Innocent Hour Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

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The Innocent Hour by Nancy A Hughes is a gripping tale in which a Vietnam veteran, Charlie Alderfer, sets out to prove the innocence of a young man accused of a crime he didn’t commit by his adoptive parents. Ben Olinger is an eighteen-year-old student who is loved by those at school and in the neighborhood. When the daughter of his foster parents accuses him of indecent assault, no one listens to him, and the cops force him to plead guilty. But Charlie knows that Ben is innocent and he takes Ben to a polygraph expert who proves his innocence. When Charlie discovers that the accusers won’t give up, he takes matters into his own hands. His pursuit for truth will uncover unsavory truths and expose deep-seated corruption in the system.


There is a lot to enjoy in this story, including Nancy A Hughes’s clever plotting and deft handling of character. Ben Olinger is aadultreading lovable character, a hard-working guy who is honest and pleasant. He has a strong sense of responsibility. The young girl who accuses him of indecent assault had been planning it all along, and even though he had been raised by foster parents since he was four years old, they still take her word for it and throw him out. The girl is manipulative and has used blackmail. Her motivation is brilliantly written. Charlie is a character that I adored. He is smart and I enjoyed the way he engages with young Ben. These characters are realistic and relatable and they are from a world that readers are familiar with. The writing is stellar and littered with vivid descriptions and engaging dialogues. The Innocent Hour is psychologically and emotionally rich, a tale with complex characters and a strong conflict that moves the plot steadily forward. The author creates a compelling premise that makes readers want to know what happens next to the characters. It was a delightful read, featuring believable characters and great storytelling.

©2023 Nancy A. Hughes. All Rights Reserved.