No one’s supposed to hate the girl next door.
Nancy Marino is sweet-natured, genuinely friendly, endlessly selfless, the quintessential nice girl. How can you possibly not like her? So when she meets sudden death, struck by a black Cadillac early one morning on a deserted street in suburban Newark, the universal reaction is shock and anger at a hit-and-run. But nobody for a moment considers malice—except for Carter Ross, ace investigative reporter for the Newark Eagle-Examiner, and even he doesn’t get there right away. Moved by the sheer tragedy of it, Carter at first sees his news story as a simple tribute, something owed to a remarkably good woman. Only then do the famous Carter Ross instincts kick in. Not that Carter looks much like a guy with game-changing instincts. He looks like what he is: a 32-year-old WASP male with “absolutely no interest” in being taken for anything else. Yet he has a highly developed ability to sniff out what’s dark in man’s relationship to man, or to a good woman. And if acting on instinct puts him in mortal danger, Carter has a theory about that. Whatever doesn’t kill him makes him a better newspaperman.
With his third featuring brash, breezy, unflappable Carter (Eyes of the Innocent, 2011, etc.), Parks propels himself to a niche shared by only a handful of others: writers who can manage the comedy-mystery.