Despite the steadily worsening situation for newspapers across the country as well as at his own, Reporter Carter Ross still has a job at a Newark Eagle–Examiner. While the newspaper maybe having serious fiscal issues, the obituary pages are still one thing the bosses have not surrendered in the face of declining circulation and revenues. It was while he was reading the obits that Reporter Carter Ross come across the notice about the death of 42 year old Nancy B. Marino.


Single and hardworking, Nancy not only was a volunteer she held down two jobs with one of them being a carrier for Newark Eagle–Examiner. Reporter Ross knows the carriers who actually deliver the daily newspaper are the lifeblood of the paper. There is enough there in her obit to make him wonder who she was and why she died.  It sticks with him and he decides the deceased needs a follow-up piece of some sort. That leads him to attend her visitation where at least some in her family think there is a lot more to the story than a simple accidental hit-and-run. They aren’t alone in that feeling.


Told primarily from the viewpoint of Carter Ross, with the occasional and totally unnecessary switch to the viewpoint of the narcissistic killer, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR moves forward at a fairly steady pace. Full of Carter Ross battling increasing odds in his quest for the truth, the mystery contains plenty of action, adventure and misdirection as well as observations regarding the newspaper industry.  As always in this series that is not aimed at mystery readers who want the books serious and dark, there is plenty of humor. Some of it is in your face and some of it is subtle with the result there are plenty of laughs throughout the book.


This is the third in the series that began with Faces of the Gone followed by Eyes of the Innocent and is another solidly good one as Reporter Carter Ross continues to wisecrack at will while trying to find out the truth about what happened to Nancy Marino. Like any series it would be best to read them in order, but if you can’t, you can safely here as previous events are only briefly mentioned in the barest of terms.




Brad Parks

Minotaur Books (St. Martins Publishing Group)




326 Pages




Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library System.



Kevin R. Tipple © 2012

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