The Good Cop
A Carter Ross Mystery by Brad Parks
Review: When a Newark cop is reported shot dead in the line of duty, investigative reporter Carter Ross wants to be the first to get the story, heading straight for the victim's house to interview the widow. When it is learned that Darius Kipp committed suicide in his station house, Carter's editor nixes the potential headline article, reassigning him to housing project update. But everything Carter saw at Kipp's house tells him that this was not a cop who was suicidal and there must be more to the story in The Good Cop, the fourth mystery in this series by Brad Parks.
Carter finds absurd the whole idea that a cop would consume nearly a fifth of bourbon, step into a shower stall fully clothed, turn on the water and then shoot himself through the head. And yet that's what the official report concludes. Tapping into his network of sources, he arranges to see the body for himself … and discovers that Kipp has fresh bruises on his wrists and ankles, suggesting he was forcibly restrained just before he died. Carter at first believes that his partner, Mike Fusco, may have murdered Kipps — to cover up an affair with Kipp's wife? — but days later, Fusco is dead himself, apparently by his own hand. With so many unanswered questions, and everyone doing their best to close the books on these two cops' deaths, Carter has no choice but to dig deeper.
The overall storyline in The Good Cop is rather thinly plotted and isn't helped by numerous plot points that aren't quite tenable. The attraction here, however, is probably not so much in the "dunit" — as in whodunit, whydunit, and howdunit — but in accompanying Carter on his journey to learn the who, why, and how. Carter is an engaging character, one who doesn't take himself too seriously, but is completely serious about his job and the role reporters play in society. Not surprisingly, he has an eclectic group of friends and associates, none too strange but a couple who test the boundary. It's really all quite entertaining if one can overlook how unrealistic so many of the situations Carter finds himself in, especially those surrounding the death of the titular character, and later that of a second cop, Kipp's partner, who also kills himself. That everyone but Carter is willing to chalk this up to coincidence — despite physical evidence to the contrary — is simply not credible and diminishes, if only a bit, the overall appeal of the book.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided an ARC of The Good Cop for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Girl Next Door
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), March 2012
ISBN-13: 9780312667689; ISBN-10: 031266768X
Location(s) referenced in The Good Cop: Newark, New Jersey
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The Good Cop by Brad Parks — A Carter Ross Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: March 2013
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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