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IL Review- A Book Geek

Feb 22, 2019

The premise of Innocence Lost is an interesting one – if a bit unusual. Maggie Barnes is a young widow trying to raise her young son on her own in 1920’s Philadelphia amidst the violent results of Prohibition – gangsters and bootleggers run the city. Maggie’s family does not approve of her choices and she must work to overcome her own rigid and snobbish tendencies which are the result of her upbringing. Her aloofness towards her mostly immigrant neighbors at the beginning of the book makes it hard to really like her very much. But as Maggie gets to know the families who live around her, she soon warms to them and begins to make friends.

In the midst of her struggles to make ends meet and keep her son safe, she encounters an older gentleman who claims to be a former police officer. Strangely, no one else is able to see or hear him. This is Maggie’s first encounter with a ghost. While I was not completely sold on the whole ghost aspect of the story, I was able to get beyond it because I was so interested in the other aspects that really drew my interest. I enjoyed that the author paid a lot of attention to the details of the bootlegging industry – the cars, the precautions taken with accounting, bribes, etc — the kinds of details so often neglected in this kind of novel.

I also appreciated the history that was given to help explain why so many men were willing to work in such a dangerous and illegal situation. The corruption within the Philadelphia police force factors into the history and the story. The reader is introduced to lots of interesting characters, both real and fiction.

Maggie grows as a person and as an investigator. She learns how dangerous and complicated investigation work can be in the gangster-run city.  I found Innocence Lost to be a fast and entertaining read.  The series, Bootleggers’ Chronicles promises to be filled with danger and excitement.