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The Player

(Carter Ross Mystery #5)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  522 ratings  ·  105 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, ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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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
Mar 02, 2014 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
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, public-library
I don't recall the first time I read a Carter Ross novel. This may be the first but it sounds so familiar ... I will have to do a bit of research there.

Nevertheless this will not be my last! I thought the author blended humor and whodunit mystery very well. Very smooth that it did not disrupt the momentum nor the underlying story.

My only complaint if it is to be a complaint is that our hero was not very heroic. The conclusion and tidy clean up was a bit disappointing but again that only negated
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cathy Cole
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With author Brad Parks now making his name writing domestic thrillers, I've been forcing myself to read his Carter Ross mysteries as slowly as possible because I love them so much. Now that I've read The Player, I've only got one left, and once that's gone, I may go into mourning. This fifth book in the Carter Ross series is fun reading, full of the twists, turns, heart, and humor that I've come to expect from this talented writer.

At the heart of this book is a very real concern: "questioning
Mar 15, 2014 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 ...more
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last week I listened to the Riley Spartz series which features an investigative tv news reporter as the protagonist.
One of the things I liked in that series was learning details about the tv news business.
This one was similar but it was a newspaper reporter instead. And similar to the Spartz series, I liked learning little details about the newspaper business.
(especially since it touched on how the internet has changed things)

Another good one. The style of this writer is to slowly develop the
B Shea
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another great Carter Ross book from Brad Parks. I love the character, a newspaper reporter in the digital age in the city of Newark NJ. He is funny and sarcastic, dealing with serious issues and crime in the city and the various relationships with co-workers and managers haha but he is a great investigator and always gets to the heart of the matter. Great book and I recommend the entire Carter Ross series. If you like newspaper reporter books like this (I do ), check out Bruce DeSilva book ...more
Mar 17, 2014 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
Apr 14, 2014 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
Apr 14, 2014 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 ...more
Nov 04, 2014 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
Mar 23, 2015 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.
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reporter, 2015
light, fast read. a lot of stereotypes kicking around newark. and the initial health-related focus gets shunted aside early on in favor of a less interesting story.
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Carter, Carter, Carter I can not wait to see what more develops between Carter & Tina!
Teena in Toronto
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Carter Ross is a reporter for a newspaper in New Jersey. He picks ups a story about a neighbourhood where everyone is getting sick, breaking limbs and even death. When he goes there to investigate, he too gets briefly sick which definitely makes him more interested. Before he can dig into it too much, though, he is reassigned to investigate the murder of a well-known builder, whose body was found on his construction site near the neighbourhood with the illnesses. The construction site seems to ...more
LInda L
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I was really into the beginning of the book -- really the first half -- then it got a bit tiresome in the middle and picked up again toward the end. Really liked Tommy, Pigeon, and some of the less important characters. Carter seemed kind of off at times, but figured stuff out when it counted. This was my first Carter Ross and I wish I had read them in order, but SAY NOTHING had me so jazzed to read more Brad Parks I couldn't wait. And this was the only other one my library had on the shelf. I ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another stellar addition to the Carter Ross saga. As always there were lots of laughs as well as a puzzler of a mystery. All the clues were there, but I was in the dark (just like Carter Ross always seems to be) about the killer's identity right up to the big reveal at the end of the book. I love it when mystery books play fair with the reader, but that usually means I solve the mystery way too early.
I was dismayed that Carter and Tina's relationship was reset to the same point it was at during
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews
I stopped about 100 pages from the end because I was simply bored with this book. Normally, stopping short of an ending would drive me crazy, but in this case, I didn't care. I will say that this book has plenty of good one-liners and humorous comebacks, and it started out interestingly enough with Carter Ross, the reporter, investigating a mysterious illness that plagues a small New Jersey town. Unfortunately, that plot quickly gets pushed aside while Carter investigates a mob hit that may or ...more
Ellen Moore
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
In this 5th book of the series, newspaper investigative reporter Carter Ross discovers that residents of a local neighborhood are getting sick, and even dying, from a strange disease. He and an intern both become ill while investigating. The deaths of two men involved in the construction site that may be the source of the disease are also revealed and impact the story. Carter's complicated family relationships are also a factor as his sister plans her wedding, and Carter ends up with 2 dates for ...more
Diana Hill
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Carter Ross is a news reporter who is very tenacious. Mysterious illness, shifty lawyers, businesses going under. Carter can’t help but look deeply into an issue. He, at times gets into trouble, but happily things turn out just fine.
Flash Floyd
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve probably said this before, but I like the humor in this series of books. Carter Ross looks at things through a lens that makes me chuckle. The story wasn’t bad either. The on again off again love affair with his editor boss continues in this book.
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am officially a Brad Parks/Carter Ross fan! Thanks to my Mystery Book Club, I started the series. Carter Ross is an investigative reporter who takes risks for his stories. This book involves a neighborhood whose inhabitants and workers are very sick. Is it the environment, big business, or?
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Carter Ross, Newark reporter, encounters multiple complications both personal and professional when he learns of a series of mysterious illnesses in a working-class neighborhood. This is an excellent entry in a great series.
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love this author and series! The main character is very humorous and charming and the mysteries are interesting and engaging!
Audrey K.
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written, compelling mystery about a newspaper reporter covering a story when he discovers it holds a mystery. Solve the mystery he does, and I was kept guessing until the very end!
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another funny one about Carter Ross and his investigative reporting! I laughed out loud several time — he’s so witty!
Dara Parker
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Rick Andrews
Mar 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish this "thriller" but I felt charitable and gave it one star.
Kim Hammond
Mar 04, 2014 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
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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 Girl Next Door (Carter Ross, #3)
  • The Good Cop (Carter Ross, #4)
  • The Fraud (Carter Ross, #6)