Four bodies, each with a single bullet wound in the back of the head, stacked like cordwood in a weed-choked vacant lot: Thats the front-page news facing Carter Ross, investigative reporter with the Newark Eagle-Examiner. Immediately dispatched to the scene, Carter learns that the four victims - an exotic dancer, a drug dealer, a hustler, and a mama's boy - came from different parts of the city and didn't seem to know one another.
The police, eager to calm jittery residents, leak a theory that the murders are revenge for a bar stickup, and Carter's paper, hungry for a scoop, hastily prints it. Carter doesn't come from the streets, but he understands a thing or two about Newark's neighborhoods. And he knows there are no quick answers when dealing with a crime like this.
Determined to uncover the true story, he enlists the aide of Tina Thompson, the paper's smoking-hot city editor, to run interference at the office; Tommy Hernandez, the paper's gay Cuban intern, to help him with legwork on the streets; and Tynesha Dales, a local stripper, to take him to Newark's underside. It turns out that the four victims have one connection after all, and this knowledge will put Carter on the path of one very ambitious killer.
Faces of the Gone is a Nero Award Finalist and has been named to lists of the year's best mystery debuts by the Chicago Sun-Times and South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Treading the same literary turf as Harlan Coben, and writing with a fresh Jersey voice, Brad Parks makes an energetic, impressive debut.
©2009 Brad Parks (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Brad Parks [has] delivered a first-rate crime thriller....Faces of the Gone is gritty and hard boiled, but with a sly sense of humor. This strong and confident debut is sure to make an appearance on many 'best of' and awards lists. Parks is a bright new talent whom readers will hopefully be able to enjoy for years to come." (Chicago Sun-Times)
"This is the most hilariously funny and deadly serious mystery debut since Janet Evanovich's One for the Money. Former journalist Parks has learned the art of making words flow and dialog zing. Fans of the NFL's Cleveland Browns will find the Brick City Browns street gang an added delight." (Library Journal)
2010 Shamus Award, Best First P.I. Novel
I have some reservations about this book, but overall I would recommend it. I've read literally thousands of mysteries, and I'm darned hard to please, so a 4 star from me means something! On the other hand, the reader is not very good. He is boring, which is bad enough, but also does those phony baloney voices. Puhleese! I like a reader who reads the book, and doesn't try to fiddle around with voices - and pauses where not necessary. After the 10th pause before "I said." or "He said." I was wishing the guy would hand the book over to someone else. That said, the story is good and interesting, the characters are fun for the most part, although the main character jumps to some conclusions that aren't supported by the evidence - that tactic has been used in both of Park's books - which serves, I suppose, to put him in jeopardy and add unneeded "tension." On the other hand, there are a lot of mysteries out there, and few of them are as readable as these, so I say read them and you won't be sorry.
I think that Brad Parks could enter my exclusive group of favorite mystery writers as he hones his skills.
Newbie to the book listening game. Photojournalist for a local TV Station in New Jersey. Enjoy history, Mysteries & Thrillers.
The attention to detail. I'm from Newark, and although I reside now in Middlesex County, my current profession ironically for a local TV station, takes me to the very places Carter Ross describes in his travels.
I appreciated the characters, from Tommy to Tina.
Too many to list. I even applaud how MacLeod gave each character an identity. It was moments I forgot he was Tina or T, or the Director.
Absolutely. My listening is often done while cycling.
Looking for a mystery with some interesting characters and clever dialogue? I found both Brad Parks' books fast paced and enjoyable, largely due to the great narration. Admittedly, the story won't stand up to the best books I've read/heard this year, but it did make for a more enjoyable commute and I would recommend it overall.
The humor was the best. The thing I liked least was, if the people that you mention in your articles die after you mention them, take note. the first few people you get killed is questionable but after that you are a murderer. When he mentions the name of a drug informant to the guy that he thinks is the mastermind drug king who kills with out hesitation ..........
