Janel’s #CBR4 Review 36, 37 & 40 3 Mysteries by Brad Parks
I heard Brad Parks speak at the Gaithersburg Book Festival this summer and decided to read his first two books as well as his latest. If you ever get a chance to hear Brad speak you should go!
Faces Of The Gone
Investigative reporter Carter Ross finds himself with gruesome front-page news: four bodies in a vacant lot, each with a single bullet hole in the back of the head. In a haste to calm residents, local police leak a story to Carter’s colleagues at the Newark Eagle-Examiner, calling the murders revenge for a bar stickup. But while Carter may not come from the streets, he knows a few things about Newark’s ghettos. And he knows the story the police are pushing doesn’t make sense. He enlists the aide of Tina Thompson, the paper’s smoking hot city editor, to run interference for him at the office; Tommy Hernandez, the paper’s gay Cuban intern, to help him with legwork on the street; and Tynesha Dales, a local stripper, to take him to Newark’s underside. Soon, Carter learns the four victims have one connection after all, and knowing this will put him in the path of one very ambitious kill
Good mystery set within the newspaper world. Carter Ross is a lovable main character. Parks capture the different personalities of his characters well.
Eyes Of The Innocent
Carter Ross, investigative reporter for the Newark Eagle-Examiner, is reporting on the latest tragedy to befall Newark, New Jersey, a fast-moving house fire that kills two boys. With the help of the paper’s newest intern, a bubbly blonde known as “Sweet Thang,” Carter finds the victims’ mother, Akilah Harris, who spins a tale of woe about a mortgage rate reset that forced her to work two jobs and leave her boys home alone. Carter turns the story into a front page feature, but soon discovers Akilah isn’t what she seems. When Newark councilman Windy Byers is reported missing, Carter must plunge into the murky world of urban house flipping and Jersey-style political corruption, aided by his usual mix of humor and street smarts.
Again Parks finds the right balance of humor with reality with his characters. Good mystery with real world topics mixed in.
Girl Next Door
Reading his own newspaper’s obituaries, veteran reporter Carter Ross comes across that of a woman named Nancy Marino, who was the victim of a hit-and-run while she was on the job delivering copies of that very paper, the Eagle-Examiner. Struck by the opportunity to write a heroic piece about an everyday woman killed too young, he heads to her wake to gather tributes and anecdotes. It’s the last place Ross expects to find controversy—which is exactly what happens when one of Nancy’s sisters convinces him that the accident might not have been accidental at all. It turns out that the kind and generous Nancy may have made a few enemies, starting with her boss at the diner where she was a part-time waitress, and even including the publisher of the Eagle-Examiner. Carter’s investigation of this seemingly simple story soon has him in big trouble with his full-time editor and sometime girlfriend, Tina Thompson, not to mention the rest of his bosses at the paper, but he can’t let it go—the story is just too good, and it keeps getting better. But will his nose for trouble finally take him too ?
Good mystery again, but I felt the plot and setup of the mystery’s climax was very similar to his other