The Fraud

Brad Parks. Minotaur, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-06440-0
In Parks’s entertaining sixth mystery to feature Newark, N.J., reporter Carter Ross (after 2014’s The Player), Kevin Tiemeyer, the driver of a Jaguar, and Joseph Okeke, the driver of a BMW, are killed in seemingly unrelated carjackings two weeks apart. After Carter learns that Tiemeyer and Okeke golfed together at an upscale country club a month earlier, he suspects the club’s manager of orchestrating the car thefts, but his myopic focus on one suspect leads him to neglect another, putting the lives of his pregnant girlfriend and their unborn child in jeopardy. For a supposed Pulitzer Prize finalist, Carter has an implausible tendency to jump to conclusions on flimsy evidence and make poor judgment calls. Most of the cast is one-dimensional, and while Parks has fun with the stereotypes (hardworking immigrant, flamboyant gay flirt, rich girl with a heart of gold), his characters never manage to transcend them. Still, this is a fast-paced, often-funny read, and details about Newark and the decline of traditional newspapers add gritty realism. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 07/07/2015
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