth. Another entertaining read in the series with a superstitious villain.
Profile Image for Peter.
2,789 reviews500 followers
May 12, 2020
The best novella in the Nameless series so far! This time Nameless and his team around Ace of Diamonds hunt down a terrible black widow. She already killed three of her husbands and some more. Will Nameless be the next on her list? In his dreams he sees himself already dead. How do they get rid of man eating Lucia? What is the role of Lucia's mother? Did she also kill a man? Extremely compelling, dark, with a good shot of supernatural elements at the end. Really like that series so far. Dean Koontz has no problems to write for a modern audience. His settings are timeless though. Cant't wait to get into the next volume. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Char.
1,682 reviews1,557 followers
December 11, 2019
The villains are female in this one, so that was a nice change.

I'm starting to question Nameless' mission. When does it stop being poetic justice and turn into vigilantism? Yes, the bad guys, (and gals now), are nasty people, but when you have a mysterious, rich, secret and powerful group, (like those who fund and guide Nameless), they can do whatever they want to whomever they want and whenever they want. I think that's a dangerous road to follow.

The narration is excellent throughout this series and even though it's not knocking my socks off, it was a free series, (with Prime) and I am interested enough to continue.
Profile Image for Kat (Books are Comfort Food).
235 reviews253 followers
November 27, 2021
Another installment in Dean Koonz’s Nameless series. Lucia has been married multiple times and she’s known to be a black widow, killing her prey once done with her husbands. This marriage is no exception. This time, the vigilante knows her secrets and one of them will be used to secure a confession.

Fun book, and I enjoyed the chase and the setup on this one. Very scary in a Halloween sort of way.

I enjoy these short reads and I truly love vigilante stories.
Profile Image for Simon Clark.
Author 4 books352 followers
July 22, 2023
The vigilante has to deal with the black widow who has killed the last 2 husbands. Suspenseful and riveting I like this series.
Profile Image for Rain.
1,723 reviews28 followers
April 26, 2023
Praying Mantis indeed. Creepy, horrific, evil, black widow h who goes from one man to the next.

I’m really enjoying these Nameless stories. He doesn’t remember his past, he’s given cash and a project and off he goes. Not to mention, he’s a huge tipper. Bring his coffee, here’s $100 extra. Carry his suitcases to his room, here’s an extra $300.

The two women in this story are horrible and I was very happy at the ending. Anyone who gives cats Benadryl on the daily, should be put down.
Profile Image for Ginger.
789 reviews373 followers
February 7, 2021
I really liked the concept of this plot but something about the end just didn't quite work for me like the other short stories in this collection.

I'm going to go with 3.5 stars rounded up with this addition to the Nameless series.

The Praying Mantis Bride is about a calculating and evil woman that kills her husbands for their wealth. She's also incredible beautiful and superstitious.
Lucia Rickenbah gets her superstitious nature from her mother, who is a piece of work.
I can see why Lucia is so screwed up and evil!

Lucia's third husband, Michael Rickenbah is killed in Paris.

Nameless and his shadow organization decide to go after Lucia and use her superstitious nature on her. They not only know she had her third husband killed, but this one is personal.
Michael had some sort of connection with the organization that doles out this type of truth and justice!

Like I mentioned above, there was just something about the ending that fell a bit short for me.
It was still a decent ending, but in my opinion, it wasn’t as strong as the first two books in the collection.

And yes, Dean Koontz keeps the animal theme going with some white cats!

Definitely excited to get to the next short story in the series and find out more about Nameless and this shadow organization!
Profile Image for Constantine.
861 reviews167 followers
May 27, 2020
Rating: Good


This is the third book in Amazon's original series Nameless. This time nameless is after a black widow. Lucia Rickenbah marries rich men and after some time they are dead. So far she killed three of her husbands and was able to get away from the crimes. And here where the vigilante Nameless comes to put this woman to sleep forever.

This novella was interesting and gripping. I liked it somehow more than the previous two books. Although the story itself is short Dean Koontz was able to produce that suspenseful and intriguing atmosphere to go with the main character and the criminal as well. I enjoyed it a lot.
Profile Image for Dean.
441 reviews120 followers
November 12, 2020
Fantastic series!!
Come closer and have a look at the world of "Nameless" the flawed anti heroe created by one of the most successful writters ever!!

Black widow Lucya Rickenbah kills husband after husband and "Nameless" is after her..
But this is none like Columbus my dear friends..
You have here a persecuter like none ever seen..

This is Dean Koontz at his best, so be prepare for surprisses in this uncanny ride!!

I had a big time reading this one..
Wish the same for you!!

Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,791 reviews962 followers
November 13, 2019
Well this one was a surprise. We have Nameless taking out a black widow. And honestly this one was more delightful than the other two. Probably because of that ending and also the superstitious stuff that Lucia (the black widow) and her mother believed in like carrying an acorn to stop aging, stepping on ants causes rain, etc. Once again though I have to say that Nameless doesn't feel needed here.

"The Praying Mantis Bride" has Nameless on a special mission. A man that was part of the Ace of Diamonds network is murdered and all signs point to his wife. Doing a study of her (Lucia) they find out the woman has somehow come up empty every time she's married. One wonders how the police ignored it. We get some interesting conversations with the family members and then we watch as Nameless and associates set things up to cause Lucia to have a fate worse than what she doled out to others.

Lucia is more developed than the other villains. I felt a bit sorry for her though when you read about her mother and what was going on there.

White cats are good luck, but I can’t tolerate them quick and restless. Lots of Benadryl keeps them content.”

