The bones are old and cannot be identified except for a St. Christopher's medal and an inscription.
Eventually, a man who learns of the inscription, believes that this may be the body of his six-year-old son. He contacts private investigator Wil Hardesty for help.
With heartache showing through his words, Ignacio Reyes, explains how desperately poor his family was in Mexico. They heard about a border runner named Bolo Zavala. When he was contacted and saw the family, Zavala knew they had no money to pay him. However, Zavala told them that if they gave him their six-year-old son, Benito, the child would be placed with a wealthy family in America. He'd be well taken care of and with the money Zavala would get from placing the boy in adoption, he would take Reyes and his family across the border. Eventually, the father agreed and has lived with the sadness and loss since then.
Will is assisted by his friend, Paul Rodriguez. The men were Vietnam buddies. As they talk, we learn that Wil has a particular reason for wanting to help with this case. Wil can relate to Reyes because Wil had lost his ten-year-old son to a surfing accident and still feels the acute sadness that grips the parent who has lost a child.
As the search for Zavela continues, possible leads arrive and the reader learns that the title of the novel, "The Innocents" doesn't just represent the children who had been murdered in the desert. It describes the men searching for Zavala and his associates.
How many people has Zavala killed and how did a certain businessman become so wealthy in the middle of the poverty that surrounds him?
This chronicle is filled with the grief of Benito's parents. It also relates to Wil and his wife, who discuss having another child. There is still one other character who has a baby that could be the next child murdered.
This drama gives the reader a pause to think about what can exist and how fortunate they are that others take the responsibility to find and stop criminals and killers such as are described in the novel.
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