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Closer Than You Know

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  2,450 ratings  ·  406 reviews
Brad Parks delivers another riveting, emotionally powerful stand-alone domestic suspense thriller perfect for fans of The Couple Next Door and What She Knew.

Disaster, Melanie Barrick was once told, is always closer than you know.

It was a lesson she learned the hard way growing up in the constant upheaval of foster care. But now that she's survived into adulthood--with a lo
Hardcover, 402 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Dutton Books
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Brad Parks Staunton, Va. It’s in the Shenandoah Valley, about 2.5 hours southwest of DC. But make sure you pronounce it “Stanton” or else everyone will know you’…moreStaunton, Va. It’s in the Shenandoah Valley, about 2.5 hours southwest of DC. But make sure you pronounce it “Stanton” or else everyone will know you’re an out-of-tower. :)(less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,450 ratings  ·  406 reviews

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Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

4.5 Stars!!!!

This was my first Brad Parks read and I REALLY enjoyed it! When I first read the description for this novel, I was thoroughly intrigued. I couldn’t wait to start reading.

The book opens with a well-dressed affluent couple walking into Shenandoah Valley Social Services. As they are about to enter the man turns to his wife and says “Remember, we’re perfect” and the wife replies “The perfect couple”. The Family Serv
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5* (rounding ⬆️)
Melanie is running late picking up her infant son from the babysitter. And in her mind she’s playing out the worst-case scenario…OK, the babysitter fires me as a client and I find myself with no daycare! Great!
Melanie has no clue that this would be the smallest bump in her road.

She arrives at the sitter only to discover her son Alex is nowhere to be found. He’s been removed by Social Services! Now with the police squarely looking at Melanie, accusations start to fly and no one
Diane S ☔
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Almost against my will I was dragged to an acceptance level I never could have predicted. That so many things, bad things, could be visited on one person seemed less than credible. Then I though of a few people I knew who have had more than their share of misfortune, so who am I too say it can't happen. Melanie is finally happy, after she and her brother were removed from their abusive homes, they were raised in the foster system. Now though she is married to Ben, they have a three month old inf ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars* (rounded up)

Have you ever heard that saying “Life, it can turn on a dime?” Well for Melanie Barrick, it’s true. One minute, she is happily married, with a new baby and a secure job and the next Melanie goes to pick up baby Alex from daycare only to find out he’s been taken away. Social Services picked him up earlier that day and grabbed him. No advanced warning, no nothing. Then, Melanie gets arrested for felony possession of hundreds of kilos of cocaine. Melanie professes innocence a
Diana | Book of Secrets
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25 Stars → Folks, this book made me a nervous wreck!! The protagonist Melanie Barrick is faced with a nightmare scenario: She goes pick up her infant son from daycare, only to be told he was taken away by Social Services, and no one will tell her why or where he is. Honestly, I don't know how I would continue to function. Things get worse when she gets home to find the police have raided her home and found a HUGE dealer's amount of cocaine hidden in the ceiling. Defending herself seems hopeles ...more
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some people are just misery magnets......the bad stuff sticks to them like sap from a freshly cut Christmas tree. Ya just can't shake it off.

Melanie Barrick is playing beat-the-clock as she rushes to pick up her infant son from childcare. Extra charges or immediate ousting if you're past 6 o'clock. But the door is locked and the owner's voice slams a heavy load on her. Alex is with Social Services.

Melanie will now enter into the endless infinity of the Maze from Hell and I'm sure Dante will be
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
I was lost in the twisty, windy, rocky and muddy murky coulee with three of my Traveling Sisters reading Closer Than You Know hiding in the shelter of the trees from the disasters lurking closer than we think there are.

Closer Than You Know is a fast-paced, fun, entertaining domestic suspense thriller that had us starting off hiding in the coulee rolling our eyes in disbelief a bit from some disasters that we thought might be closer than we think with the story. A little high on the drama at time
Sarah Joint
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
So many twists, you'll get dizzy! This roller coaster of a book is my first read by Brad Parks, but likely won't be my last. It definitely kept me reading... and reading... and tired the next day because I sacrificed some of my precious sleep. Many will have a hard time buying a lot of what happens in this one, but I'll give some advice: just go with it. You'll enjoy it more if you aren't questioning the probability of everything. It's a good story and a wild ride, a finely crafted domestic/lega ...more
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Part domestic suspend and part legal thriller, Closer Than You Know brought some of my worst fears as a parent to life. Imagine going to pick up your baby from the babysitter only to be told they were taken by Social Services earlier that day. Things get even worse when you go home and find your house has been raided and a substantial amount of cocaine has been found. To top it all off, you or your husband don’t do drugs and never would, this whole thing is a set up and you are utterly powerless ...more
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
I found Brad Parks last year with his book, Say Nothing. I LOVED IT. His second book, Closer Than You Know, is also a winner in my book.

Let's talk about the characters for a moment. There's a LOT going on in this book with Melanie's past, what's happening to her now, how they intersect and how the prosecuting attorney comes into play. I'm not a mother so I can't imagine how hard it would be to have your child ripped away from you with no warning whatsoever. I mean, Melanie's already been throug
Brad Parks
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is a great book. Once you start, you won't be able to put it down.

(What did you think I was going to say? That it sucked?)
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Melanie Barrick races home from work late to pick up her son from childcare worried that her childminder will quit. She finds social services have taken her child. She arrives home to find her house ransacked by the sheriff's department and is arrested for possession of half a kilo of cocaine which she has never seen.

