Eyes of the Innocent
By Brad Parks
Review by Gregg E. Brickman
In Eyes of the Innocent, Brad Parks turns investigative reporting into the conduit for suspense, albeit with a touch of humor.
Carter Ross is a savvy, perhaps selectively-ethical, investigative reporter for a major Newark paper. Carter is ultra-white and dresses conservatively. However, he has made friends and developed sources throughout Newark’s multi-cultural communities, through which he moves with ease. He sticks out so much in the projects that people don’t know what to make of him and usually give him a wide berth.
Carter’s assignment to work with a young intern nicknamed Sweet Thang complicates his life. Sweet Thang has a lot to learn and has yet to realize that what she studied in school is non-applicable in the real world. But, her open approach attracts people and gets them talking.
A house fire kills two unattended little boys. Carter and Sweet Thang go to the site to investigate and run into the boys’ distraught mother, Akilah. After hearing her heart-wrenching story, Sweet Thang befriends Akilah and even offers her a place to stay. Akilah’s lies pull Carter and Sweet Thang into a web of deceit, politics, greed, violence, and murder.
Parks leads the entranced reader from page to page, cranking up the suspense while adding moments of humor. Parks delivers a compelling story.