THE INNOCENCE THAT KILLS by Ronald Levitsky

THE INNOCENCE THAT KILLS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

After defending civil-rights cases from Virginia (The Love That Kills, 1991) to North Dakota (Stone Boy, 1993), Nate Rosen comes home to Chicago to visit his 15-year-old daughter Sarah -- and walks into the middle of an even more volatile case: Sarah's friend Nina Melendez, whose mother and aunt (primed by Nina's diary) have accused her teacher Martin Bixby of molesting her, is found at the bottom of a convenient ravine. Case closed, say the relieved Evanston police; and Nate, joining Nina's cleaning-lady mother, Esther and her artist aunt Lucila for some straight answers, finds himself stonewalled by everybody from the spineless school principal to the EIlsworths, Esther's posh employers, to his own ex-wife, a colleague of Bixby's. Nate's even divided against himself, as the civil-rights lawyer in him slugs it out with the overprotective father. The sorry answers in the case take Nate far beyond the question of Bixby's guilt and the welfare of the kids in Arbor Shore High School for a walk on cushy suburbia's wildest side-seen here as if by a sympathetic foreign observer with compassion and surgical precision.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1994
Page count: 260pp
Publisher: Scribners