Bill, the “Nameless Detective”, and his wife, Kerry, were in the Sierra foothills, just outside of Six Pines, falling in love with a cabin. It was all perfect, until Kerry went missing. They’d seen Balfour at breakfast at the diner and Kerry remembered his name… PR people are like that. Which was unfortunate, because when she ran into him along the trail on that sunny afternoon and called him by name, he panicked. And that’s when Bill’s nightmare began.
In a small town with limited resources, where a major case was keeping everyone busy, a private investigator demanding action wasn’t very popular. They were doing all they could, Bill was told. But it wasn’t enough. With the help of his longtime associate Jake Runyon, Bill begins a search that uncovers just what price the citizens in a town without pity might have to pay. Bill and Jake follow the few leads they have, and come face to face with the Hellbox.
I've been a fan of Bill Pronzini's Nameless Detective series for a long time, which also makes me a fan of Nick Sullivan's performance as Nameless (who isn't anymore) and the characters who populate his world.
Hellbox is a riveting addition to the series. This time around, crime strikes home for Nameless when Kerry goes missing in the Sierra foothills during what should have been a calm, relaxing trip out of town. The reason she disappeared is no mystery for the reader--Pronzini gives us a chilling look inside the mind of her kidnapper, a psychopath pushed too far by town bullies who think they're just joking around. This means Hellbox isn't a typical Nameless mystery. Instead, it's a first-rate suspense novel about how casual, insensitive cruelties can lead to horrible consequences, especially for an innocent tourist who just went for a hike in the woods and talked to the wrong stranger at the wrong time.
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This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
Someone who likes dark, unlikable protaganists.
Did Nick Sullivan do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
Yes. They were all very distasteful in very different ways.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
The storytelling by the narrator was adequate.
Any additional comments?
There were 2 main issues I had with this book. First, the protaganist was so unlikable that I didn't feel compelled to get past the first quarter of the book. Second, the prose seemed to really drag. Overall, it was a very depressing read/listen.