Sunday 23 September 2012

Book ~ "Eyes of the Innocent" (2011) Brad Parks

From Goodreads ~ 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.

This is the second book in the Carter Ross series ... I had read the third and first ones.  They are stand alones (I had read the third one first) so you don't need to read them all or even in order to enjoy this one or the others.  It's a fun series.

Carter is still a bit of a whiter than white dork with his short side-parted hair, tie and pleated pants.

Carter is asked to work with Lauren (aka Sweet Thang), an intern who got her job because her rich father is friends with one of the big bosses at the newspaper.  Sweet Thang's crush on Carter stirs up the jealousy of Tina, who still wants to use him as a sperm donor.  Despite his lack of confidence in Sweet Thang, she manages to get close to Akilah, who recently lost her sons in a house fire, Akilah's mom and Akilah's sister.  Without Sweet Thang, Carter wouldn't have the details for his story.

Alternating chapters give us information about Primo, a Brazilian who buys houses, fixes them up and then flips them.  Eventually we learn the details of how he is involved.

It is in Parks' usual funny and sarcastic style ... I love Carter's interactions with Tee and Tommy.

I look forward to more Carter Ross books in the future!

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