Bill Pronzini. Quicksilver (1984) 151 pp.
Publisher’s description: “A weekend fling turns into a week-long manhunt as the Nameless Detective’s last solo case involves him in a cat and mouse chase through San Francisco’s Japantown that ends in a confusion of murder, rape, and suicide. It is Friday, and on Monday, Nameless will grudgingly welcome Eberhardt, a retired cop and old friend, into his detective agency. The weekend should give him just enough time to wrap up the little mystery of Haruko Gage’s secret admirer who sends her expensive jewels, but doesn’t sign his name. With Gage, a domineering designer, as a client, Nameless figures a little light work will bring him a little extra cash. But instead of uncovering a mopey lover, Nameless stumbles on a violent ritual murder and finds himself enmeshed in a bizarre case of confused identity and perverse kidnapping whose roots stem from the Tule Lake Relocation Center—one of the World War II camps for Japanese-Americans—and a long buried secret that would never have happened if a different crime against 100,000 people hadn’t been committed in 1942. While Eberhardt is pressing Nameless to set up shop, a kingpin in the Yakuza—the “Japanese Mafia”—is brutally butchered in his bathhouse, a rancher is killed in a hit-and-run accident, and a mausoleum is burglarized and filled with fresh-cut roses. The best clue Nameless has is a grainy black-and-white photo of three young Japanese men standing in front of a wire-mesh fence. To unmask a killer, Nameless must unravel a web of guilt and intrigue that spans many lives and forty years.”
Setting: San Francisco (Japantown)
Hubin
1001 Midnights, p. 648