THE INNOCENTS by Richard Barre


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 The day after Benito Reyes's sixth birthday back in 1967, his parents gave him up to baby-broker Bolo Zavala as the price of their own entry into the US. Now Benito's corpse is one of seven children's bodies--all obviously killed within a day or two of Benito's disappearance--that have been discovered near California's Saddleback Butte, and his widowed father Ignacio, grown wealthy and successful, wants surfer/shamus Wil Hardesty to avenge his son. Wil, a Vietnam vet who never met a cop he didn't antagonize, is a painfully logical choice, because he's still grieving over his own dead son. But he'll have his work cut out for him, even after he ties Zavala in to local social-service octopus Los Amigos de Hermosillo and its twin pillars, shady importer-exporter Leonardo Guerra and Nobel Peace Prize hopeful Father Martin DeSantis--both of whom have been tracking his every move. Wil's frequent wrong guesses about how much to tell the police and when to push confrontations on his own take a deadly toll on his friends and allies; and the secrets of Los Amigos turn out to be too shocking for the authorities to credit without the kind of proof that Wil's in no position to provide. Sober, understated, intense. Every move is familiar, but newcomer Barre handles them all with the kind of power that reminds you what made them that way.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-8027-3261-5
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1995


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