The Fraud by Brad Parks is the 6th mystery in the Carter Ross series about the Newark, New Jersey journalist (available July 7, 2015).
The Fraud grabbed me from page one. I’d been reading another book before this one, a page or two at a time and falling asleep or getting distracted or picking up something else to read instead. Part of the difference here is Brad Parks’ conversational writing style, like a friend is telling you a story over drinks. Part of it is the hook that starts the novel, the sort of semi-rhetorical question that could’ve fallen apart if he didn’t also make you immediately care about the characters:
It’s a hypothetical question every parent considers at some point:
Would you give your life for your kid?
Would you dive in front of a speeding eighteen-wheeler to shove your daughter out of the way? Would you let your son take your heart when his number didn’t come up on the transplant list? Would you place your head under the guillotine as part of some Faustian bargain wherein your child didn’t have to?
Oh, I know what you’re thinking, if you’re a parent: yes, yes, yes, and yes. Even if it was just to spare yourself the agony of burying your own kid, you’d make that sacrifice every time. Or at least that’s what you tell yourself you would do. What kind of selfish coward wouldn’t?
But hold on a second. Don’t answer yet. Because you still don’t know everything.