Audiobook Review: The Booktaker by Bill Pronzini, Nick Sullivan

The Booktaker written by Bill Pronzini, and read by Nick Sullivan is a mystery starring the Nameless Detective. I have not read or listened to anything by Pronzini before, so this was my first introduction to this Nameless Detective. In this story, he is hired to figure out how rare books and maps are being stolen from an antiquarian bookshop with a seamless security system. He goes undercover as an employee, but on his second day a theft occurs right under his nose. As he ponders the case (while on a date), he's violently struck from behind by a car that seems bent on driving him off the road. Will Nameless and Kerry survive this attempt on his life and solve the case?

When exploring a new author or series via audiobook the narrator is just as important as the quality of the writing. I have to say that Sullivan's tone and inflections were a perfect match to the hard boiled detective feel of The Booktaker. I loved the atmosphere and description of our detective, his world, and his love interest (Kerry). I really liked that while Kerry did play a part in the story, the relationship di

d not overpower the puzzle offered by the mystery that needed solving. I listened to the story while in my car, and often found myself treating the entire story like a puzzle- something I needed to study closely somehow knowing it would be a detail that would be easily overlooked that would trigger the solution. I am glad to say that that was quite true, and that I had a different answer than our detective- so the final conclusion was a surprise.  The combination of deep thought and tense action felt just about perfect to me.

The Booktaker is a great example or a hard-boiled detective story that will inspire mystery fans to get lost in the mystery. Readers that like to solve puzzles and actually have to work a bit to find the answer will enjoy the story. On the other hand, readers that really like to know a character might be bothered that we do not get too incredibly deep into who our detective is- but I think we do learn enough about him to make him a viable person. He is not flat, despite the lack of detail about his life.

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