Carter Ross, the sometimes-dashing investigative reporter for the Newark Eagle-Examiner, is back, and 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 young boys without child care. Carter turns in a front-page feature, but soon discovers Akilah isn't what she seems. And neither is the fire.
When Newark councilman Windy Byers is reported missing, it launches Carter into the sordid world of urban house-flipping and Jersey-style political corruption. With his usual mix of humor, compassion, and street smarts, Carter is soon calling on some of his friends—gay Cuban sidekick Tommy Hernandez, T-shirt-selling buddy Tee Jamison, and on-and-off girlfriend Tina Thompson—for help in tracking down the shadowy figure behind it all.
Brad Parks's debut, Faces of the Gone, won the Shamus Award and Nero Award for Best American Mystery. Now Parks solidifies his place as one of the brightest new talents in crime fiction with this authentic, entertaining thriller, Eyes of the Innocent.
After a house fire kills two young brothers in a rundown Newark, N.J., neighborhood, Carter Ross of the Newark Eagle-Examiner gets the word to write yet another story about the dangers of space heaters in Parks's enjoyable second mystery featuring the street-smart investigative reporter (after 2009's Faces of the Gone). To complicate a routine assignment, Carter must take beautiful, spacey intern Lauren McMillan (aka "Sweet Thang") to the scene of the tragedy. In a tense confrontation with Akilah Harris, the mother of the two boys, Lauren displays an unexpected talent for getting her to talk. Akilah's hard-luck story could be front-page news if true, but when it begins to fall apart and then dovetails with the disappearance of veteran council member Wendell "Windy" A. Byers Jr., things get hot quickly. Once again, Parks, a former Washington Post reporter, deftly brings the personalities and dynamics of a modern-day city newsroom to life.
Parks knows how to write, no question. This both a humorous and serious whodunnit without screwing up either side of it. The characters are well-defined and engaging. A great read.
Eyes of the Innocent
Omg! I LOVE the characters in Brad Parks novels, and his story telling is amazing!!! Once you pick up one of his books you can't put it down! They need to come with a WARNING: DO NOT START READING AT 10PM UNLESS YOU CAN FUNCTION WELL ON NO SLEEP! I've read both of his novels so far and cannot wait for the next to be released! I can't wait to see what kind of story Carter Ross gets himself wrapped up in next!!