The Innocence Game

A breakout, stand-alone thriller from Michael Harvey, Chicago's best known crime writer and the beloved author of the Michael Kelley P.I. series—a brilliant leap forward.

Michael Harvey's wire-taut thriller, THE INNOCENCE GAME, begins in an ordinary classroom at Northwestern's renowned journalism school but quickly spirals into the grittiest reaches of Chicago crime. Along with only two classmates — beautiful, strong-willed Sarah Gold, and enigmatically brilliant Jake Havens — Ian Joyce is part of the Innocence Seminar, an exclusive class for top-ranking students taught by a woman who goes simply by Z. The seminar investigates wrongful convictions and cold cases; the idealistic J-school students are tasked with trying to exonerate the falsely accused. But on the first day of class, Jake introduces a case of his own, the long-ago murder of a young boy, ten-year-old Skylar Wingate, last seen walking home from his house on Chicago's west side. Three days later, his body was found by a hiker in a forest preserve a mile away. The man convicted of killing Skylar was murdered decades ago in jail. But two chilling clues delivered to Jake's house, a piece of blood-stained fabric and a blunt hand-written confession, suggest that the real killer is still very much alive, and, indeed, in their midst, forcing them to confront what they know about themselves and each other. As the evidence mounts, the three classmates find themselves drawn into a web of deceit, corruption, and murder that will leave each of them fighting for their lives. From the archived depths of storage warehouses to the dense woods and moldering caves of the local preserve to the shores of Lake Michigan, THE INNOCENCE GAME is an irresistible, harrowing mystery from a writer at the top of his form.

Praise for The Innocence Game

“Harvey [writes] with crack timing, never allowing the reader a moment to unfasten his seat belt.”
—The Washington Post Book World

“Ingenious . . . Engrossing . . . Michael Harvey is a writer with a bright future.” 
—Illinois Times

“Harvey takes us into the dark underworld where guilt and innocence aren’t just debated in the courtroom—the losers lose big, and winners manage to simply survive . . . Complex, twisting plot, loaded with well-staged surprises, great summer read.”
—Blue Heron Journal

 “Michael Harvey portrays the city of Chicago and its environs to wonderful effect . . . Suspenseful from the start, the last third of the novel becomes much more than ‘just’ a page-turner, when I found that I could not put the book down until the final page, with an ending this reader absolutely did not see coming. It is highly recommended.”
—Midwest Book Review

“Wily and surprising . . . The appealing kids at the book’s center . . . leave us wanting more.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Ambitious . . . The suspense remains high throughout.”
—Publishers Weekly