THE FRAUD by Brad Parks


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A series of not-so-random carjackings investigated by Newark Eagle-Examiner reporter Carter Ross ends up as a race between the paddy wagon, the shotgun, and the stork.

Carjacking is so deeply ingrained in Newark culture that the locals have developed a tactic called “the Newark Cruise”—not quite stopping at red lights after dark—to avoid it. When banking executive Kevin Tiemeyer gets shot for his Rolex during what should have been a routine carjacking, however, it gets the attention of Tina Thompson, the Eagle-Examiner’s managing editor for local news. And when she sics Carter, father of the baby she’s about to deliver, on the story, he quickly connects it to the remarkably similar carjacking of Nigerian-born businessman Joseph Okeke two weeks earlier. Both men were shot after surrendering their cars, and the two of them, Carter learns with a little digging, had golfed together at the Fanwood Country Club. Naturally, Earl Karlinsky, the Fanwood’s general manager, doesn’t take kindly to Carter’s accusations that Karlinsky himself is setting up his members to be victimized, and Fanwood board member Armando "Doc" Fierro, the fixer’s fixer, succeeds in getting Carter suspended after he crosses the fine line from aggressive journalism to unauthorized spying. But Carter, who’s convinced himself that Dave Gilbert, the director of Chariots for Children, is not only an ex-con, but the head of a thriving chop shop, won’t let go—even though the person who’ll pay the heaviest price for his snooping is his pregnant girlfriend.

Less funny and more deeply felt than Carter’s first five cases (The Player, 2014, etc.): reliable entertainment that’ll make you think twice about your next trip to Newark.

Pub Date: July 7th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-250-06440-0
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2015

Kirkus Interview
Brad Parks
author of SAY NOTHING
March 7, 2017

In Brad Parks’ new thriller Say Nothing, judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead. It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told. “The nerve-shredding never lets up for a minute as Parks picks you up by the scruff of the neck, shakes you vigorously, and repeats over and over again till a climax so harrowing that you’ll be shaking with gratitude that it’s finally over,” our critic writes in a starred review. View video >


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