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  • ISBN10: 0843957735
  • ISBN13: 9780843957730
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Leisure Books

Songs of Innocence (Hard Case)
by Richard Aleas

Reviewed by Max

Rating: 4 out of 5

  • Posted 6 years ago
  • Viewed 1576 times, 0 comments
  • Average user rating: (4/5)

John blake Returns in Another Noir Mystery

Songs of Innocence picks up three years after the events in Little Girl Lost . Blake is no longer a P.I. but at Columbia University working in the writing program office. There he meets Dorothy Louise Burke (Dorrie) with whom he becomes a friend then lover. They both have secrets: with John it's the events that occurred in Little Girl Lost; with Dorrie it's that she is a sex trade worker. They share something else. They both keep suicide as an option if life becomes too much to bear. they have agreed though, that if one of them decides to commit suicide that they will tell the other first. When Dorris is found dead, an apparent suicide, John can't accept it. As in Little Girl Lost, he is determined to find out who killed Dorrie, regardless of the cost to himself.

Songs of Innocence is painful to read. Aleas is excellent at writing a character whose life is disintegrating but who can't act otherwise. His description of the massage sex trade and some of the women in it is graphic but not in the least titillating. I found it to be an engrossing, well plotted story with believable, interesting characters cought in their own versions of hell. I don't recommend reading it on a dark, stormy night when you are feeling depressed but I do recommend it if yo favor the hardboiled school of writing.

Oh, and if you've forgotten your survey of English literature course, Songs of Innocence and Experence is a book of poems by William Blake.

Richard Aleas is the pen name of Charles Ardai, co-founder of Hard Case Crime. This is his second novel. You can hear an excellent interview of Charles on Behind the Black Mask  where he talks about his first book, Little Girl Lost, as well as Hard Case Crime press. 

Cheers - Mack Lundy - Mack Pitches Up

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