The Innocence Game
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From Michael Harvey, Chicago’s best-known crime writer and author of the popular Michael Kelly series, comes something different: a leap forward into a dark world where the lines between innocence and guilt disappear altogether.
They’re young, brilliant, beautiful . . . and naïve enough to believe they can make a difference. For three graduate students, the exclusive innocence seminar at the nation’s most esteemed journalism school is supposed to teach them how to free the falsely accused from prison. Little do they know the most important lesson they’ll learn is how to stay alive.
The first day of class for Ian Joyce and Sarah Gold starts like any other, until a fellow student, Jake Havens, pulls a wrinkled envelope from his backpack. Inside is a bloodstained scrap of shirt from a boy murdered fourteen years ago and an anonymous note taking credit for the killing. The only problem is the alleged murderer is already dead.
Suddenly, the class has a new assignment: find the real killer. As the case unfolds, the bodies and questions begin to pile up.
Why are innocent men being framed?
Who’s been getting away with murder?
Drawn into a web of deceit and corruption, the students realize they, too, are being hunted. Ian, Sarah, and Jake are smart . . . but are they smart enough to stay alive?
From Northwestern’s idyllic campus, to the grittiest corners of Chicago, to the frigid depths of Lake Michigan, The Innocence Game is irresistible, harrowing suspense from a writer at the top of his form.
frying oil and a reach-in cooler. “You want to take them out of here?” Smitty said. “Just a few things.” “Turn out the light when you’re done.” Smitty left, and I was alone with the ViCAP files. Everything seemed to be in order. I pulled out the bite-mark photos Havens had shown me, along with a handful of supporting documents. Then I turned out the light. Upstairs, I ordered a dog and fries. I sat at a table outside, ate my dinner, and watched the traffic breeze past. The band from the cop’s
a small bag she kept at a careful distance. “Sorry about that,” she said. “What did you get?” “Cumin, red pepper, and chili powder. Good for tacos.” We walked some more. The sun was bright and hot now. A trombone had fired up somewhere, and the parade started. I bought us some ice cream. People smiled at us. Mostly because of Sarah, but I smiled back anyway. She linked her arm in mine and whispered in my ear. “Time for the face paint.” I laughed and let her smear my face with streaks of
recently polished table. Rodriguez waited for his friend to settle in, then turned back to me. “Here’s the plan, Ian. I have to work the two fresh murders for the next day or so. Sam’s gonna run the bite-mark evidence with the feds, and we have a couple of local things I need to check out. Meanwhile, Kelly’s going to stash you somewhere. The idea is if Coursey can’t find you, he can’t arrest you. I’ll have someone pick up Havens as well.” “What about the cover-up?” I said. “We’ve got the citric
a morgue. “Let him up,” I said. Havens glanced at me, then released his grip. Brennan’s pals rushed in. The football player hung limp in their arms. “Sit him up straight,” Havens said. They did. Havens punched Brennan once in the back, between the shoulder blades. He coughed and his eyes flickered open. “Get him out of here,” Havens said. No one had to be told twice. Havens slid back into the booth. I looked around for Sarah. “She left,” Havens said. “Probably too embarrassed.” I took a seat
out a small groan as Coursey tugged at him. “I don’t want him dying in here,” Z said. Coursey just nodded and kept working. “When did you start running the show?” I said. “You mean when did I decide to stop being a victim? They blackmailed me for ten years. During that time, I learned all I could about the operation. Then I just worked my way up. Like any good organization, it takes time. Eventually, however, I got to the top of the food chain. Now, I control the information. People pay for us