Tuesday 10 July 2012

Book ~ "The Girl Next Door" (2012) Brad Parks

From Goodreads ~ 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 far?

Carter Ross is a reporter who has reached the point in his career where he can write about whatever he wants.  Nancy Marino's obit catches his attention because she died so young (in her 40s).  He decides to write a tribute article to her.  As he does research, he suspects she has been murdered.  He has a couple of suspects so follows the trails to prove the truth, which puts him in danger.

It was a good mystery which all comes together nicely at the end.  I liked the writing style ... it was quick, funny and sarcastic.  Sometimes I find sarcastic writing over the top and annoying but this wasn't.  Parks is quite funny.

His cat, Deadline, is a hoot.

Vitals: 25 inches, 13 pounds, black and white coat 
The indolent domestic shorthair. Deadline gets very cranky if he doesn't get his sleep—about 22 hours a day will usually do the trick. His other hobbies are eating and pooping. 

And I liked the exchanges between Carter and Tee ... I'm sorry Tee wasn't in the book more.

Reginald "Tee" Williams Vitals: 5-10, 250, black braided hair, brown eyes 
The source on the streets. Tee owns a custom T-shirt shop in Newark and looks like a bad-ass: One-eighth of a ton of muscle, braids and tattoos. But he's also afraid of his wife and cries at car commercials. Tee explains the ways of the 'hood to Carter, who reciprocates by translating white people for Tee.

I'd never heard of this author but apparently this is the third in his Carter Ross series.  I'm definitely going to read the first two and will keep an eye out for his future books.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, Teena!