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 papers newest intern, a bubbly blonde known as Sweet Thang, Carter finds the victim's 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 isnt 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' debut, Faces of the Gone, won the Shamus Award and Nero Award for Best American Mystery. It was heralded as an engaging mix of Harlan Coben and Janet Evanovich. Now Parks solidifies his place as one of the brightest new talents in crime fiction with this authentic, entertaining thriller.
"This book held me hostage until the last page." (Michael Connelly)
"Carter Ross is not only a first-rate investigative reporter; he’s also a first-rate comic. It’s a rare mystery that provides a good laugh on almost every page. One can only hope that Brad Parks has more mysteries for Carter Ross to solve in future books." (The Star-Ledger, Newark)
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Enjoyable light reading