Songs of Innocence - Richard Aleas I loved getting to know detective John Blake in [b:Little Girl Lost|201056|Little Girl Lost (Hard Case Crime #4)|Richard Aleas||194531]. In crime-ridden New York with lots of people leading double lives, John maintains his innocence and is deeply affected by what he uncovers in his quest for justice. Three years later, John’ s life is changed. He has abandoned private investigative work and decides to complete his education, so he accepts a job as an administrative assistant for the university’s writing program. Once again, John becomes involved with a troubled and hurt young woman and once again he sets out to determine the cause of her death, this time an apparent suicide. John, however, believes foul play was involved and once he digs deeper, he learns of Dorrie’s job as a sex worker and uncovers some hard and ugly truths, about others and himself. As my friends Dan and Kemper stated, this is a mind-blowing and powerful novel with strong, well-developed characters. It gripped me right from the start, and left me breathless until its grim and devastating conclusion.