Saturday 2 September 2017

Book ~ "The Fraud" (2015) Brad Parks

From GoodreadsA rash of carjackings terrorizing Newark become newsworthy when one such theft ends in the murder of a wealthy banking executive. The affable, wisecracking Ross is assigned the story but he's weary of only writing about victims of crime who happen to be rich and white. To balance his reporting, he finds a Nigerian immigrant of more modest means who was also killed during a recent carjacking. 

When it turns out the two victims knew each other, sharing an unexplained round of golf at a tony country club shortly before their deaths, Carter is plunged onto the trail of a deadly band of car thieves that includes a sociopathic ex-convict. When his unborn child is put in harm's way, it becomes more than just a story for Carter. And he'll stop at nothing to rescue the baby-even if it costs him his own life.

Carter Ross is a reporter for a newspaper in New Jersey.  Kevin Tiemeyer, a rich white businessman, had been shot and killed during a carjacking and Carter is assigned to the story.  Rather than focus on Tiemeyer, Carter is curious to see if this carjacking was a one-off occurrence and discovers that it had recently happened to a Nigerian immigrant named Joseph Okeke.  He starts to investigate Okeke, spending time with his ex-wife, daughter and girlfriend.  He discovers that Tiemeyer and Okeke knew each other through their golf club.  Carter suspects there is connection and it can't be a coincidence that they both died during carjackings.

In the meantime, Carter and his boss, Tina, are dating again and will soon have a baby (hence the reason they are back together).  This brings out a paternalistic side of Carter than he didn't realize he had.

I liked this book.  There were lots of possible "whodunnits" and we don't find out who is behind it all until the end.  I enjoyed the writing style ... it was funny and sarcastic.  It is written in first person perspective in Carter's voice but also in third person perspective from Black Hat's (one of the carjackers) point of view.  I liked the characters.  Carter is funny yet dorky and the other characters such as Chillax (an intern) and Tommy are colourful.

This is the sixth book in the Carter Ross series and I like this series.  Despite being part of a series, this book works well as a stand alone so you don't need to read the others to enjoy this one as there is enough background provided.

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