The main character, however he does the side characters well. Tina was a great character, the intern, and the prostitute was endearing.
Yes, I don't know. Not any of the actors out now. Someone not too good looking.
I was following along fairly comfortably for about the first half, in spite of some shortcomings; but then, it occurred to me that he was neglecting his pet cat, and really showed no concern for it until he decided to "play the cat card" to gain sympathy for himself. But even without my hypercritical arousal, the end fell flat all on its own. It almost seemed as if someone else wrote it. I'm not saying something like that couldn't happen, but it needed more foundation to make it plausible. Like, more than the cat was neglected. Anyway, as far as it goes, at least it's a story. I'm sure Mr. Parks has his fans.
I listen to 3-4 books on tape each week and I always finish them. Not this one. What a horrible writer. Somehow he manages to turn multiple murders into a ho-hum who-cares event. Don't waste your time. I wish I hadn't wasted my money. This is the first review I"ve written, although I always read them before I buy.
Fast paced, funny, reasonably well-written and well-plotted. Good on traditional journalism, with some glaring omissions. The word for a managing editor who sleeps with a reporter he/she supervises is gone. Fired. Relationships with other reporters don't quite ring true either, and what about the stupidity of these police? Never mind. The characters who aren't in the newsroom or in the cop shop are well done and lively, and inside the newsroom, the narrator's intern is also pretty good. If Brad Parks is white, he needs to be congratulated for writing non-over-top black characters. Even the street hoods have nuance. Also, excellent narrator.
I started this series primarily because of MacLeod Andrews, whom I absolutely ADORE! His Sandman Slim work is AMAZING, and that's what led me to these Carter Ross books.
While I was not blown away, MA's rendition does not disappoint. He's so skilled at different voices and he makes the characters come alive.
The story develops well, but the ending is a bit too rushed and a bit too pat. But I definitely appreciated the main character's sympathies and compassion to those people who were killed. I felt that bringing in this emotional quality really helped make Carter Ross a fully realized character.
And I did also, as some other reviewers mentioned, notice the seeming lack of feeling for his cat, but I believe it was meant as a front---pretending you don't care about someone, but underneath you really do. MINOR SPOILER ALERT: After all, the author ends the book with the cat.
I will definitely get the next book in the series.
Decent story although far-fetched. I don't usually like smart alecks but this reporter was readable despite that. I especially liked the thoughts he voiced to himself, followed by what he actually said. The narration helped when he changed from unspoken thoughts to the actual words.
Cute relationship between reporter and editor and intern. Not to make this sound like a cozy, because there are murders, arsons, bombings, etc., but just not very graphic.
Narrator managed to sound like a 'preppie' who is out now in the real world. Just the way I pictured him.
So in summary, this book isn't going to make my all-time favorites list, but is a pleasant enough read to make me buy another.
"A new listener"
I thought the ending weak but otherwise a good yarn that kept me interested until the near end. I will try another book by this author.
Carter Ross a thirty-one year old journalist has the instinct for a story in his blood and he nearly spills his blood in the hunt for the truth. The investigation concerns why four drug dealers were executed in cold blood and left in an exposed place where their bodies could be found easily. Carter covers the story and eventually uncovers the truth. The story line of the book is not astounding in its originality and there are no real cliffhangers in this account. What there is however is well worth a read - the character of Carter is extremely attractive with his self-disparaging humour and his quick wit which reminded me of Phillip Marlowe. Sometimes I found myself laughing out loud. The marvellous characterisation is accentuated by the excellence of the narration of Andrews. His older men are sometimes a bit crackly-voiced but his narration of Carter is spot on and hilarious. I also liked the down and outs and the sex worker as well as the lovely Tina, an editor on his paper. This book reveals the racism inherent in American society but in a down-beat manner and with genuine humanity. If you are looking for light relief this is an ideal book to read.
Faces of the gone is an easy going book with a hint of humour that doesn't take itself too seriously.
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