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.