Nameless carries a pistol in a shoulder holster under his sport coat. He’s tempted to draw it and shoot the woman in the foot to see if the chicory root works.

I would be too. What a mess Lucia's mother is.

I think the biggest issue I have with the writing regarding Nameless is it's a bit repetitive at this point. No one is going to read story 3 before the first one so having Koontz remind us again that Nameless has amnesia, he thinks he agreed to whatever was done to him, how he can sleep and tell himself what time to wake up is so not needed at this point. The flow worked a lot better in this one.

The setting of this book is mostly at Lucia's home.

The ending made me laugh, I sometimes forget that Koontz can be humorous.
Profile Image for Jim C.
1,549 reviews24 followers
February 8, 2020
Actual rating is 2.5 stars.

This is a series where all the offerings are short stories. This is the third one and it can be read as a stand alone. It does tie in with the previous ones so the reader might not comprehend all of the proceedings. In this one, Nameless is assigned to go after a woman who is known as the Black Widow because she marries wealthy men and they end up dying tragically shortly afterwards.

I thought this one was the weakest offering so far. It wasn't the writing as the writing is on the same level as the first two books. I believe the problem is that this is the third offering in this series and we still have no idea about Nameless and his backers besides that they seem to have an inordinate reach with money and expertise to accomplish their goals. I liken it to if I went out for a meal and I might order one or two appetizers. Not three and that's what this is. It is once again a tease and we still haven't received the meat and potatoes of this story arc. I also didn't care for the actions of Nameless and his cohorts. They seemed to border on vindictive rather than serving justice. I have enjoyed the twists at the end of each story especially the last one. This one not so much as I felt like the author put it in there just to have one.

This one wasn't my favorite for a variety of reasons. The writing is excellent but not enough meat to sink my teeth into. I will continue onto the next book but I am hoping that it will have content that satisfy my appetite.
Profile Image for RM(Alwaysdaddygirl).
456 reviews68 followers
August 2, 2020
5 stars:
-For a short novel this books just grabs you.
-Our legal system has it flaws. With the Black Widow being as rich she was, she could afford the best attorney that would get her off. Not to mention, the evidence would be hard to come by in the legal way. All her husbands that were killed, did not deserve die. The Black Widow was thinking of maybe get married again. One of the victim’s daughter just broke my heart to hear her side. Victims should not be forgotten.
-In this series, we meet a lot of villains that bring a whole new meaning to word evil.

Profile Image for Empress Reece (Hooked on Books).
915 reviews78 followers
December 5, 2019
Accidentally skipped book two...I enjoyed the superstitious characters. Lucia's mother was something else. Even more of a monster then her daughter. I think she got off too easy. Wish Ace would have brought her to Lucia's the same time Lucia arrived. She deserved the whole shebang just as much, if not more, then her daughter.
Profile Image for Lisazj1.
2,072 reviews155 followers
January 14, 2020
4.5 stars. While Nameless might have been dissatisfied with the results of this mission, I think it was almost just.
Profile Image for NILTON TEIXEIRA.
895 reviews305 followers
December 2, 2019
This one is really a great improvement.
What a difference!
I enjoyed every page. I’m glad I did not quit the series after reading the first episode.
Profile Image for Deepu Singh.
186 reviews8 followers
March 17, 2023
This one was very satisfactory and had an unexpected event at the last.
Profile Image for Shawn Deal.
Author 9 books16 followers
January 9, 2020
I haven’t been this sucked into a character of Dean Koontz’s since Odd Thomas. I am really loving the character and where I do want to find out more about him, I love the character as it is as well. Very well done.
Profile Image for Mary.
507 reviews61 followers
November 25, 2019
This was not my favorite of the Nameless stories. The story itself was good - Preying Mantis (Black Widow). The man with no name tracks the multiple timed "widow" down or rather the Ace of Diamonds group does. The stage is set for payback, reminding me of scary poltergeist movies and books. This writing is perfect. The rating dropped for me because Koontz went into full-on horror mode. i just don't handle that well. Suffice it to say those that should be gone are gone by the end, sanity and all.
It was nice to have a bit of a smile with Nameless and coworker. And a bit of philosophy while driving into the night is always good.
September 21, 2021
“Manifestations of blood are rare during hauntings or séances. Any medium, any experienced ghost hunter, anyone who is woke to the existence of other entities that crawl this haunted world will tell you that blood manifested on such occasions must never be touched, must be allowed to deliquesce, for whoever touches it will surely die before a new day dawns.”
- Lucia Rickenbah


“I’m not about justice. Isn’t all this supposed to be about truth, washing away lies with the truth?”
- Nameless
Profile Image for Bernard Jan.
Author 10 books214 followers
December 19, 2019
In the third book of Dean Koontz’s Nameless series The Praying Mantis Bride, the vigilante nomad Nameless is after a black widow who murders her husbands. Although this story didn’t click with me as the first two: In the Heart of the Fire and Photographing the Dead, Koontz’s writing is up to the task and meets our expectations!
Profile Image for David Dalton.
2,515 reviews
December 9, 2019
Just zipping along, having read 3 of the 6 Nameless short stories. Already downloaded #4 via Prime. Quick easy reads. Who or what is ACE? Big budget for sure. Will we ever get the background on Nameless? Mysteries abound!
Profile Image for Nyssa.
628 reviews63 followers
October 27, 2022
Disturbing and interesting but also unsatisfying. There are emotions all the way around.
We're told the goal is truth, and justice is just a bonus, but this story seemed lacking in both. However, to be fair, this case was "personal."
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,041 reviews

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