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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Faces of the Gone - A review

Even in notorious drug–infested cities such as Newark, NJ four bodies, killed gang-land style and stacked like cordwood, still pulls headlines for the local press. Carter Ross, investigative journalist for the Newark Eagle-Examiner catches a break when he feels that the local police have drawn a hasty conclusion to the reason for the killing and his leads take him to the dark under-belly of the city.

Making a connection with all four dead gang members through a special kind of heroin, almost pure and the best on the street, leads to dire consequences for not only the families and friends of the people he interviewed to get the story correct, but for himself too. A lucky rendezvous with a horny editor finds Carter not sleeping in his home when it is blown to smithereens.
Rather than be warned off, Carter takes aim with both barrels while being helped by his gay, Cuban side-kick intern, a plucky local stripper with nothing to lose. With a nudge from local gang members wanting to help keep their name out of the police blotter for being involved with selling drugs, manages to outwit the Federal Drug Bureau and the local police by getting to the source to get the real story on the front page as an exclusive.
Parks, drawing on his experience as a journalist, takes us on a page-turning, stomach-churning race across Newark. The humor dispersed through the sarcastic vein that Ross expels had me chuckling aloud and reading paragraphs to whoever would listen within the first three or four pages, and continues throughout in rich fashion. This debut novel has a plot that is solid and well developed. For lack of a better word, the story rocks! A page turner that I finished the same day I started, I just couldn’t put it down.

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