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by Brad Parks

Pub Date: Dec. 8th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-57477-2
Publisher: Minotaur

Hungry reporter chases a scoop to die for.

Though Carter Ross, an investigative journalist at the Newark Eagle-Examiner, is only 31, he’s unabashedly retrograde. He loves the newspaper game with old-school zeal, the kind that sent Stanley scampering off to darkest Africa in search of Dr. Livingstone. Carter’s credo—get it fast, but get it right—explains why he has his back up about the way his paper has decided to play Newark’s latest big story of multiple murder. Singular murder would hardly rate a snore in one of the busiest homicide capitals in the world, but four corpses gets everyone’s attention. Three men and a woman have been found in a vacant lot, executed gangland style, a bullet in the back of each head. A cop’s tip has sent the Eagle-Examiner bustling down a path that gives Carter a bad feeling. Instinct, however, is merely instinct, prosaic editors are famous for insisting. The burden of proof is on Carter, who must turn detective if he wants to set the record straight. What linked the unfortunate four? Why was that connection so unsettling to someone so obviously powerful? And who signed the four death warrants? Ace reporter/bulldog sleuth Carter will sniff out the answers if it kills him. Which it almost does, of course.

A first novel with a seriously overstuffed plot but a very engaging hero.