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Faces of the Gone

(Carter Ross Mystery #1)

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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,528 ratings  ·  265 reviews

Four bodies, each with a single bullet wound in the back of the head, stacked like cord-wood in a weed-choked vacant lot: That's the front-page news facing Carter Ross, investigative reporter with the Newark Eagle-Examiner. Immediately dispatched to the scene, Carter learns that the four victims an exotic dancer, a drug dealer, a hustler, and a mama's boy came from

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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 8th 2009 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,528 ratings  ·  265 reviews


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Tim The Enchanter
Oct 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Investigative Journalism Thiller
This was another of my Dominican Vacation reads. As I read many books that week, I am doing some simplified reviews so I can catch up.

As Good as any in the Genre - 4.5 Stars

There is something about that nosy, ethics driven, ignore common sense and the police investigative journalist (IJ) that intrigues me. Carter Ross is that guy. I like the IJ crime mysteries. They can go places the police can't, speak to witnesses who would avoid the police and are not dragged down by this little concept
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Robert
Mar 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: robert-s-reads
Reading over half of a novel while hyped up on cough drops and missing a night’s sleep because you’ve been traveling for approximately 20 hours, as you fly into and out of Chicago (in the middle of a winter storm) and out of Boston (before the big one hits) and you end up being stuck on parked planes for a total of three hours (added up from two occasions) and add a Las Vegas redeye to your traveling regime may not have been the best course of action for my retention ability, but FACES OF THE ...more
Ami
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read some of the non-positive reviews here. Few of the major critics are: Carter is not a convincing as investigative reporter (you probably think he is indeed incompetent if you read his process of writing an article!), that he is acting clueless and stupid (the people he interviews die or put in a coma), and there are "blatant sexism" and "juvenile humor" (I quoted this from one of the 1-star reviews). And the stereotyping!! Man, oh, man.

I admit all that, really. In my head, I already know
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Jamie
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a highly enjoyable read, but certainly not without its flaws.

Firstly, the good: it was fast-paced, well-written, comedic yet stark, and filled with excellent characters.

The lame/bad: The antagonist/villain was a bit too cheesy. Parks made up an entire federal agency for no reason whatsoever. That was lame. The jokes, while mostly funny and well-placed, sometimes were just lame. The storyline was majorly telegraphed, the main twists were too foreshadowed and aboveboard for my liking. And
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Karl
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I begin this book with some trepidation, not sure why. Some folks compere the author the Michael Connelly that's why I am giving it a go.

Now that I'm finished with the book I can say that the trepidation I felt in the beginning were unfounded. The book is good escapist reading with quite a bit of humor to recommend it.

In fact I enjoyed this book enough to order the sequel. Mr. Parks is much funnier than Michael Connelly, but not silly. An entertaining read.
Maddy
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
PROTAGONIST: Carter Ross, investigative reporter
SETTING: Newark, NJ
SERIES: #1 of 2
RATING: 4.5

It takes a lot for a murder to make an impact on the news communities of New Jersey and New York; the cold-blooded killing of four alleged drug dealers in a vacant lot in Newark, New Jersey, really captures the attention of the media. Local investigative reporter Carter Ross goes into the dangerous streets to determine exactly what happened. At first, there seems to be no connection between the victims,
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Kat Warren
Jan 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
I was suckered into buying and (worse) reading this book by its Amazon reviews: Faces of the Gone by Brad Parks.

It set my teeth on edge and quivered my skin in repugnance. It was even more distressing to learn his debut novel garnered such excellent reader reviews on here on Amazon.

This mystery features as protagonist Carter Ross, a gormless generally self-satisfied sort from a prep-school and almost-ivy background who is semi-aware of his privileged background and that is, presumably, part of
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Cheryl
Dec 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
A dead body in Newark, New Jersey isn’t very news worthy. Unless you are talking about the discovery of four dead bodies left in a vacant lot…now that is front page news.

