FACES OF THE GONE
A Carter Ross Mystery
WINNER of the Shamus Award!
WINNER of the Nero Award!
A shooting can rattle a city, even if it's gun-choked Newark. Investigative reporter Carter Ross finds himself with gruesome front-page news: four bodies in a vacant lot, each with a single bullet hole in the back of the head. In a haste to calm residents, local police leak a story to Carter's colleagues at the Newark Eagle-Examiner, calling the murders revenge for a bar stick-up. But while Carter may not come from the streets, he knows a few things about Newark's ghettos. And he knows the story the police are pushing just doesn't make sense. The paper prints the police's version anywayunder the journalistic theory that it's better to be first than factualleaving Carter all but alone to find the real story. He enlists the aide of Tina Thompson, the paper's smoking hot city editor, to run interference for him at the office; Tommy Hernandez, the paper's gay Cuban intern, to help him with legwork on the street; and Tynesha Dales, a local stripper, to take him to Newark's underside. Soon, Carter learns the four victims have one connection after all, and this knowledge puts him in the path of one very ambitious killer.
Read an excerpt
BUY THE BOOK:
IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million | Powell's | Macmillan
Minotaur Books, Hardcover (December 2009), ISBN: 978-0312574772
Minotaur Books, Paperback (February 2011), ISBN-13: 978-0312672805
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
"This is the most hilariously funny and deadly serious mystery debut since Janet Evanovich's ONE FOR THE MONEY."
"Parks' writing is graceful and often gripping, and he creates a handful of vivid characters, both journalists and their sources. His portraits of the city and its drug trade, the newspaper, and Carter's journalistic techniques all sound knowing... This could develop into a solid series."
"This terrific page-turning debut features a likable protagonist, engaging supporting characters and some witty and amusing dialogue. Readers will want to see where this compelling tale takes them."
RT Book Reviews
"Parks's entertaining debut introduces an appealing hero, 31-year-old investigative reporter Carter Ross of the Newark (N.J.) Eagle-Examiner... Colorful supporting characters plus Ross's grit and determination keep the story moving at a good clip."
"Commanding, entertaining debut ... FACES OF THE GONE ranks with Michael Connelly's The Scarecrow in its depiction of the newspaper industry. Parks, a former reporter at the Star-Ledger in Newark, shows he's made the transition to becoming a novelist with this impressive debut."
Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Named FACES on of top debuts of 2009) (read the full review)
"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."
David J. Montgomery, Chicago Sun-Times (Named FACES on of top debuts of 2009) (read the full review)
"Parks scores nice shots on multiple levels in his debut novel... Parks offers a pull-no-punches take on Newark, with a 'Jersey Boy' eye and attitude somewhere between Harlan Coben's and 'Jersey Girl' Janet Evanovich's. It wouldn't be off-the-mark to term Parks the literary love child of Evanovich and Coben."
Yahoo.com's Shine Magazine (read the full review)
"Parks has perfect pitch. His dialogue is, in turn, funny, gritty and droll, his police work sure-footed, and, as a former reporter for The Star-Ledger, his knowledge of the city and the workings of a newspaper city room is impeccable. His portrait of urban despair is unforgettable... It is a dazzling debut."
The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger (read the full review)
"A well-paced whodunit... FACES OF THE GONE works well on several different levels. Whether your interest is a well-crafted mystery with a surprising twist or two, the newspaper industry or New Jersey geography, you're almost certain to find some things you like in it. Perhaps more than few."
The Asbury Park Press (read the full review)
"Impressive debut... Carter's fresh voice, his willingness to be entertained balanced by honest sympathy and some sharp editorializing, is the book's considerable strength. The action, including a string of bombings, is brisk; the villain's identity is elusive; and the settings (from the projects to National Drug Bureau offices) ring true. How could this be better?"
Houston Chronicle (read the full review)
"In the end, it is Carter's extraordinary compassion that softens the edges of his dark humor. He is such a likeable character that we can't help but hope he has many more stories to cover - and even more oddball sources to pal around with."
Mystery Scene Magazine
"Brad Parks is a natural-born mystery novel writer. His debut book ... is proof positive of the many facets of his literary talents. It is theoretically reminiscent of the early - and exciting - Harlan Coben mysteries... Parks has a wonderful career ahead of him as a mystery writer. He has forever captured the interest of mystery novel readers."
Worrall Community Newspapers (North Jersey)
"(Protagonist) Carter (Ross) is smart and funny and principled and flawed. He doesn't always make the best choices and he isn't always right. Instead, he's hysterically human. I dare you not to fall in love with these characters... This is a debut that should NOT be missed! You will be seeing this title on my favorites list for 2009. Brad Parks has undoubtedly got 'The Stuff'!"
Jen Forbus, Jen's Book Thoughts (read the full review)
"One of the best mysteries I've read this year... FACES OF THE GONE marks the debut of a new hero, a compassionate investigative reporter in a book marked by humor that doesn't detract from the tragedy of the story. FACES OF THE GONE, and Brad Parks, are destined for success."
Lesa Holstine, Lesa's Book Critique (read the full review)
"Parks is a hoot, combining equal parts humor and action with strong characterization on all levels, particularly with respect to his street-level characters, whose despair and poor choices ring all too true. FACES OF THE GONE is the first of a projected series set in Newark, and those who like their stories gritty but cut with humor will cheer this one and clamor for more."
Bookreporter.com (read the full review)
"A thrilling page-turner of a novel that is not only street-smart, but brimming with humor and compassion. Brad Parks makes a memorable first impression."
Daniel Judson, Shamus Award-winning author of The Violet Hour
"Grit and sizzle as FACES OF THE GONE takes readers inside an entertaining tale of how news is made, drugs are sold, and values are corrupted. Brad Parks' debut rocks."
Julie Kramer, Anthony- and Shamus-nominated author of Missing Mark
"Brad Parks has come up with a winning debut: he's got a likeable protagonist, a compelling tale, and a gift for lively dialogue. His own experience as a reporter really shines through as he delivers an authentic sense of life on a newspaper staff and in one of America's grittiest cities."
Gabriel Cohen, Edgar finalist and author of Neptune Avenue
"Witty, authentic and completely entertaining. This clever page-turner offers street-wise style and newsroom savvybut best of all, Parks' charming hero is honorable, hilarious and irresistible."
Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha Award-winning author of Air Time