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August, 1944, Prague is where the story begins with a seemingly casual exchange. But in wartime, is any act trivial?
Decades later, in contemporary Chicago, documentary filmmaker Ellie Foreman gets a letter prompted by the success of her show “Celebrate Chicago.” One viewer was the elderly Ben Sinclair. When he suddenly dies, his landlady, Mrs. Fleischman, finds Ellie’s name among his effects and writes her. Ellie is curious and agrees to help dispose of Ben Sinclair’s possessions. After all, she became a filmmaker to help people tell their stories.
The books and wartime relics Ben left behind aren’t enough to tell his, and all too soon, Mrs. Fleischman suddenly dies. When Ben’s things are stolen from Ellie’s suburban home, the single mom  doesn’t know what to think. But she has to scramble for work and is soon embroiled in producing a campaign video for a steel magnate heiress running for the US Senate. Despite these distractions and a new love interest, Ellie stays focused on her odd link to the dead man and turns to her father, a retired lawyer with deep roots in Chicago’s Jewish community for insight. In time, a terrifying scenario develops that reaches back into several pasts.
 From the affluence of the North Shore to blue-collar Chicago neighborhoods, the components of Ben’s story eventually merge into an explosive and satisfying climax.


Editorial Reviews

“A masterful blend of politics, history, and suspense, this novel is well worth reading… sharp humor and vivid language… Ellie is an engaging amateur sleuth. Readers will hope they won’t have to wait too long for Ellie’s return.” Publishers Weekly

A clever blend of thrills and humor… Hellmann has created a compelling group of believable characters…” Chicago Sun-Times

“Complicated… fascinating… Hellmann has a beautifully tuned ear… which makes many of her scenes seriously funny.” Chicago Tribune



Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Fifteen novels and twenty-five short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery writing community and has even won a few. More at http://libbyhellmann.com

Free thriller novel 'Easy Innocence' by Libby Fischer Hellmann