A simple case gets murderously complicated when "Nameless," Bill Pronzini's seasoned private-eye, exposes a nasty scam that involves junior account executive Jay Cohalan, his unhappy wife, and a mistress with a serious drug problem. It's the kind of case "Nameless" likes, because bleeders--the blackmailers, extortionists, small-time grifters, and other opportunists who prey on the weak and gullible--top his list of worthless human parasites. So there's nothing he enjoys more than putting another one or two of them out of commission and returning the $75,000 in blackmail cash to its rightful owner. "Nameless," though, cannot so easily close his Cohalan file--not when he finds his client face down in the middle of a four-poster bed with a bloody, powder-scorched hole behind the right ear. And only by a hair's breadth does "Nameless" himself escape a similar cold-blooded fate. His mind and gut wrenched by his brush with death, "Nameless" embarks on a relentless hunt for his unknown assailant in San Francisco's shadowy underworld. There he encounters bleeders of every ilk before he finds his quarry--and confronts his own demons--in a climax as powerful as it is shocking and unexpected.