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The Girl Next Door

(Carter Ross Mystery #3)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  960 ratings  ·  191 reviews

Reading his own newspaper's obituaries, veteran reporter Carter Ross comes across that of a woman named Nancy Marino, who was the victim of a hit-and-run while she was on the job delivering copies of that very paper, the Eagle-Examiner.ÂStruck by the opportunity to write a heroic piece about an everyday woman killed too young, he heads to her wake to gather tributes and

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  960 ratings  ·  191 reviews

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Tim The Enchanter
Posted to The Literary

A Blue Collar vs. White Collar Mystery - 3.5 Stars

The fact is that I am writing this as I am finishing up the 5th book in the series. Given what was written after this, I can say that I feel that this is the weakest book in the series to date. That said, it is hardly damning as Brad Park continues to impress in this installment. As I live in a staunch union run city and county, some of the worker vs. "The Man" themes rang true and the solid writing and
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I became interested in reading the Carter Ross series, by Brad Parks when on a blog I read about a talk he gave to mystery readers who came to hear him speak. The talk was so entertaining and so much fun that I searched out the first book in the series.

I was not disappointed as the books lived up to his talk. The books had me chuckling aloud at times. Carter Ross is an investigating reporter for the Eagle Examiner In Newark New Jersey. He is wise cracking but has a soft spot for the underdog.
3.5 stars
I have to agree with this reviewer.

For a mystery book, this one is a bit disappointing. Brad Parks doesn't offer many twists in Carter's attempt to uncover the murder of Nancy Marino. And, while I already think that Carter is NOT the most convincing investigative reporter EVER, this book takes his "naivity" into another level. He relies too much on one source. He doesn't even try to check out the source's credibility. I think he is being too naive and lets his biases played into his
Susan Johnson
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The last time I had this much fun reading a book was an early Stephanie Plum.
Carter Ross, a 32 year old veteran reporter from Newark, has a great sense of humor and great looks. He decides to look into a hit and run death of a fellow "Eagle-Examiner" employee, a paper delivery person. This story leads him into the realization that it was no accident- it was murder. As he investigates, he gets arrested as a "Peeping Tomcat", runs from a bear on the urban Newark streets, has a very hot shower
Nicky Wills
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'll give this one 4 stars, since I would rate this and the previous Carter Ross book 3.5, so this evens it out! These books are fun and easy reads, and now I'm invested in the recurring characters. They're a little goofy and cliche at times, but I enjoy reading them.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I’ll give this book about a 3.2. It was an ok detective novel but like I read from another reviewer, there really weren’t that many twists. I do however like the main character and would enjoy reading the other books by the author in which he is featured.
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
PROTAGONIST: Carter Ross, investigative reporter
SETTING: Newark, New Jersey
SERIES: #3 of 3

Carter Ross is an investigative reporter for the Newark Eagle-Examiner who is often able to determine his own assignments. While reading the obituaries one day, his eye is caught by the story of Nancy Marino who was killed in a hit-and-run while delivering the paper early one morning. He decides that her story is worthy of an expanded piece and sets out to interview her friends and family to put
Jessica at Book Sake
The Girl Next Door was fairly disappointing. Carter Ross, an investigative reporter for the Eagle-Examiner, discovers that the “hit-and-run” death of Nancy Marino may not have been an accident at all. The plot sounds totally played out to begin with, but hey, I also love every episode of Law & Order, so what the hell, right? Unfortunately, this book didn’t throw me a single curve ball. The mystery of Nancy’s murder was so transparent that I’d figured it out about 50 pages into the novel. ...more
Jenee Rager
Mar 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
This book had a great opening line. From there on it was all downhill. I loved the premise and was very excited to read it, but after a few pages I struggled to force myself through it. I have never read a "mystery" book that was so predictable. The characters were all stereotypical and uninteresting, and I think even the most unskilled reader could predict who the killer was almost immediately. I kept hoping maybe I was wrong and that there would be a plot twist to save the book, but ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Of course, me being me, I started at the #3 book instead of the #1. I guess it didn't really matter much except I might have learned what a sense of humor Carter Ross has and not been so surprised. Brad Parks has created in Carter Ross a likable character that has personality, charm and integrity. He also is owned by a charming cat named "Deadline" that Ross describes as "dormant". We were offered a plateful of bad guys...but I never guessed the identity until nearly the end. I would recommend ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5. Good main character and other regulars. But I guessed the solution too early.
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Despite the steadily worsening situation for newspapers across the country as well as at his own, Reporter Carter Ross still has a job at a Newark Eagle–Examiner. While the newspaper maybe having serious fiscal issues, the obituary pages are still one thing the bosses have not surrendered in the face of declining circulation and revenues. It was while he was reading the obits that Reporter Carter Ross come across the notice about the death of 42 year old Nancy B. Marino.

Single and hardworking,
Mar 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Carter Ross reads a story about a woman involved in a hit and run. He decides to attend her funeral. Carter gets more than he bargained for when the victim’s sister tells Carter that she believes the accident was no accident. Carter agrees to investigate the case. Carter better watch his back or he could find himself in a hit and run accident of his own.

The Girl Next Door is book three of the Carter Ross novels. I like Carter. When you first think of a reporter, you instantly group them with
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
My take: This is the kind of mystery that I like. The protagonist is a smart-mouthed, thirty-something year old reporter who accidentally discovers his investigative skills are going to be honed. He's funny, witty, and provides an enjoyable "voice." He doesn't talk crass and the book itself is relatively clean, although I'd not be handing it to my children. The guy is still a guy who makes a few references and is a willing participant if the opportunity arises (no pun intended) and he nearly has ...more
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a fun mystery. I like the way Parks divides his books, moving from first person narration by Carter Ross, to a small section by the antagonist (who is not revealed until the end) and back again. This is the third book of Parks that features Carter Ross, but the first I've read. I am not reading "Faces of the Gone," which is the first Carter Ross book.

Carter Ross is a reporter for a Newark newspaper, and the newspaper speak and newsroom descriptions and talk of what's happening in the
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
UPS brought me this goodreads win yesterday afternoon. If the truck had arrived in the morning, I'd have finished the book before bedtime. It is an entertaining fast read with some really good one-liners. The backdrop is a financially shaky newspaper trying to get union concessions. A shop steward is killed by a hit and run driver. Was it an accident or murder? Reporter Carter Ross wants to know. Most of the characters are stereotypes but they are funny and every one moves the story along. The ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
As always this was a quick, fun read. I like the characters, I love the humour, but I'm starting to get a bit tired of the format. Viewpoint of the criminal, viewpoint of Carter Ross' investigation, back and forth until finally Ross gets up close to the killer not realizing who he is or the great danger that he's put himself into until the last minute.

In the Eyes of the Innocent, Ross negotiates with a killer from behind bullet proof glass, so I thought over time he would get smarter and more
Feb 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Brad Parks has done it again with The Girl Next Door! In his third in the Carter Ross series, Brad combines mystery, humor and suspense into a wonderful read. Carter Ross is still as cute as ever, and it is so much fun to read about his escapades. This time, he gets himself into more trouble than ever, and I found myself hooked to discover how he would solve the mystery and get his life back on track. The greatest thing about Carter is even though he is the hero of the novel, he makes mistakes ...more
Angela Risner
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
An unassuming paper carrier/waitress is killed in a hit and run accident. From the way she lived her life, it seems impossible that she could have any enemies. Yet as Carter Ross, reporter. digs into the story, he finds out that it was no accident.

First of all, I want to say that there is talent here. There were lots of great lines and the story was cohesive (for the most part.)

However, by page 30, I knew who the killer was. And the book goes on for 200+ pages after that. I doubt that I'm the
Kitty Honeycutt
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Book Title: "The Girl Next Door”
Author: Brad Parks
Published By: Minotaur
Age Recommended: 187+
Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
Raven Rating: 4.5

Review: You don’t usually find many mysteries/thrillers that have a hint of humor while maintaining their sense of macabre danger. Brad Parks has successfully married the two in this novel. This book is a rare gem and not one to be missed. If you love mysteries with a little dark humor tossed in for good measure you’ll truly enjoy, “The Girl Next Door.”
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
"The Girl Next Door" was a good "who done it". Brad has a great way of creating characters who are believable and entertaining! I have read two of his books now and going to read the third tomorrow. Keep writing Brad, enjoyed meeting you at the Bon Air Library.
Apr 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Another good one. I'd say more of the same, but each differs quite a bit. Parks does a great job telling the reporter's side of the story. Twisty, good mystery, too.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Veteran Newark, New Jersey "Eagle-Examiner" reporter Carter Ross is unexpectedly drawn into a murder investigation when he sets out to write a piece about Nancy Marion, a forty-two year old paper delivery person who was killed by a hit-and-run driver while delivering the "Eagle-Examiner." As he researches his story, the killer, determined to stop the investigation, soon has the intrepid reporter in his sights. Can Carter solve the mystery of the woman’s death without becoming the killer’s next ...more
Darlene Payne
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Not sure how I feel about this book. The main character, Carter Ross, is so appealing. He's funny and smart. And the plot kept me guessing.

However, there were a few parts that I didn't like. Without giving anything away, at one point ( a very inconvenient point, I might add) a female character suddenly disrobes. Okay, maybe it's just me - maybe other women often take their clothes off in front of their employees when they're trying to help said employee not lose their job. This woman also does
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Carter Ross hangs on at The Newark Eagle-Examiner; he has never wanted to do anything else but be a newspaper guy. Reading the paper's obits, he finds the death notice of one of the paper's delivery people, Nancy Marino. Ross wants to do her homage for her years of service to the paper, so he starts investigating and soon uncovers problems. The labor union for the delivery people does not want to make concessions to the paper management, and Nancy is a shop steward. Someone is making trouble for ...more
Dan Downing
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it
It appears this is a popular title, one of those books for which you need to add the author's name to the search bar. But it comes up, and here we are, again talking about Carter Ross, Parks' series hero.

In point of fact, Parks got better as he went along. This is number three. Numbers four and five were better, although all are carried by the humor and wisecracks. No skimming here or you will miss the one-liners.

For a novice mystery reader there might be some tension, but once you have explored
Ellen Moore
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This is another intriguing book in the investigative reporter Carter Ross mystery series. In this one, Carter makes numerous mistakes which cost him everything, including his job, as he investigates the hit and run death of a woman who delivers the newspaper that employs him. Her sister leads him to believe she was murdered, that it was not an accidental death. His investigation involves his boss, implying that the publisher of the Eagle-Examiner newspaper is involved along with some other ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I gave up 25 pages in. It is a slow time of year for the newspaper, but somehow a hit and run in the quiet town wasn't enough for a follow-up story? And the top reporter and editor had no idea who the woman was when reading the obit a few days later? And the original story, on something that happened early in the morning on Friday, would have had lots of time to have a big story in Saturday's newspaper. Not to mention, it would have near the front of the paper originally, not buried. I ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I’ve been doing this series out of order. I know, I know, but I was listening to them on audio & had to do what was available.
So this is the first one I’ve read in book form. And I hate to say this but I prefer this series on audio.
But whatever…I like the series so I want to do them all.

The topic for this book is labor unions. I learned a bit about that subject which was interesting.

The mystery wasn’t as obvious as you think it’s going to be.

Some humor. That stuff about the bear was
Agnes (BeaderBubbe)
Carter Ross is a newspaper reporter. A carefree reporter who follows the leads and not the norm, he comes across the death of Nancy Marino who delivers papers and works at a diner. Doing her obit draws him to her funeral where he finds out there is more to this young girl's death than meets the eye. So he emerges himself into finding out the story behind her life and subsequent death.

But it seems there is something in her story that makes it feel like murder and Carter wont let it go until he
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International bestseller author Brad Parks is the only writer to have won the Shamus, Nero, and Lefty Awards, three of American crime fiction's most prestigious prizes. His books have earned starred reviews from every major pre-publication journal.

A father of two and a husband of one, Brad lives in Virginia, where he spends four hours a day at his local Hardee's, writing his novels. When not at

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 Good Cop (Carter Ross, #4)
  • The Player (Carter Ross, #5)
  • The Fraud (Carter Ross, #6)
“Some people describe their cats as curious or playful or affectionate. Mine is best described as dormant.” 1 likes
“In the end, I just engaged in a staring contest with the wall. The wall kept winning, but I felt like I was gaining on it.” 1 likes
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