Carter Ross is an investigative reporter for the Newark Eagle Examiner. When this story lands on Carter’s lap, he figures he will just write the story and be done. Once Carter starts digging, he realizes that there is something bigger then four dead bodies. Besides…what does an exotic dancer, a drug dealer, a hustler, and a
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Linda Lombardi
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a lot of fun. Don't expect it to be a mystery exactly - what's going to happen in the plot is telegraphed so clearly that it's not a surprise; rather any suspense is more in watching how the main character figures it out, and in wondering how much trouble he's going to get into when he does something that the reader can see is obviously going to get him in trouble. But you can't exactly call it a thriller or suspense unless there's such a thing as a cozy thriller: Even though the guy's ...more
Tim Fitzpatrick
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With the snappy dialogue and memorable supporting characters, it felt like a bit of a throwback detective novel - I told my daughter it felt a bit like a Mike Hammer story. Really enjoyed it, and will be putting more Brad Parks books on my list.
Jenna
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I like this series. I like the Carter Ross character. I think it’s an easy read but not quite a cozy.
I’ve been doing this one out of order so I’ve now circled back to the first one.

A good first book in a series. Lots of humor in some of Carters sarcastic remarks & his experiences while investigating the story.

Even though I read the last one (book #6) & know what happens w/characters, this was a good way to introduce those characters.

The story (mystery) moves along slowly but it picks up
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Anita Laydon
Oct 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
A recommendation from Colorado Springs GAZETTE column. (P.S. I'd actually give this book 3 1/2 stars, if I could figure out how to give a half star. Anyone?)

Don’t you hate it when an author kills off one of your favorite characters? Me, too.

I was halfway through Brad Parks’ “Faces of the Gone,” when a character I loved went missing and was presumed dead. There were just hours left until this column’s deadline and I’d intended on recommending “Faces,” because the reading was going so well. But
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Lynn
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Carter Ross is an investigator reporter for the Newark Eagle Examiner newspaper. Four bodies are found shot in a empty lot in Newark. The police believe it is tied to a bar burglary. Carter Ross instincts tell him this is the wrong but his bosses want him to write a newspaper article giving this as the reason for the deaths. He does investigating on his own to find the link between all four victims who are from different parts of the city. Carter cares about the victims and wants their story ...more
Paige
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent reading! I finished in two days. The plot was built up with thrills and the characters were very interesting. This author has a way of creating a page turner that will leave you wanting to read his next book!
Barbara
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
In this story, Carter Ross is an investigative reporter looking into the bizarre murder of 4 drug dealers. The book has interesting characters, a good story, plenty of humor, and not too much romance (which is how I like it). Good book.
LInda L
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
All the way through this book, I had the feeling I had read it before -- well, if I had, I neither checked it on Goodreads or reviewed it, so who knows? I have read all of Brad Parks' books and really enjoyed them. This one was no exception -- although I could not imagine any reporter getting themselves in so much trouble, it kept my attention the entire time. I did worry about Deadline, but on the last page it was resolved. A gritty story with a lot of drug dealers and users and murders and ...more
Janis
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good first novel. Lots of humor in the middle of a sad story about murders in the ghetto area of Newark. Looking forward to the next in this series.
Gram
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Library Journal described this book as "the most hilariously funny and deadly serious mystery debut since Janet Evanovich's One for the Money." All I can say is whoever wrote that has never read "One for the Money". This is a decent thriller about a decent journalist investigating the execution of four people, their bodies "stacked like cordwood" in a vacant lot in Newark, New Jersey. Seemingly, Parks actually wrote about a similar event while on assignment for The Star-Ledger in 2004. Back to ...more
Beth
Aug 10, 2010 rated it really liked it


FACES OF THE GONE by Brad Parks was considered for an Edgar Award as best first novel. This book is set in Newark, NJ, certainly one of the least salubrious locations I can think of. Parks does not try to make the city something other than it is so Newark, with all its poverty and crime, is a character in the story.

