The Innocents

Down & Out Books
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Winner of the 1996 Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel!

There are seven of them. Children—innocents—whose long-buried remains are uncovered by a flash-flood. No one knows who could have committed such a crime. Clues are scarce, and with the media turning the story into a law enforcement nightmare, time is short. Only Wil Hardesty, a private eye who has more in common with the case than anyone knows, is willing to push hard enough—and dig deep enough—to find the cruelest of killers. The killer of The Innocents …

Praise for THE INNOCENTS …

“Author Richard Barre kicked off his Wil Hardesty series with this smart, psychologically nuanced first novel, which garnered a 1996 Shamus Award. The plot is gripping, the dialogue sharp, and the villains very villainous indeed, but the character of Wil Hardesty is what separates this mystery from the rest of the pack. More than just another private-eye-with-a-troubled-past, Hardesty is both complicated and flawed, a very real human who brings a lifetime’s worth of pain, passion, and guilt to bear on solving this crime.” —Publishers Weekly

“Sober, understated, intense.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Up-close and personal narrative…nicely convoluted plot.” —Library Journal

“Crisp, street-smart dialogue; a likable protagonist; and very nasty villains…a solid debut.” —Booklist

“Impressive.” —San Francisco Examiner

“Excellent…the writing is so good.” —The Oregonian

“Walking in the shadows of everyone from Ross Macdonald to Lawrence Block, Barre still manages to find something original to say. The book’s strength comes from the chances it takes…fresh characters…clever plot twists.” —Chicago Tribune

“Hardesty is remarkably evolved as a character in his first outing. [He] could be you or me or a neighbor, a person trying hard to survive a few of life’s dirtier tricks. He has stature.” —The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

“Barre delivers…an engrossing mystery that moves quickly in prose that is as sleek and muscular as its protagonist. This first outing easily handles, then transcends, the genre requisites for a lively, intense read. Reserve a long evening for this one…it delivers the tension and pace that readers demand.” —Santa Barbara News Press

“One of the best mysteries of the year.” —Firsts Magazine

The Innocents is a truly powerful and moving novel, going beyond the private eye genre as only the best authors do. Let’s hope that is only the first of a long and significant series.” —Otto Penzler, Mysterious Press

“Barre is a skilled writer, an uncanny observer and comes equipped with an uncommonly good ear for dialogue. Wil Hardesty, is a most welcome addition to the pantheon of private detectives.” —Ross Thomas, author of Out on the Rim

“A truly powerful and moving novel…an intriguing world of mystery, deceit and murder. Richard Barre is a skilled writer and The Innocents is a gripping story.” —Michael Connelly, author of The Fifth Witness

“A great read. Barre has a great command of all the elements—plot, character, and individual scenes. I suspect and hope that Wil Hardesty will be around crime fiction for many novels to come.” —James Crumley, author of Dancing Bear

“Will Hardesty is a man with a lot of pain and a lot of pride, a man with a mission: a man you should meet. In a world of fake and fabrication, The Innocents is the real thing.” —Stephen Greenleaf, author of False Conception

The Innocents is a powerful novel…of action and suspense that is, in the end, a voyage of self-discovery.” —Michael Collins, author of Crimes and Misdemeanors

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Additional Information

Down & Out Books
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Published on
Sep 5, 2011
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Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
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