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Summary

Four bodies, each with a single bullet wound in the back of the head, stacked like cordwood in a weed-choked vacant lot: Thats the front-page news facing Carter Ross, investigative reporter with the Newark Eagle-Examiner. Immediately dispatched to the scene, Carter learns that the four victims - an exotic dancer, a drug dealer, a hustler, and a mama's boy - came from different parts of the city and didn't seem to know one another.

The police, eager to calm jittery residents, leak a theory that the murders are revenge for a bar stickup, and Carter's paper, hungry for a scoop, hastily prints it. Carter doesn't come from the streets, but he understands a thing or two about Newark's neighborhoods. And he knows there are no quick answers when dealing with a crime like this.

Determined to uncover the true story, he enlists the aide of Tina Thompson, the paper's smoking-hot city editor, to run interference at the office; Tommy Hernandez, the paper's gay Cuban intern, to help him with legwork on the streets; and Tynesha Dales, a local stripper, to take him to Newark's underside. It turns out that the four victims have one connection after all, and this knowledge will put Carter on the path of one very ambitious killer.

Faces of the Gone is a Nero Award Finalist and has been named to lists of the year's best mystery debuts by the Chicago Sun-Times and South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Treading the same literary turf as Harlan Coben, and writing with a fresh Jersey voice, Brad Parks makes an energetic, impressive debut.

©2009 Brad Parks (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Brad Parks [has] delivered a first-rate crime thriller.... Faces of the Gone is gritty and hard boiled, but with a sly sense of humor. This strong and confident debut is sure to make an appearance on many 'best of' and awards lists. Parks is a bright new talent whom readers will hopefully be able to enjoy for years to come." ( Chicago Sun-Times)
"This is the most hilariously funny and deadly serious mystery debut since Janet Evanovich's One for the Money. Former journalist Parks has learned the art of making words flow and dialog zing. Fans of the NFL's Cleveland Browns will find the Brick City Browns street gang an added delight." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Odwa
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 29-04-18

One of my favourites

Loved this book. I read book 4 first (The Girl Nextdoor) so I'd met most of the characters there already.

Loved them here too. Well developed and diverse characters with a great and gripping plot that pulls you in. Great narration also brings the characters to full high definition 3D life. Great work Brad and MacLeod!
...l wrote that last sentence as though I'm old friends with the author & narrator :)

If you're reading this review to see if the book is worth the read - it is! Happy listening.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A new listener

I thought the ending weak but otherwise a good yarn that kept me interested until the near end. I will try another book by this author.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • iris
  • Paris, France
  • 02-04-15

Marlowesque!

Carter Ross a thirty-one year old journalist has the instinct for a story in his blood and he nearly spills his blood in the hunt for the truth. The investigation concerns why four drug dealers were executed in cold blood and left in an exposed place where their bodies could be found easily. Carter covers the story and eventually uncovers the truth. The story line of the book is not astounding in its originality and there are no real cliffhangers in this account. What there is however is well worth a read - the character of Carter is extremely attractive with his self-disparaging humour and his quick wit which reminded me of Phillip Marlowe. Sometimes I found myself laughing out loud. The marvellous characterisation is accentuated by the excellence of the narration of Andrews. His older men are sometimes a bit crackly-voiced but his narration of Carter is spot on and hilarious. I also liked the down and outs and the sex worker as well as the lovely Tina, an editor on his paper. This book reveals the racism inherent in American society but in a down-beat manner and with genuine humanity. If you are looking for light relief this is an ideal book to read.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Easy Read

Faces of the gone is an easy going book with a hint of humour that doesn't take itself too seriously.

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  • shelley
  • 16-02-18

Wish Brad Parks were more prolific!!!!

This book is actually the first book in the Carter Ross series. When I started listening to this series I started with the second book because this one had the lowest rating. After listening to the whole series I had to go back and get this one. At the time I purchased it, it have a 3.9 rating while all the others were above 4. Not a major difference but after listening I found his just as good or better then some of the other books.
I really enjoyed this entire series and HIGHLY RECOMMEND them to anyone who enjoys a good suspense with lots of twists. These books are very well written with believable characters who are fleshed out and no super human heroics.
MacLeod Andrew is an excellent narrator.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 05-02-18

New suspense series (new to me anyway!)

As often occurs I found the Carter Ross series by reading Shelley's reviews at Audible. Faces of the Gone is Book 1 in the six novel series. The protagonist is newspaper investigative reporter Carter Ross who writes for a Newark, NJ paper. Faces of the Gone is an outstanding suspense novel with superb narration by McLeod Andrews.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephanie
  • 23-05-12

Fast Paced, Great Narrator

Looking for a mystery with some interesting characters and clever dialogue? I found both Brad Parks' books fast paced and enjoyable, largely due to the great narration. Admittedly, the story won't stand up to the best books I've read/heard this year, but it did make for a more enjoyable commute and I would recommend it overall.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lia
  • 02-03-18

Really Dissapointing Book

This book set my teeth on edge and quivered my skin in repugnance. It was even more distressing to learn his debut novel garnered such excellent reader reviews on here on Amazon.

