Imagine reading that the bodies of seven young children have been discovered in the California desert? Reporters are horrified and refer to the deceased children as The Innocents.
The bones are old and cannot be identified except for a St. Christopher's medal and an inscription to Benito.
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 that they had no money to pay him. However, Zavala told them that if they gave him six-year-old Benito, the child would be placed with a wealthy family in America. Benito would 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 gave in and has lived with the sadness 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 to want to help Reyes. Will 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 we learn that the title "The Innocents" doesn't just represent the children who have been murdered. It describes the men searching for Zavala and his associates.
The reader comes to wonder how many people has Zavela killed and how did a certain businessman become so wealthy in the middle of the poverty that surrounds him.
The 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.