The Innocent

( 13 )


In 1997, Green Haven Prison went insane…

They call him Keeper, but lately Jack Marconi has specialized in losing things. Just last year, he lost his wife in a mysterious traffic accident, and ever since, he’s felt like he’s losing his mind. As the warden of the maximum security Green Haven Prison, home to 2,500 of New York’s most hardened criminals, Marconi can’t afford to drop focus, even for an instant. But he’s been slipping up on the job, and he’s tormented by flashbacks to ...

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In 1997, Green Haven Prison went insane…

They call him Keeper, but lately Jack Marconi has specialized in losing things. Just last year, he lost his wife in a mysterious traffic accident, and ever since, he’s felt like he’s losing his mind. As the warden of the maximum security Green Haven Prison, home to 2,500 of New York’s most hardened criminals, Marconi can’t afford to drop focus, even for an instant. But he’s been slipping up on the job, and he’s tormented by flashbacks to the Attica uprising. All of which makes him ripe for the role of patsy when a convicted cop killer named Eduardo Vasquez stages a daring breakout on his watch.

From the start, Marconi suspects an inside job. What he doesn’t suspect is that he’ll become the target of a frame-up. Soon drugs are planted in Marconi’s office, embarrassing photos are circulated, and he finds himself facing trumped-up charges of obstruction of justice. With his supervisors clearly setting him up to take the fall, Marconi hatches a desperate scheme to clear his name. Kidnapping the escaped killer’s girlfriend, he arms himself with a .45 and takes off in pursuit of Vasquez—and the truth.

Once sworn to uphold the law, Marconi will have to elude it if he wants to bring this conspiracy to light. Otherwise Keeper could lose everything: his job, his reputation—and even his life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612183466
  • Publisher: Amazon Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Series: P. I. Jack Marconi Series, #3
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Vincent Zandri is an award-winning novelist, essayist and freelance photojournalist. His novel As Catch Can (Delacorte) was touted in two pre-publication articles by Publishers Weekly and was called "Brilliant" upon its publication by The New York Post. The Boston Herald attributed it as “The most arresting first crime novel to break into print this season.”
Other novels include Godchild (Bantam/Dell) and Permanence (NPI). Translated into several languages, including Japanese and Dutch, Zandri’s novels have also been sought out by numerous major movie producers, including Heyday Productions and DreamWorks. Moonlight Falls (R.J.Buckley) is Zandri’s fourth novel.
Presently, he is the author of the blogs Dangerous Dispatches and Embedded in Africa for Russia Today TV (RT). He also writes for other global publications, including Culture 11, Globalia and Globalspec. Zandri’s nonfiction has appeared in New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, Game and Fish Magazine and others, while his essays and short fiction have been featured in many journals, such as Fugue, Maryland Review and Orange Coast Magazine.
Zandri holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College, and is a 2010 International Thriller Writer’s Awards panel judge. He currently divides his time between New York and Europe.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 12, 2011

    In the Tradition of Classic Noir

    The Innocent was my first introduction to both Jack Marconi and his creator, Vincent Zandri. The story flowed effortlessly from one action packed scene to the next. Well written, I was able to get caught up into this story, where I was envisioning Bogie in the role of Jack Marconi.

    While I'm not a big fan of literary noir, Zandri may have just converted me. Looking forward to reading the rest of the Jack Marconi series, as well as other Vincent Zandri books.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Damn Near Perfect Crime Novel

    Book three in my Vincent Zandri marathon was "The Innocent." It kicks off the Keeper Marconi series, which focuses on a prison warden who makes a career change to kicking ass outside the iron house, not in it.

    In a nutshell, "The Innocent" once again finds Keeper set up. This time, he takes the fall for a prisoner who escaped during a dental appointment. He's got to find the prisoner and figure out how to clear his name.

    Actually, "this time" would be inaccurate, as I read "The Innocent" before I read its sequel, "Godchild," where he is also set up. No bother, it's all good stuff.

    "The Innocent" starts what "Godchild" finishes, namely who murdered his wife. It's the motivating force behind everything he does. If Keeper has some contempt for humanity, it's only because he hasn't yet figured out which one of you dirty apes killed the love of his life.

    The noir themes are heavy throughout "The Innocent," but didn't come across nearly as cliche as they did in "Godchild." It's my only criticism of this series. But as I've written before, there's a difference between regurgitating old tropes and just damn good writing. Zandri has that "it" factor that makes his work tick. There's a rhythm to his writing that works really well. I can't say that about everyone writing hard-boiled crime fiction these days.

