book cover of The Innocents
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The Innocents

(The first book in the Wil Hardesty series)
A novel by

1996 Anthony Award for Best First Novel (nominee)
1996 Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel

In 1990, a flash flood rips through a lonely section of the California desert, unearthing the skeletons of seven murdered children. Amid the outcry for justice following the discovery, the media gives them a name: The Innocents. The Innocents case soon becomes a pressure cooker of media hype and political heat. Who are they? Who put them there? How were they killed? Clues are negligible: a nick in the bones that tells investigators the murder weapon was likely a knife, and a tarnisned Saint Christopher medal bearing the inscription Vaya Con Dios, Benito. Papa, 1967. One man recognizes those words, fully understands their meaning; they were once inscribed on the final gift to a six-year-old son who promised to be good. The man is Ignacio Reyes. Reyes must find out who killed his child; he knows, however, that the answer will unleash long-buried demons of memory and desperation, he turns to Wil Hardesty, a troubled private investigator who knows all too well about such things. He still grieves for his own young son. As Hardesty digs deep, aided by a risky deal with the law, he exposes monstrous crimes, other burdens of guilt to be shouldered and discarded, and the chance, finally, to forgive himself for his own loss. But now he and those close to him have become the hunted.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"A gripping story that opens doors on an intriguing world of mystery, deceit and murder." - Michael Connelly

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