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. 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.
I made at least four mistakes that Monday morning, the fi rst of which was going into the office in the first place. There’s an old saying among newspaper reporters that news never breaks in the newsroom. So if you’re not currently working on a story, you ought to be out finding one. If you hang around the newsroom with nothing to do, you put yourself at extreme risk of being assigned something to do by an editor. And—ask any writer, anywhere—editors are approximately ninety-eight percent full of stupid ideas.
Which leads to my
"An engaging personality,...Carter Ross [is] the New Jersey investigative reporter narrating Brad Parks's 'Eyes of the Innocent'..., a capable follow-up to this author's award-winning debut mystery."--Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal