Saving the Innocents
by Randall Kenneth Drake

"The box dropped to the ground, and came to rest in the mud puddle along the side of the road. She whispered. 'Daddy?... Daddy? What about me?'"

The world is filled with hurting adults who were damaged as children, although most of them have learned to successfully hide their pain from those around them. Many are victims of abuse, neglect, or abandonment who have learned to cope in society but have never completely healed on the inside. Mary Jane, the heroine of Drake's gripping digital novel, remains deeply wounded from when her father left her behind at a circus when she was four years old. However, instead of being weakened by the experience, she has become stronger. Now as an adult, she is driven by two things: first, a desire to help others she encounters who are helpless or suffering and, second, to somehow find the father who deserted her so many years ago.

While Mary Jane is the chief protagonist in the story, she is hardly the only person who is damaged. For example, Drake introduces his audience to spunky little seven-year-old Sera and her protector, Jack, who live in an abandoned building and hide out from some rather unsavory characters. Readers also meet Nick, a bartender who has still not recovered from the betrayal of his former lover. The author weaves all three storylines into a suspenseful plot filled with action, pathos, heartbreak, and love. Unlike so many independently published e-books, Drake's shows the marks of painstaking craftsmanship. On his website, the author recognizes that much of the success of his work lies in the fact that he took the time to have it edited by two seasoned professionals before it ever saw publication. The extra effort has paid off. This novel is fast-paced and entertaining from beginning to end.

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