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The Player (Carter Ross Mystery #5)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  307 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
When he hears residents of a Newark neighborhood are getting sick—and even dying—from a strange disease, investigative reporter Carter Ross dives into the story—so deep he comes down with the illness himself. With even more motivation to track down the source of the disease, Carter soon hits upon a nearby construction site. But when the project's developer is found dead, a ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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(showing 1-30 of 882)
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Tim The Enchanter
I Can't Get Enough Carter Ross - 4 Stars

I am officially caught up on Brad Parks novels. July 7, 2015 is marked in my calendar as I eagerly awaiting the next installment. Five books into the series and Brad Parks has maintained an interesting main character, developed interesting plots and has finally shed some of the annoying carry overs from previous installments.

Plot summary

Carter Ross finds himself tangling with adult responsibilities, women and the mob in this installment. It is hard t
Mar 02, 2014 Lesa rated it really liked it
Five Carter Ross mysteries. A Nero, Shamus, and Lefty Award. Brad Parks has certainly done well with his mysteries featuring investigative reporter Carter Ross. I think he's topped all his previous efforts though with the new book,
The Player. It's a tightly-written, fascinating plot, and Carter actually shows some maturity while retaining his wry sense of humor. This is my favorite book in the series.

As an investigative reporter for the Newark Eagle-Examiner, Carter Ross is always trolling for s
Apr 14, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it
Parks’ books are funny, easy to read, and suspenseful. This is the fifth book in the series which started with the award-winning “Faces of the Gone.” Investigative reporter Carter Ross gets a tip that residents of a Newark neighborhood are getting ill and one even died. When he goes to talk to the residents who are experiencing the mystery illness, he too becomes ill and starts tracking down the source. Sometimes the people that populate Parks’ novels seem a little over the top (especially the w ...more
Mar 23, 2014 Jamie rated it it was amazing
If you are a mystery reader and have not read the Carter Ross series, you must start. "The Player" is the 5th book in the series and they just keep getting better. That is saying something, since the fist book in the series "Faces of the Gone" won the Shamus Award for Best First Novel and the Nero Award for Best American Mystery. It was the first book to receive both awards. "The Player" continues the high quality of writing that Brad Parks started with "Faces of the Gone". Carter Ross is an inv ...more
Apr 14, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it
If you read The Player in a public place, be prepared to stifle your chuckles. One of my favorite lines: Tina gives Carter the kind of look that “people usually save for backed-up toilets.”

Newspaper reporter Carter Ross uncovers layers of trouble when he starts to investigate complaints of flu-like illness and broken bones among the residents of a small Newark neighborhood. Surely the problems are related to a construction project on the site of old factories.

The questions pile up: Who is respon
Mar 19, 2014 Ami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this might be a favorite of mine.

Yes, yes, the issue that I have with Carter Ross is still there: the stereotypes, the stupid female description (and I truly dislike the way Mr. Parks moving forward with Carter and Tina on-and-off relationship! I mean (view spoiler), really?!?), and again not so much "smart thinking" on Carter part -- but after five books, I know that those are trademarks that will never go away. So I learn to accept it and judge it on the ente
Mar 23, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
This was a great book club selection - a fun, fast read with good characters and an interesting story and mystery. I'm only sad it's the 5th book and I didn't start at the beginning. Adding books 1-4 to my "to read" list for sure.
Nov 04, 2014 Maddy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
PROTAGONIST: Carter Ross, newspaper journalist
SERIES: #5 of 5
WHY: Carter Ross, newspaper reporter, checks out a story involving a small neighborhood where the residents are experiencing strange medical symptoms, including recurring flu and breaks. He and one of the female interns (unfortunately nicknamed "Pigeon") investigate, they both become ill as well. He suspects environmental issues caused by local construction, but everything appears kosher. The mystery isn't
Jul 18, 2015 CEHatch rated it really liked it
In "The Player", investigative reporter Carter Ross begins on a story about a mysterious illness that is effecting members of a declining Newark, NJ,neighborhood, that seems to be environmental in nature. The source of the suspected airborne pollutant is a former Brownfield remediation site that is now a construction site for a large commercial and business development. However when the construction project's developer turns up murdered and his body dumped at the construction site, Carter turns ...more
Sep 10, 2014 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I read many mysteries but usually do not review them. Most are so similar that they are almost boring.

