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This is book number 1 in the Carter Ross Mysteries series.
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 stickup. 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 doesn't make sense. 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 knowing this will put him in the path of one very ambitious killer.
Faces of the Gone by Brad Parks won the Shamus Award for Best First Novel and the Nero Award for Best American Mystery--it is the first book to receive both awards. The book was named to lists of the year's best mystery debuts by the Chicago Sun-Times and South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“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.” —David J. Montgomery, Chicago Sun-Times
“[A] commanding, entertaining debut...Faces of the Gone skillfully mixes a gritty hard-boiled mystery with swatches of broad humor that perfectly captures the newsroom culture….Parks' 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 H. Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“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 (starred review)
“The story and characters make Faces of the Gone a success; the plot plays out with twists, and the characters are drawn with realism. Parks has begun his projected series with a bang.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“This terrific page-turning debut features a likeable protagonist, engaging supporting characters and some witty and amusing dialogue. Readers will want to see where this compelling tale takes them.” —RT Book Reviews (4 stars)
“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.” —Booklist