The Girl Next Door (Carter Ross, book 3)
author Brad Parks
publisher St. Martin's Press
Sometimes I think I have newsprint in my blood. Three of my uncles worked in the newspaper business; one of them even owned a weekly-smalltown paper. After my dad retired, he helped his brother get the paper out. I have edited quite a few newsletters. Therefore, when I discovered Brad Parks' Carter Ross, it was like homecoming for me.
Ross is a report for a New Jersey newspaper. Even though only 32 years old, enjoys reading the obituaries because it brings a sense of joy to read about people in their 80's and 90's who have lived a full life of success (failures aren't mentioned in obituaries).
One day, Ross reads about a 42-year-old woman who died (oh so young!) suddenly. He decides to write a human interest story about this woman. It is not until he goes to the wake when he finds out her sudden death is due to a hit-and-run.
Parks writes with a wry sense of humor and describes his characters very well. I could easily picture the woman's sister who came from California in bohemian dress and a tic. This novel tells about people in this New Jersey town and the escapades Ross gets into before the mystery is solved.