Fever, by Bill Ponzini

A man comes to a detective agency, asking them to locate his wife. They find her, apparently having turned to prostitution to get money to fund her gambling addiction. At the same time, a mother asks the agency to locate her missing son. The two cases are taken on by two separate PIs, and their stories alternate through the book.

The book was prefaced by a disclaimer from the author, making the point that it had been written just before the government enacted legislation banning certain types of internet gambling, and so I assumed that this would be a fairly integral part of the book. But it wasn't really.

The book was sort of OK-ish, but nothing special. The two detectives were pretty much cookie-cut as-you'd-expect cliched characters - one slightly jaded and cynical, one with a recent personal trauma who's trying to use his work to blot out his memories. It probably works better if you'd read the previous 34(! from checking Wikipedia) novels in the series, which I imagine would have meant you'd have more empathy for the way they behaved.

The story wasn't anything particularly new or unusual either - maybe the one thing that was slightly interesting was that when they located the missing woman in the opening sequence, they had to ask her permission before telling her husband (the client) where she was. She refused, and so all they could tell him was that she was found and OK.

This is billed as one of the "Nameless Detective" series, but I found this a bit confusing because so far as I could work out, all the detectives in the story did have names. It wasn't until I came across a review of this book somewhere which talked about the series and said "by now, we know the nameless detective is called 'Bill'" that it made sense.

I wouldn't rule out reading another book in the series if I happened to come across it, but I wouldn't bother searching them out.

Completed : 18-Aug-2011 (audiobook)

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