    Outside of noir, the other theme running through this series is redemption. Keeper's guilt for losing his wife drives him mad. He's lost his edge. After his death, the other characters note how absent-minded he's become. Even his crackdown on prison drugs, which used to be a roaring success, isn't working out. He's feeling weak and he knows it.

    That's why he's so determined to clear his name and return to his job as a warden. His job is all he's got any more. Not that it's a rosy one. The book flashes back to a brutal Attica prison revolt in 1971. The event hardened Keeper's soul, but in the wrong ways. He knows disconnecting from the world is easy, but it's not worth the consequences. Because you might end up an alcoholic, like his friend Mike, or a sexual tyrant, like his boss, Wash Pelton. Or you might find yourself accused of a crime you didn't commit.

    In short, Keeper is a complicated guy. I couldn't appreciate that by reading "Godchild" alone. Maybe reading a series out of order isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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  • Posted February 14, 2011

    ABSOLUTELY WOWtastic!!!

    Another winner from the great VZ! Yep, you heard right! Another wonderfully, fast paced, thrilling suspense novel from the great Vincent Zandri! I was so pleased to be able to be squeezed in on this blog tour to review yet another great novel by Vincent. I read both Moonlight Falls and The Remains for previous tours, and of course, with out a doubt, LOVED those books.Zandri's novels are just WOWtastic! His writing style is unique enough to be different yet bold enough to make hit sellers!

    In The Innocent, we get a taste of Zandri's earliest writing. This was one of his first novels and you would never know it, as wonderful as the characters are created and the amazing plot line. The story brings us to the fast paced, suspenseful lives of Jack Marconi and Eduardo Vasquez and as the story unfolds inside the Green Haven prison, the heart pounding, breath-gasping suspense comes at the reader instantly. The prison scene is always one that holds the most suspense for me,as with it always comes the first hand look at the inside happenings of a prison, and I found that that was true with this novel as well.

    This is most definitely, high flying, hands down a 5 star novel, that EVERYONE suspense/crime lover should read. You'll be instantly captured from the first page, drug into the action from the start and by the end, you'll just simply sit there with your jaw open and wondering why this great author had to conclude the novel. Please, grab a copy today and see for your self why I recommend this absolutely WOWtastic author and his FANtabulous novels!

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  • Posted February 8, 2011

    Loved it!

    For years Jack "Keeper" Marconi has been the warden at Green Haven Prison. After his beloved wife dies in an accident, he loses his focus and gives permission for one of his inmates to have a dental appointment outside the prison. This turns out to be one of the biggest mistakes he could have made. Cop-killer, Eduardo Vasquez, escapes leaving Jack accused of not having his mind on his job. The media, as well as his boss, make him the scapegoat but Jack quickly finds out there's a much bigger conspiracy going on than he ever knew was possible.

    Jack is sure if he finds Vasquez, he'll be able to discover who truly was behind the escape. More and more it's looking as if one of his own may have assisted the criminal in making his getaway. Not only does he want them punished, but Jack wants to clear his own name as well.

    It becomes a game of cat and mouse as Jack chases down Vasquez. He is no longer sure who he can trust. Old friends become new enemies. It's a situation Jack never experienced before and hopes to put an abrupt stop to now.

    Jack is truly a tortured hero portrayed expertly in this book. The story is told in his voice making the readers feel his anguish and pain with each word. The villains are truly vile which makes it easy for readers to despise them. The book never slows down, it's fast moving, intense and can be read in just a couple of days. I know I didn't want to put this one down. I had to know how it was going end up for our hero.

    Vincent Zandri is a "new-to-me" author who I will certainly be keeping an out for. His writing is what thrillers and suspense novels are all about.

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  • Posted February 4, 2011

    The Stuff of Nightmares....sinful and decadent nightmares

    After I read this book I had the craziest dream that was a cross between the novels The Innocent, The Shining and the tv shows Paranormal State and Sisterwives. That's what Vincent Zandri's his magic power...his books take you to the depths of your morality, emotions and imagination. When you fall asleep after reading his work you are left asking yourself questions, "Would I have done the same thing? How would I have reacted? Do men really look at women when they stretch?"
    Ok so that last part maybe not everyone would. I did. Once again we come to his gift. He provides an insight into people, men, women (he proved that in The Remains) and characters in a way people don't normally consider. He did it again in the Innocent. If I were back home in the south this would have already traveled the gossips circles twice before Sunday morning church. The Innocent a must have.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    Grand Slam!!!

