Tuesday, January 25, 2011

EYES OF THE INNOCENT - Brad Parks

First line: "The electrician patted his breast pocket for the tenth time and, once again, exhaled noisily: the envelope - Primo's envelope - was still there."

A deadly house fire introduces the timely issue of variable mortgage rates, the housing industry and what it has all done to unsuspecting families. Carter Ross is assigned to investigate the house fire, and when he discovers a case of arson, he unknowingly steps into a world of evil greed that knows no boundaries.

Brad Parks returns with the second novel in his Carter Ross series. While some authors are known to fall into a bit of a sophomore slump on their second books, Parks has gained momentum. EYES OF THE INNOCENT ignites the suspense on page one that grips the reader to the last page, to the final brilliant sentence.

FACES OF THE GONE introduced a cast of colorful, dynamic characters. Most of them return for EYES OF THE INNOCENT and Parks introduces a new intern and a straight-laced cop. Parks’ character development is stellar, topped only by the complexity of the relationships between those characters. One of the elements of Parks’ writing that consistently wallops me in his books is his respect of people, and thus his characters. He can juggle stereotype with singularity and come up with a community the reader wants to be a part of.

EYES OF THE INNOCENT is steeped in Parks’ signature humor, while still expertly balancing it with the seriousness of the issues around which the plot revolves. His experience in journalism radiates off the page. Carter Ross says,

“Reporting can be a bit like exploratory surgery, except you perform it wearing oven mitts and a blindfold. Sometimes you’re not even sure which part of the body to cut open. As a general rule, you never know where you’re going until you’ve already been there.”
That pretty well sums up the effect of EYES OF THE INNOCENT. The reader has to keep turning pages to see just where this plot is going. And when you think you have the mystery figured out, you discover that wasn’t the actual mystery after all. Where the heck is Parks going with this? I predict he’s going straight to another award-winning novel.

EYES OF THE INNOCENT is available from Minotaur on February 1 in hardcover (ISBN: 978-0-312-57478-9).

If you haven't had a chance to check out FACES OF THE GONE, Parks' Shamus and Nero-award winning debut novel, it is now available in trade paper (ISBN: 978-0-312-67280-5) from Minotaur as well as on audio from Audible.

7 comments:

Jenn's Bookshelves January 25, 2011 at 8:38 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenn's Bookshelves January 25, 2011 at 8:40 AM  

My first comment was deleted because clearly I haven't had enough coffee to drink!

I really need to get started on this series. It seems you recommended Parks to me ages ago and your review of EYES OF THE INNOCENT have really peaked my interest! The fact he is a local author makes me even more interested!

Dana Kaye January 25, 2011 at 9:49 AM  

Great review, Jen. I read this over Christmas and couldn't put it down.

Jen Forbus January 25, 2011 at 8:41 PM  

Thanks Jenn and Dana!

Jenn, I'm quite certain you'll enjoy this series. Can't wait to hear what you think.

Dana, I read it on the flight home from San Francisco...a definite one sitting book.

Pop Culture Nerd February 9, 2011 at 5:20 PM  

I didn't read this until now because I wanted to finish writing my review first. It's funny how we said similar things, even using the same words! Well, you know what they say about great minds...

nelizadrew February 12, 2011 at 3:27 PM  

Read FACES OF THE GONE last weekend on a plane. It was good. Maybe I should use it for my "first in a series" challenge book... Hmmm...

Have I mentioned I'm not good at "reviews"?

Teena in Toronto September 24, 2012 at 1:31 PM  

I finished it last night ... it was good!

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