Three classmates at Northwestern’s prestigious journalism school are catapulted into their darkest assignment yet: find a real killer. The Innocence Game is an ambitious stand-alone cold case with master plot-twisters and a gritty Midwestern setting that make this an irresistible, harrowing suspense.
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.
Michael Harvey is the author of The Chicago Way, The Fifth Floor, The Third Rail, and We All Fall Down, and is also a journalist and documentary producer. His work has received numerous national and international awards, including multiple news Emmys, two Primetime Emmy nominations, and an Academy Award nomination. He holds a law degree with honors from Duke University, a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in classical languages from Holy Cross College. He lives, of course, in Chicago.
“Michael Harvey should be read by all.” –John Grisham
“Jolting. . . . Harvey’s feel for Chicago ramps up the fast-paced, grimly realistic action.” –New York Times Book Review
“Harvey does for the Windy City what Michael Connelly did for Los Angeles: He commandeers it, warts and all, and wrangles it into his fiction.” – Chicago Tribune
In this ambitious stand-alone from Harvey (The Chicago Way and three other Mike Kelly PI novels), three Northwestern journalists—Ian Joyce, Jake Havens, and Sarah Gold—enroll in a special course that requires them to investigate cases that strongly suggest the accused were wrongfully convicted. One case concerns the murder of 10-year-old Skylar Wingate. The man convicted of the crime has long since died, but new evidence supports the theory the real killer is still alive. On a visit to the site where Skylar was found buried the three students discover the body of another boy in a cave. When their search for the killer brings them in contact with the corrupt underbelly of the Chicago police, they realize they must solve the crime—not only for the sake of justice but to save their own lives. Although Harvey makes some far-fetched connections in the wrap-up, the suspense remains high throughout. – Publishers Weekly