Eyes of the Innocent by Brad Parks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Brad Parks delivers a character as funny as Stephanie Plum. Carter Ross, investigative reporter at the Newark Eagle-Examiner, shows up at a house fire where two boys died. At first he thinks this is a tragedy, two kids home alone, single mother working to put food on the table. He meets the boys' mother who should be a professional storyteller for all the lies she tells.
When Ross is assigned a perky, blond intern nicknamed Sweet Thang, he hands her a research project to check out the truth of the woman's story. It unravels just before the paper is to go to press with the heart-tugging story. Ross tries to stop it, because Sweet Thang has uncovered some of the woman's lies.
The complete story becomes so delicious that Ross can't stop investigating. Add the disappearance of a city councilman, rumors of corruption in house flipping and downright hilarious political corruption, and you have a book that will keep you turning pages until the last one. And then you'll want more.
To be transparent, I know Brad Parks. I know he's funny, profane, zany -- just like his main character. So, is Carter Ross really a thinly disguised Brad Parks? You'll have to ask him. My money is on "yes."