The latest in the Carter Ross Mystery series finds investigative reporter Carter Ross nervously awaiting the birth of his first child. Thirty-three years old he is the investigative reporter for The Newark Eagle- Examiner. With more than a decade on the journalism beat, Carter Ross is all too aware that the newspaper industry is in crisis.the fraud

So too is the city of Newark, New Jersey, in some ways. Carjacking has always been a problem primarily because of the ease of access to the nearby port where a vehicle could easily disappear into a cargo container on an ocean bound ship. Such a common occurrence that the locals know not to stop for a red light in the middle of the night. A white bank executive, Kevin Tieymeyer, seems to have forgotten that while driving his Jaguar. He is now dead as a result of the latest carjacking. Local media is all over the story and his paper has to cover it as well while also giving readers something different than what they are seeing on television or hearing on the radio.

His editor, Tina Thompson, (also the mother of his child to be) wants him to cover the story as well as expand the reporting. Kevin Tiemeyer isn’t the only one to recently lose his life in a carjacking. Being rich and while does not mean his story is more important than the story of another victim and his grieving family. Carter Ross has a recent carjacking murder victim in mind and intends to develop backgrounds on the people involved in both cases and illustrate how economics and race does not play a role in being a victim.

That is if he can get the families and friends of the recently deceased to cooperate and he is allowed to focus on the story. That is if he isn’t sent off to do a feel good piece on a local charity. That is if Tina will keep him fully updated as to how the baby and her are doing by actually sharing information and not walling him off as is her tendency. Tina and Carter have a complicated relationship and have had for several books. Having a baby is not going to uncomplicated it.

What began with the award winning Faces of the Gone is still powerfully good four more books later. Complicated mysteries coupled with Carter Ross’ occasional cynical humor and observations on life as well as his life’s work make this series well worth the reading. While one could easily start here with The Fraud a lot of the nuance and side joke humor would be lost. Instead, work your way up from the beginning and get here when you can. It will be worth it.

The Fraud: A Carter Ross Mystery
Brad Parks
Thomas Dunne Books (Minotaur Books)
ISBN# 978-1-250-06440-0
352 Pages
Material provided by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2015

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