March 30, 2013

The Girl Next Door - review


The Girl Next Door (Carter Ross, book 3)
author Brad Parks
publisher St. Martin's Press
source:  publisher

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.