The story opens with the execution style murders of four drug dealers who are killed at one of the many vacant lots in the city. The bodies are left in the open so they will be found
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Mark
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even in notorious drug infested cities such as Newark, NJ four bodies, killed gang-land style and stacked like cordwood, still pulls headlines for the local press. Carter Ross, investigative journalist for the Newark Eagle-Examiner catches a break when he feels that the local police have drawn a hasty conclusion to the reason for the killing and his leads take him to the dark under-belly of the city.
Making a connection with all four dead gang members through a special kind of heroin, almost pure
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Ryan Mishap
Nov 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-crime
Parks shows promise with an often witty style and a decent mystery. A first book, it suffers from common problems, mainly obviousness regarding characters. The gay assistant can't just be gay, he has to be flamboyant. The hot editrix isn't just lusty, she wants a sperm donor for a baby (biological clock ladies, tick, tick, you better reproduce or you aren't a real woman). The stripper/hooker who decides to help the goofy white boy because he somehow wins her trust. C'mon.
Also, the story takes
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Anna Louise K.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Discovering a promising new writer is one of the real joys of reading. Brad Parks was recommended to me and lives in Virginia. There's no need to worry with author Brad Parks, however, as he's delivered a first-rate crime thriller.

Although FACES OF THE GONE is Parks' first novel, his prior career as a journalist well prepared him for this engaging story of Carter Ross, a reporter for the (fictional) Newark Eagle-Examiner. A quadruple homicide is front page news even in crime-ridden Newark, and
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Susan Johnson
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first read the "Girl Next Door" and enjoyed it so much that I went back to read the two earlier ones. This is the debut novel and quite enjoyable. It's got a great story of a man called the Director dealing 96% pure heroin brand named "The Stuff." In an effort to keep his brand clean, the Director executes four dealers who have cut the product 50%. Carter Ross, an investigator reporter for the Newark daily newspaper, pursues the story and gets his house blown up and almost dies. This is a ...more
Mike
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Faces of the Gone is a nice easy read that doesn't take itself too seriously. We are dealing with a reporter and not a retired Special Forces, troubled background, stone killer, yadda yadda...a pleasant change. The story is plausible and interesting, the protagonists well-developed but the (very slight spoiler alert) main bad guy reacts in such an extreme fashion to the smallest problem that you know he would never have risen much past thug/legman for an intelligent boss.
Suzanne
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
It's a good thing I didn't have to work today. I started this book and stayed up late to polish the whole thing off in one sitting! Great characters and great mystery! And definitely some humor - (view spoiler) Will definitely check out the rest of the series!!
Mary
Jan 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
A great addition to the list of authors who write thrillers about New Jersey -- this one is set in Newark. Thanks to Joanne H for putting me on to this guy. This is his debut novel and I look forward to reading more from him. Anyone who enjoys Harlan Coben, David Rosenfelt or Linwood Barclay (three great thriller authors) will probably enjoy this book as well!
Diane Vallere
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After finishing THE GOOD COP, (which worked as a standalone), I'm binge reading all of the Carter Ross books. Brad Parks played fast and loose with one particular story line, but I was happy to see it all came to resolution at the very very end. What's not to love about this series?
Angie crosby
Apr 14, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book failed to interest me at all. I didn't finish reading it.
Hapzydeco
Mar 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Borrowing from Janet Evanovich, Brad Park walks the line between being funny and deadly serious. In Carter Ross, Park has created a likable protagonist.
Mich
May 15, 2010 rated it liked it
it was ok.. not worth the hardback price
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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
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Other books in the series

Carter Ross Mystery (6 books)
  • Eyes of the Innocent (Carter Ross Mystery #2)
  • The Girl Next Door (Carter Ross, #3)
  • The Good Cop (Carter Ross, #4)
  • The Player (Carter Ross, #5)
  • The Fraud (Carter Ross, #6)
“…through the years, I had come to realize a simple fact of reporting: if you approach people with respect, listen hard, and genuinely try to understand their point of view, they will talk to you, no matter how different your background is.” 2 likes
“What's up?"
"You tell me; you're the one calling.”
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