This book has a style that I cannot even describe. The author is clever and witty at the same time while dealing with a complex murder/mystery/mob/embezzlement plot which is solved with modern yet realistic technology.

Carter Ross is enmeshed in family entanglements with an ultimately loving family. Despite the normalcy of these extended family relationships, he manages to be both befuddled and g
Jun 09, 2014 Oscar rated it liked it
Carter Ross returns! Along with his fun sidekick Tommy Hernandez, their moody, demanding Metro editor Tina and the gritty backdrop of Newark, there's a new story and mystery for Carter to sink his teeth into.
As he does with his other titles, Brad Parks bring his fun, loose humor which makes everyman Carter Ross likable and engaging. You want to hang out with this guy and in his Malibu as he embarks on a new story/adventure- the mystery illness that is making some folks in Newark sick. Throw in a
May 20, 2014 Hallie rated it really liked it
Carter Ross, the utterly reliable protagonist of Brad Parks's latest "The Player," comes out of a fine tradition of brash, big city journalists as fictional sleuths. He's a mouthy guy who gets in plenty of trouble with the women in his life. The novel opens with a kook call, something Ross has learned to look forward to, if only for comic relief.

"Do you ever do stories about people getting sick?" the caller asks.

It turns out an entire neighborhood is getting sick, some are dying, and the calle
Kim Hammond
Mar 04, 2014 Kim Hammond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 5th book in the Carter Ross Mystery Series. Ross is an investigative reporter with the Newark Eagle Examiner. He’s funny and self-deprecating and I found that I really like this character. I received a PDF ARC of his book so I had it prior to the false date.

Carter takes a call-in from a woman who he initially thinks is crazy. Jackie is telling Carter that everyone in her grandmother’s Ridewood Avenue neighborhood are getting sick, including her grandmother, Edna Foster, who has recen
Benoit Lelievre
Jun 04, 2014 Benoit Lelievre rated it really liked it
It took me a while to understand what Brad Parks was trying to say with THE PLAYER, but once I got the hang of it, it was an unexpected blast. The mystery series is a genre that doesn't have much novelty to offer, but a clever, multi-layered HUMOROUS crime novel is NOT something you see everywhere. Brad Parks has probably created the most niche market ever with the adventures of journalist Carter Ross, but he owns every inch of it.

I first started reading THE PLAYER thinking it was a serious, ru
Dan Downing
Nov 20, 2014 Dan Downing rated it really liked it
Parks writes in a modern, laid back hard boiled style: fast, witty, smart assed but not cold, hard or tough.
Carter Ross, his newspaper reporter who keeps getting into mysterious entanglements, has the manly virtue of being attractive to women, dresses such that his gay friends mock him, and rarely throws a punch. But he is pesky and persistent and occasionally idiotic, which lapses he balances with flashes of solid, if not brilliant, thought. Blessed with a network he has built up of quirky sour
Jun 24, 2014 Regina rated it really liked it
I am a sucker for a NJ-based book featuring a newspaper reporter. But Brad Parks has done the genre proud, with his well-drawn plots, realistic characters and fun details. This is the fifth book in the Carter Ross series, inspired by Parks's time at The (Newark) Star-Ledger, and I recognize many details from his newsroom (and inhabitant) descriptions. He knows his stuff, weaves an interesting and educational story and keeps my interest with twists that keep me one step behind -- for the most par ...more
Lynn Farris
Feb 24, 2014 Lynn Farris rated it it was amazing
‘The Player’ is the fifth book in the award winning Carter Ross mystery series by Brad Parks. This time Carter Ross examines the issue of development and brown field remediation. Sound like a dry topic? Not in Brad Park’s hands.

As the story opens, Carter is in the newsroom and gets a call about a group of people getting sick and even dying from a mysterious illness in a neighborhood of Newark. He is intrigued and decides to investigate.

His investigations takes him to a nearby construction site.
May 23, 2015 Annie rated it it was amazing
Carter, Carter, Carter I can not wait to see what more develops between Carter & Tina!
Feb 18, 2016 Kevin rated it it was ok
The same characters and easy humor as the previous Carter Ross books, which was enjoyable. However, the enormous plot fail made this book nowhere near as good as the previous books in the series. I mean, if dad resented son that much, would he really sign over control of his life's work? And, anytime a writer decides to introduce a baby as a plot device and a means of creating conflict, that is when his editor needs to hold up a huge Stop sign. Hint: babies in action adventure mystery stories ar ...more
Mar 30, 2014 gert rated it did not like it
honestly, i started reading this book because i had already bought it. but really had ZERO desire to do so.

i ended up not finishing it and i feel so stupid for buying 2-5 all at once. i just enjoyed the first one so much, i figured....

i hated this one the most simply because: #5 hits all the low points that made 2-4 so grating.

his gay 'friend' and fellow reporter - i get it. he's gay. so why the need to classify him as such constantly? 'flouncing' 'prancing', etc. give me a break. its 2014. all
Mar 01, 2015 Jaksen rated it it was ok
I found this book kind of ordinary, almost like a TV plot line, though I must admit I've watched a lot of TV that is better than this. The characters are stereotypes; the storyline is sort of flat; the outcome is highly predictable. No 'ahah!' moments for me, sad to say. As soon as I read who the MC's brother-in-law was...

Too many moments when the MC relies on someone who knows someone, or someone he once worked with, or this contact here, there, or everywhere! I found it formulaic and frustrati
The book is a mystery that starts with people in a neighborhood getting mysteriously ill. The main character, Carter Ross, is a newspaper reporter and becomes aware of the mystery illness when the granddaughter of a woman who has just passed away due to it calls into the paper tipline. The plot immediately thickens when the man behind a major development in the neighborhood is found dead. Carter is moved to that story yet the two mysteries quickly intermingle as Carter investigates. The book mov ...more
Apr 07, 2014 William rated it really liked it
Shelves: brad-parks
Residents in a Newark neighborhood are getting sick and dying,and reporter Carter Ross a investigative reporter for the Newark Eagle Examiner is asked by the granddaughter of a victim to check it out, and find out what's causing it.Although i like Detective and mystery novels, this latest Brad Parks is really good full of humor,action and good characters and a splash of Carter Ross's personal problems with his editor Tina Thompson and a really good finish makes this his best yet.
Apr 11, 2015 Kat rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2014 Jessicat rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book through Goodreads giveaway.

This is my first book by this author, and I have to say that I truly did enjoy it. There was enough background information on the characters that I didn't feel lost not having read the other 4 in the series prior to this one. I liked the (often) humorous tone of the novel which helped balance out the serious nature of the story-line, I mean, people are getting sick and dying here! That initial part of the story took a backseat for while after
Apr 09, 2014 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I enjoy the Carter Ross mysteries because they are set in Newark, NJ--a town I've known (though not that well) all my life. Were it not for that personal connection I don't know that I'd keep reading them. There's something a little loose about them I don't really like. I think the plots are a bit sloppy, truth be told. But I do enjoy the setting and they don't take long to read.
Christine Law
Jun 27, 2014 Christine Law rated it it was amazing
This was an outstanding book! Despite me repeatedly putting it down and thinking I didn't have time to read it, it caught my attention enough to keep picking it back up. The plot was well done, the dialog realistic and the writing was efficient and witty. I can't wait to read more from this author.
Feb 05, 2015 Eadie rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed all of Brad Parks' books. His humor is very entertaining and I found myself laughing out loud while listening to the audio of this book. The plot was very good with a surprising twist, and I always enjoy the recurring characters. Can't wait for the next installment.
Sep 29, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it
Brad Parks was a new author for me and I was most pleasantly surprised. An engaging story of a newspaper reporter tracking down a story which led to a series of murders and intrigue that kept you interested to the end. His personal life was fun to watch unfold as well.
Mar 20, 2014 Karla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They just keep getting better!

They just keep getting better!

I love the combination of laughs and suspense. Can't wait for the next one! only drawback was that it was too short :)

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BRAD PARKS is the first author to have won the Shamus Award and Nero Award for the same novel. That book, FACES OF THE GONE, introduced Carter Ross, the sometimes-dashing investigative reporter, who has gone on to star in two more books, EYES OF THE INNOCENT and THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Brad lives with his wife and two small children in Virginia, where he is working on ...more
More about Brad Parks...

Other Books in the Series

Carter Ross Mystery (6 books)
  • Faces of the Gone (Carter Ross Mystery #1)
  • Eyes of the Innocent (Carter Ross Mystery #2)
  • The Girl Next Door (Carter Ross, #3)
  • The Good Cop (Carter Ross, #4)
  • The Fraud (Carter Ross, #6)

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