Brad Parks is one of the best new mystery writers to come along in the past several years. Not only does he have talent, but he has an original voice that makes his books stand out from the pack. His first two novels were winners (both of awards and cheers from the fans) and his third is no different.
The Girl Next Door finds Carter Ross back on the beat, reporting on crime on the streets of Newark, New Jersey. Newark has more than enough crime to keep any dozen reporters busy, but Carter's feeling kind of bored until he comes across an obituary in his own newspaper. One of the paper's carriers was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Carter decides to write a story about her, but when he starts investigating her life, he uncovers details that he never expected to find.
Carter Ross is the best thing going in Parks' books. He's smart, funny and original. Sure he's a bit of a button-down pain in the ass at times, but you have to respect his commitment to telling the truth in his stories, regardless of the cost. The Girl Next Door is like the rest of Parks' work: a gritty mystery (although it's not dark), with plenty of humor and even a little sex. All in all, it adds up to a very entertaining story.
The Girl Next Door is highly recommended as a good read.