    The Innocent by Vincent Zandri
    Published by StoneGate Ink
    ISBN-13: 2940011815430
    ISBN: 0011815434
    At both the author's and blog owner's request, an EBook edition was purchased by me, for my honest opinion.
    Synopsis (borrowed from Amazon): Getting caught is simply not an option.
    It's been a year since Jack Marconi's wife was killed. Ever since, he's been slipping up at his job as warden at an upstate New York prison. It makes him the perfect patsy when a cop-killer breaks out--with the help of someone on the inside. Throwing himself into the hunt for the fleeing con, Jack doesn't see what's coming.
    Suddenly the walls are closing in. And in the next twenty-four hours, Jack will defy direct orders, tamper with evidence, kidnap the con's girlfriend--and run from the law with a .45 hidden beneath his sports coat. Because Jack Marconi, keeper of laws, men, secrets, and memories, has been set up--by a conspiracy that has turned everyone he ever trusted into an enemy. And everything he ever believed in into the worst kind of lie.
    My Thoughts and Opinion: It is ironic that today, the first of the year, that I am reviewing the first book that started it all. Even though this version has been rewritten, the original was Mr. Zandri's first. I became hooked by this author when I read his other books, Moonlight Falls, The Remains, and the digital short, Pathological. Reading The Innocent, for me was like watching a toddler start to walk. Amazing!!!!
    What did I think of The Innocent? A heart pounding read!!! Non stop suspense!!!. Zandri is a genius when it comes to writing. He grabs you from the first few pages and doesn't let go until the last word!! Masterful writing, whereas, he incorporates the present day plot and then transports the reader to another page turning subplot of the past and back to the present making it a page turning, can't put down read!!! Due to one continuous spoiler, that I do not want to give away, the story line had this reader fleeing and breathless with the main character, Keeper Marconi. Phenomenal!!! Chilling!!! The only negative I am finding with Vin Zandri's books is this, when I finish reading one, I want more!! Vincent Zandri and The Innocent are a Grand Slam!!!!!!
    My Rating: 5

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  • Posted December 28, 2010


    Good thriller story.

    What does a warden do if he is being framed for a series of crimes? Go on the offensive and try to clear his name.

    Good quick read that I didn't want to put down.

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  • Posted November 11, 2010

    Great Book!

    The Innocent - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

    'I was their warden.
    I was their keeper, their mother and their father.
    Which is why, for me, the matter of Eduard Vasquez's escape was such a serious offence. I had signed the release form allowing him to visit a dentist on the outside. As the keeper of Green Haven, I was directly responsible It was my decision and my decision only. What I mean is, I could have said no. But then, I couldn't just deny a prisoner his right to proper dental care if that's what he wanted. That was the rule in New York State. As the keeper, my job was not rehabilitation. My job was to see that society was protected from its prisoners. But get this: It was also my job to see that a man who'd shot a New York City cop at point-blank range maintained a pearly-white smile.'

    Jack "Keeper" Marconi is the warden at Green Haven Prison in New York State. For some time now he has been faced with the problem of an increase in drugs and contraband inside the prison, the Commissioner demanding a decrease in correction officers manning the prison and now the escape of Eduard Vasquez. The escape took place on the way back from a dentist visit, putting one of the officers in the hospital. His condition.. coma.

    As the story regarding what actually happened starts to be told, Keeper notices a few loopholes. His investigation takes him before the Commissioner with an offer to take the blame and everything will simply blow over. He's really surprised to hear this offer coming from his long time friend Commissioner Washington Pelton. Twenty five years ago Keeper, Wash and another CO named Mike Norman had gone through hell during the Attica up rise. They saw and experienced more than any human beings should ever have to see or live through. But something had changed Wash and not for the best.

    I've never been fond of movies nor books that were prison related so when I started reading The Innocent I knew from the beginning I was committed to reading a book that I really didn't want to read. I decided I would just read and hopefully I would be able to turn the pages quickly and just get it over with. Boy was I ever wrong! I did turn the pages quickly but not due to wanting to finish quickly but to see who was behind the corruption, drug dealings and murders of the various characters. And how Keeper was going to find enough evidence to save his own life as well as the life of Vasquez's girlfriend Cassandra's life. I found Vincent Zandri to be a very descriptive writer allowing you to see the events as they take place. I found myself feeling as if I were on the outside looking in. In my opinion, The Innocent (formerly written with the title As Catch Can) could easily become a hit movie.

    The Innocent

    Dell Publishing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2011

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