“The Innocents”


“The Innocents” by David Putnam is part of his Bruno Johnson series, but it is not necessary to have read the other books to enjoy this one. Those who have not read the previous books can jump right in without any problem. In fact, this is the perfect place to start for a new reader because it is a prequel, set in 1988.

Bruno Johnson is a new detective on the L. A. County Sheriff’s Violent Crimes Team, and this book is his first person narrative. This book is filled with action and drama that starts with a surprising revelation in chapter one, and goes on to chronicle all that Johnson has to deal with over the next few days in his personal and professional life.

The action is non-stop and runs the gamut from the mundane to the incredibly complex. It is hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys, especially since some people are both. Johnson has to juggle training a new partner, dealing with unreliable coworkers, uncovering possible corruption in the department, and solving violent crimes all in a few days. Oh, wait! We must not forget that little personal complication that cannot be ignored.

The book is narrative driven, and we learn about the cast of characters as Johnson sees them. We share Johnson’s thoughts, question, and fears in every situation. The conversations are realistic and revealing. Page after page is filled with suspense, action, and non-stop twists and turns. Johnson has a busy few days that come to a surprising end.

When I picked up “The Innocents” by David Putnam, the cover featuring a baby carriage with a police silhouette shadow suggested that it might be about black market baby selling or perhaps about children whose parents either were victims of crime or were somehow involved in criminal activities, leaving the innocent children as the ultimate victims. Well, the book was not about any of those conflicts. It was great, and the cover fooled me on all counts — good for Oceanview Publishing!

I received a copy of “The Innocents” from David Putnam, Oceanview Publishing, and Net Galley in exchange for an impartial review. This is a book filled with realistic conflicts, complicated relationships, and non-stop action. I highly recommend it.