This one is a true page-turner. Though I guessed early who the villain was I found the story line very compelling. A quick read because you won't be able to put it down. I'd place
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brad Parks’ compulsively readable standalone crime thriller is nearly flawless. The author takes risks by making his protagonist a woman, a young white mother married to a black man. While he might make a misstep or two in how a woman might react to rape or a first-time mother might react to being wrongly accused of several crimes and then having her child taken by social services, he has a strong enough case that we keep reading to see how he will explain it all.

Technically, the book works well
I enjoyed Say Nothing much more than this new novel.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Closer Than You Know” is a fast paced thriller featuring two strong female characters seemingly pit against each other. Protagonist Melanie Barrack is a new mom who is struggling to provide her son the best life possible. Melanie was a “system kid”, one who was in the Social Service system where she learned how an unstable childhood could derail a child. Melanie is doing all she can to provide her baby the best childhood possible.

The story opens when half a kilo of cocaine is planted in her ho
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Imagine a Lifetime movie starring Tori Spelling and you pretty much got the plot of this book. I was quite disappointed as this author writes a hysterically funny, laugh out loud series featuring reporter Carter Ross. I know authors like to try new genres but this book was not funny nor was it intended to be. I get it. There was one really funny bit when the protagonist, Melanie Barrick, is sitting in jail reading a Carter Ross book five times. That was clever.

Barrick is having a terrible day.
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book!
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. As you read this you have to remind yourself to breathe as the pace is relentless. Just read it!
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-release
A shocking and twisted conspiracy against a mother and her son. This book is definitely any Mother’s worst nightmare. Parks delivered a suspenseful, clever plot that was definitely filled with its share of smoke and mirrors! (I loved that!) This book was a very entertaining read! Thrilling police procedural and court room drama...this book had it all and even left me wanting more!!
4-entertaining stars!!
Gare Billings
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing

CLOSER THAN YOU KNOW by Brad Parks is a cautionary tale of not only the ugliness and devastation that some people harbor, but it’s also a tale about the love a mother has for her child. I loved this novel, with its domestic suspense plot line that is as impressive as it is horrifying, but I also really enjoyed the legal thriller aspect of this one too. It was not only twisty and fun, but flawlessly executed. Parks does a fantastic job of jumping between storylines until they are not only connect
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up)
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
When you read a book about a dog -- from Marley & Me to Where the Red Fern Grows -- you've got a pretty good idea what's going to happen near the end. Same goes for a Nora Ephron movie. Or a Horror flick. But you still read or watch them, and you cry, or laugh and "awww", or jump in your seat when you're supposed to. Even on repeat reads/viewings. But when done right, those things just work. Similarly, think of a ro
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Setting: Shenandoah Valley, USA. Melanie Barrick seems to have it all - a loving husband, her own home, a steady job and - best of all - her baby son, Alex. But a troubled past has led Melanie to believe that 'disaster is closer than you know' - and it all comes home to roost one day when she returns from work to find that Alex has been taken out of his daycare by Child Services and the Police have raided her house where they found a substantial quantity of cocaine. Now, not only is she without ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
Excellent, suspenseful, unputdownable, well plotted. Best of all, when you get to the end, all the highways and byways, make plausible sense.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it

Visit the locations in the book

Brad Parks is one neat writer. The action rattles along at break neck speed, there’s a lot to think about, a lot to worry about with the characters and a lot to take in and remember as you just know one small thing is going to come and bite you on the bum if you forget it.

It starts like a car screeching away from the scene of a crime, which is ironic as that’s kind of what happens. A mother gets home to find out her child has been taken in to care. Care home is shu
Katie (katieladyreads)
I guess I just don’t sympathize with mothers because the main character annoyed me for the most part. I did enjoy the female attorney character a lot (probably the only reason I finished the book) Overall, the plot was completely unrealistic and predictable. I kept waiting for that big twist but alas it did not come.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller-tbr
I recently discovered this author, reading “Say Nothing” first, and now “Closer Than You Know” and he is two for two in my book.

If you enjoy reading thrillers with a family in crisis, and the inevitable legal drama that follows, Brad Parks is for you!

When Melanie goes to pick up her son Alex from daycare, she is told that he has been removed by social services, and she cannot imagine why.

It gets worse from there as she finds out that drugs have been found in the nursery of her house, and she
The airport racks are filled with easy-reading novels with wide appeal. Closer Than You Know definitely has a place on those racks and was clearly designed to appeal to a large audience. It's a conspiracy story where the lead character finds her whose world turned upside-down, her child taken from her, her life torn apart, orange jumpsuits, and a Byzantine Kafka-esque maze where it's almost impossible to prove her innocence. Nothing special though. Going against the herd here in finding that it ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: next
Easy, fun, crime fluff read. Pick this one up after you've gone through your TBR. ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Closer Than You Know is the latest stand-alone from author Brad Parks. Last year's Say Nothing was the first time I'd read Parks and it was a book I couldn't put down. I was eager to read this latest - and I couldn't put it down either!

As he did in Say Nothing, Parks' premise preys upon a parent's worst fear - their child disappearing.

Melanie Barrick goes to pick up her infant son Alex from the childminder, only to be told that Social Services has taken the child. A large amount of cocaine has b
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count - ISBN: 9781101985625 3 15 Apr 17, 2018 05:08AM  

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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 H

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“People who were enmeshed in that world called it, simply, “the system.” And it was really the perfect term for something so cold, complex, and ultimately impersonal. Once you were in it, you lost some part of your humanity. Your family became a file to be passed around from one harried, underpaid, overworked civil servant to another.” 0 likes
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