Easy Innocence
by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Bleak House Books, 2008. ISBN 978-1-932557-67-1.
Reviewed by Sharon Wildwind
Posted on 06/11/2008

Fiction: Mystery

Lauren and Sara are starting their junior year in high school, and the pressure is on. Not only is this the year that grades and test scores count, but juniors must pass muster from the senior girls or face a year of harassment. At the ritual power-puff football game that marks the beginning of the school year, the older girls single out Sara for a little "attitude adjustment." Sara ends up dead, and an autistic young man is jailed for her murder.

Private investigator Georgia Davis knows two things: Cameron Jordon has already been short-changed by the medical and social services systems and, in the wealthy Chicago suburb of North Shore, the police have found a perfect suspect in a young man who can't defend himself. What Georgia doesn't know: the risky business Lauren and Sara have set up for themselves in order to pay for their electronic gadgets, expensive shoes and designer clothes.

This is a gorgeous, tightly-written mystery. The characters are fully developed and the plot has delicious sub-layers running through it. I love the way the superb writing flows. If I had teen-age daughters, this book would make me very concerned about what they might be up to that I didn't know about. Even if you don't have teen-age daughters (or nieces, friends, etc.) I strongly recommended this book. Mysteries don't get any better than this.

Libby Fischer Hellman writes two series, one featuring free-lance video producer Ellie Foreman, and a spin-off with the private investigator Georgia Davis. Libby writes in multiple genres: novels, short-stories, video scripts, as well as non-fiction focusing on speech delivery and media interviews. Originally from Washington, D. C., Libby has lived in the Chicago area for many years. You can visit her web site.

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