(E-)Book Read! NO ONE IS INNOCENT by Gayle Tiller

Gayle Tiller, No One is Innocent (2011).

First sentence: “It’s two in the morning and I can’t sleep.”

P. 99: “Damn.  Keith didn’t know who Bill Roberts was either.”

Last sentence: “Some days are harder than others, but I take each day as it comes.”

From FeedBooks: Thirty-something Jasmine Myers is a divorced San Jose African-American private investigator who is battling her addiction to alcohol. Her biological clock is ticking and her ex-husband who is newly married wants her back.  Community leader Kristal Woods hires Jasmine to investigate the death of her husband Ralph Woods, the President of the Black Fire-fighters.  After two other fire-fighters die, Kristal is charged with all three murders.  A twisted path leads to the dark side of San Jose politics and life.  In the end, Jasmine learns that no one is innocent.

Although I really liked the story and plot-line, I thought this book was badly written.  The dialogues seem like lines spoken by bad actors and feel very artificial e.g.

‘Don’t lie to me, Jazz.  I know you, I don’t want you to die.’

‘Sheila, I am not going to drink.’

‘Jazz, you’re lying to me.’

‘You think I would drink after what just happened.  Come on.’

‘Jazz, you have to promise me that you won’t drink.’

‘Sheila, I promise.  Please leave.’

But I got especially irritated by the description of every new character (e.g. ‘… who was a slightly overweight, honey brown-skinned American-American woman in her late forties with shoulder length braids’ or ‘… was a gapped tooth, overweight fair skinned American-American woman in her late thirties with a bad complexion’. Why, in my edition of this book, these people are called American-American, I haven’t got a clue).

It is a pity, because some editing could have done wonders.



  1. Hmm, the premise sounds interesting, but I’m not sure about the book. The language indeed doesn’t sound quite so good. Is it a self-published book?

    American-American? What’s that? I find African-American a deceptive name in the first place (as if those people only have African ancestors? I bet you, most have European, or other, ancestors too). But American-American? That can only be native-American, i.e., Indians?

    • I haven’t got a clue, Judith, about what American-American means. At the end of the book, this description disappears however, and the charcters are suddenly mostly African-American. But perhaps it is native American that is meant. I wouldn’t know.
      The plot was good, though, so I finished the book. It is possible that this was self-published.

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