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The alias man
Pronzini, Bill.
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Publication Information:
New York : Walker & Co., 2004.
Physical Description:
213 pages ; 24 cm
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The women in his life call him the Alias Man. From Santa Fe to Pennsylvania, from Vancouver to San Francisco, he has seduced and charmed, stolen and disappeared, leaving unbearable hurt in his wake. Then his three most recent victims-- Jessie, Sarah, and Morgan-- find one another and collectively discover his involvement in an even more profitable and deadly scheme. As they work together to carry out their hunger for justice, each is forced to confront and overcome yet another enemy: her own fears and weaknesses.

In The Alias Man , internationally-acclaimed, award-winning crime writer Bill Pronzini offers a psychological thriller filled with the hallmark twists, turns, and surprises of his wicked imagination.

Author Notes

Bill Pronzini was born in Petaluma, California on April 13, 1943. His first novel, The Stalker, was published in 1971. He is best known for his creation of the Nameless Detective Mystery series, as well as several westerns and novels of dark suspense. He has been a full time writer since 1969. He is also an active anthologist, having compiled more than 100 collections, most of which focus on mystery, western, and science fiction short stories.

He has won numerous awards including three Shamus Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Mystery Writers of America. His book Snowbound received the Grand Prix de la Litterature Policiere, as the best crime novel published in France in 1988. Pronzini has established himself as a master of the Western novel as well as earning a name for himself in the dark fiction genre.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Jesse, a recently widowed antiques dealer from Pennsylvania, has a random sexual encounter with an art dealer in Sante Fe and is surprised by a marriage proposal. Sarah, a Vancouver bookshop owner, lost her husband to a car accident, but the body was never recovered. Morgan, a Northern California teacher, is certain her husband is having an affair. When he disappears, she finds and opens a safety-deposit box that contains cash and four names. Jesse, curious about her impetuous lover, tracks him back through the Sante Fe art community and uncovers multiple identities, which leads her to Morgan, the jilted schoolteacher, and Sarah, the mourning bookseller. Pronzini, a master storyteller whether writing his stellar Nameless detective series, westerns, or stand-alone thrillers, comes through once again with carefully rendered victims and a villain for whom the chameleon metaphor extends to his mercilessly reptilian brain. Most satisfying is the evolution of the victims, as each learns to compensate for the flaw that exposed them to the con man's sinister exploitation. Excellent reading. --Wes Lukowsky Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Best known for his long-running (four decades) Nameless Detective series, the prolific Pronzini centers his latest stand-alone around three angry women who have all been duped by the same bigamist con man. Known variously as Burt Cord, Allan Cooney, Frank Court or Scott Collins, he has a penchant for willowy blondes with money-he marries them, bleeds them dry, then disappears. It's a good scam that begins to unravel when the latest victim, Jessie Keene, falls for his act then has doubts about her rather odd and too-ardent lover, and the most recent wife, Morgan Cord, finds fake passports and photographs of her husband with other women. Joined by British Columbian bookseller Sarah Collins, the women nickname their victimizer Alias Man and decide to hunt him down and turn him over to the police. There's a mystery of sorts involving a thug who's also tracking down Alias, but it's all rather bloodless-literally so as the only corpse that turns up was killed by accident. All in all, the women aren't mad enough and the villain isn't bad enough to add up to much more than a mildly diverting read. Pronzini fans are best advised to wait for the next Nameless Detective installment. (June) Forecast: Name recognition will bring in some readers, but big numbers are doubtful. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The three women featured in this latest work from the Shamus Award-winning Prozini (In an Evil Time) have lost the men in their lives through death, desertion, or disappearance (he met one at a party and then mysteriously dropped her). To their horror, they discover that these men are the same person. Using different identities across the United States and Canada, "the Alias Man" has seduced and married several women, lived with each for three to four years, and then left her heartbroken and missing her life savings or inheritance. The book's appeal lies in the examination of each woman's devastation at her loss, her horror at gradually learning the truth, and the ultimate strength she finds as she bonds with the other women. But this is not really a suspense novel; the women never seem to be in danger, and there is never any real doubt about the outcome. Still, the author's many fans may want to read it all the same. Buy for demand. [Pronzini is married to Marcia Muller, whose new Sharon McCone mystery, The Dangerous Hour, is reviewed on p. 106.-Ed.]-Kim Uden Rutter, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.