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
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.
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.
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.
Rather interesting at times. But rather stupid at more times. There is an edge to Carter Ross sometimes but it never develops and does not last.
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.
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