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.

Minotaur Books
ISBN: 978-0-312-57478-9