The Girl Next Door
A Carter Ross Mystery by Brad Parks
Review: Investigative newspaper reporter Carter Ross decides to do a memorial article for an employee of the paper, who according to her obituary "died suddenly", only to discover that she was killed by a yet-to-be-apprehended hit-and-run driver in The Girl Next Door, the third mystery in this series by Brad Parks.
Nancy Marino delivered the Newark Eagle-Examiner in her Bloomfield neighborhood and was on the job when she was struck by an unidentified vehicle. An anonymous caller had reported the accident to the police, though provided no details. Carter moves forward with his article, attending Nancy's wake to get some background, but he decides he can't just write a puff piece about the dead woman; he wants to do what he can to bring her killer to justice.
The Girl Next Door reads far more like a day in the life of an investigative reporter than a crime novel. Indeed, the whodunit element is, for all intents and purposes, resolved within the first couple of chapters — there is no mystery as to the hit-and-run driver's identity — though the whydunit isn't really known, or at least strongly suspected, until a couple of chapters later. Carter's life is not without excitement, however, what with a bear on the loose and a surprisingly intellectual intern assigned to him, one that Carter initially assumes "had some Neanderthal DNA floating around in him." The narrative is breezy and pleasantly diverting, Carter being witty more often than not. The story, which seems to consist primarily of a sequence of amusing vignettes, moves along quickly. But little effort is required on the part of the reader as there's not much substance here. The Girl Next Door is the type of mystery that is entertaining in the moment but not all that memorable.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of The Girl Next Door for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Good Cop
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), March 2013
ISBN-13: 9781250005526; ISBN-10: 1250005523
Location(s) referenced in The Girl Next Door: Newark, New Jersey
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The Girl Next Door by Brad Parks — A Carter Ross Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: March 2012
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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