This mystery features as protagonist Carter Ross, a gormless generally self-satisfied sort from a prep-school and almost-ivy background who is semi-aware of his privileged background and that is, presumably, part of the, er, fun since Ross now is an investigative reporter for a Newark, NJ, daily newspaper which means, of course, he often is blundering about in the projects.

The plot involves deadly drug-dealing -- four black drug dealers who were skimming are executed, their bloodied bodies left as a warning to their brethren not to cheat the boss who is a figure of mystery and at the heart of Ross' investigation. Standard stuff, no surprises, nothing new or even interesting.

So, what is new about this debut? The white upper-class reporter is an ignoramus in the real world and is astonishingly, criminally clueless as to cause and effect. So much so that he actually manages, during his investigation, to cause the deaths of three community members who give him information. Another is left dying in hospital but the reader never learns what her fate since she's just the mother of one of the victims and of no account therefore, apparently. Yet the reporter's cat, Deadline (so cute), which had been thought to have been incinerated in a house explosion turns up in good shape in the last paragraph.

It seems the "humor" cast in the book revolves around this white reporter twit trying to investigate a case in a black community project. Oh, hah-hah, ain't that funny ... NOT.

I cannot fathom the enthusiasm for this egregiously opprobrious mystery novel. If the content didn't repulse then the writing should have given pause.

MacLeod Andrews was excellent with the delivery of the story and the only reason I finished the book

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Will
  • 06-07-14

Carter Ross Rocks!

What did you love best about Faces of the Gone?

The attention to detail. I'm from Newark, and although I reside now in Middlesex County, my current profession ironically for a local TV station, takes me to the very places Carter Ross describes in his travels.

What did you like best about this story?

I appreciated the characters, from Tommy to Tina.

Which character – as performed by MacLeod Andrews – was your favorite?

Too many to list. I even applaud how MacLeod gave each character an identity. It was moments I forgot he was Tina or T, or the Director.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely. My listening is often done while cycling.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Eugenia
  • 29-06-15

Very Good Start of Series

I started this series primarily because of MacLeod Andrews, whom I absolutely ADORE! His Sandman Slim work is AMAZING, and that's what led me to these Carter Ross books.
While I was not blown away, MA's rendition does not disappoint. He's so skilled at different voices and he makes the characters come alive.
The story develops well, but the ending is a bit too rushed and a bit too pat. But I definitely appreciated the main character's sympathies and compassion to those people who were killed. I felt that bringing in this emotional quality really helped make Carter Ross a fully realized character.
And I did also, as some other reviewers mentioned, notice the seeming lack of feeling for his cat, but I believe it was meant as a front---pretending you don't care about someone, but underneath you really do. MINOR SPOILER ALERT: After all, the author ends the book with the cat.
I will definitely get the next book in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Empress Karen
  • 25-03-15

Investigative Mind

If you could sum up Faces of the Gone in three words, what would they be?

Sensitive, entertaining and simple

Who was your favorite character and why?

Love Carter, Deadline, and Tommy. All bring the story to a series level. I am not sure if this author is for me, so I will not be buying the other books which don't have M.A. reading them.

What about MacLeod Andrews’s performance did you like?

I am on a MacLeod Andrew run. M.A. brought all the characters in this series to great life. His AKA Todd Haberkorn is for erotic and other genres which push the edge. His Nora Roberts and Robert Crais reads are wonderful

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Carter realized his article started all the destruction

Any additional comments?

this book was on sale to start me on the series...Audible, good idea as I did buy book #3 due to the cited humor from reviewers.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Terry
  • 20-10-11

Recommended for mystery lovers who like humor

I have some reservations about this book, but overall I would recommend it. I've read literally thousands of mysteries, and I'm darned hard to please, so a 4 star from me means something! On the other hand, the reader is not very good. He is boring, which is bad enough, but also does those phony baloney voices. Puhleese! I like a reader who reads the book, and doesn't try to fiddle around with voices - and pauses where not necessary. After the 10th pause before "I said." or "He said." I was wishing the guy would hand the book over to someone else. That said, the story is good and interesting, the characters are fun for the most part, although the main character jumps to some conclusions that aren't supported by the evidence - that tactic has been used in both of Park's books - which serves, I suppose, to put him in jeopardy and add unneeded "tension." On the other hand, there are a lot of mysteries out there, and few of them are as readable as these, so I say read them and you won't be sorry.

I think that Brad Parks could enter my exclusive group of favorite mystery writers as he hones his skills.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Betty
  • 16-03-15

Beautifully narrated

The narrator Macleod Andrews is truly fantastic.
Well written characters and interesting story brought to life perfectly by the reader.
A recommendation!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • LaurelOlivia
  • 07-03-15

Humorous listen, many good characters

What did you like best about Faces of the Gone? What did you like least?

The humor was the best. The thing I liked least was, if the people that you mention in your articles die after you mention them, take note. the first few people you get killed is questionable but after that you are a murderer. When he mentions the name of a drug informant to the guy that he thinks is the mastermind drug king who kills with out hesitation ..........

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Satisfying

Which character – as performed by MacLeod Andrews – was your favorite?

The main character, however he does the side characters well. Tina was a great character, the intern, and the prostitute was endearing.

Could you see Faces of the Gone being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Yes, I don't know. Not any of the actors out now. Someone not too good looking.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful