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The Player (Carter Ross Mystery #5)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  440 Ratings  ·  95 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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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
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
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 s
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 respon
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 ente
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 inv ...more
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 w ...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: 2015, reporter
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 b ...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 w ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
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 m ...more
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.
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!
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Good series
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 recen
Sep 10, 2014 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
May 20, 2014 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
Mar 19, 2014 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
Jul 18, 2015 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
Jan 02, 2014 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
Jun 09, 2014 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
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
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benoit Lelièvre
May 31, 2014 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
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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)
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