Revenge is best served cold…this seems to be the credo of famous comedienne Lila Carmichael, when she invites six former college friends to her weekend retreat in the San Juan Islands. For it has been fifteen years since they all betrayed her, while they were each aspiring actors enjoined in the production of Picnic.
They are each hoping for something from Lila…something to enrich their lives and help them move up in their careers.
What they get instead is a wicked parlor game that turns ugly. And deadly.
Throughout the story, we catch glimpses of what formed Lila: her restrictive and religious upbringing; her insecurities; her issues with her weight. And then we see how one horrible prank that the others scarcely even recall set her life on its course. One that led to bitterness and joy in hurting others, and to the vengeful weekend.
The setting for the weekend was lovely, however, and I did enjoy the journey there, as well as the beautiful surroundings. Even though the weekend was stormy and cold.
Parts of the story were intriguing, but soon I felt bogged down with the flashbacks that could have been more interesting earlier in the tale. Innocent Little Crimes is a character study that showcases errors in judgment and the high cost of pranks, especially when played on someone vulnerable.
None of the characters were likeable, in my opinion, and even as I felt some empathy for Lila’s childhood, her reactions to it only made me dislike her. The same could be said for most of the others. In the end, each one is left with much less than he or she had…and I had to wonder if any of them learned their lessons. This one was a book that made me ponder consequences and left me feeling relieved to turn the last page. 3.5 stars.