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Eyes of the Innocent

(Carter Ross Mystery #2)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  858 ratings  ·  123 reviews

Carter Ross, the sometimes-dashing investigative reporter for the Newark Eagle-Examiner, is back, and reporting on the latest tragedy to befall Newark, New Jersey, a fast-moving house fire that kills two boys.

With the help of the paperâs newest intern, a bubbly blonde known as âœSweet Thang,â Carter finds the victimsâ mother, Akilah Harris, who spins a tale of woe about

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  858 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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Tim The Enchanter
Excellent Second Effort - 3.5 Stars

Posted to The Literary Lawyer

The wise cracking, ultra white WASP who loves pleated slacks is back. He is once again surrounded with a gang of colorful characters from Tommy, the gay Cuban (former) intern to "sweet thang" the young blond intern with ties to the papers and the ability to make a mean loaf of banana bread. While the plot lacked the finesse of the first novel, Eyes of the Innocent is an occasionally humorous crime thriller for any fan of
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars rounded up

The stereotype of bubbly-ditzy-twenty-year-old-blonde -- who got into the newspaper business because of her "Daddy" was so, SO VERY annoying!! Plus the blonde girl was called SWEET THANG the whole way through! My patience was running low every single time she talked. I thought the characterizations were worse than Faces of the Gone.

Having said that, the mystery was actually better. It started with a burned house that claimed two boys of Akilah Harris. Then it turned out that
Deborah Robb
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Totally enjoyed this 2nd Carter Ross mystery. Carter Ross is an investigative reporter with a local newspaper and once again gets in deep while investigating a fire that burns down a house with two small children in it. The mystery starts with his interview of the mom of the two little boys and it goes downhill from there. A local politician goes missing and is found dead, the paperwork for the burned down house can't be found at the courthouse, the mom of the two little boys's a ...more
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The central character, Carter Ross, is a Preppy reporter for the Newark Eagle-Examiner. You can't help but fall in love with him: his humble attitude, ethical approach to life, and "Knight in Shining Armor" attitude all contribute to that! I met Brad Parks last year when he rescued our Friends of the Library by filling in as our Weekend with a Writer speaker @ practically the last minute! Brad is so charming, and his writing is so good, it's difficult not to see the similarities between Brad and ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wonder what it would be like if Carter ever met Stephanie Plum?
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
PROTAGONIST: Carter Ross, investigative reporter
SERIES: #3 of 2

Carter Ross is an investigative reporter for the Newark Eagle-Examiner. Although he’s one of the best writers in the office, his assignments are often at the whim of the owner. When a major fire occurs in which two young boys are killed, he’s told to focus on writing about space heaters, although that appliance had no part in the situation. Accompanied by an attractive young intern he is mentoring,
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Many have written a short synopsis of the book already so I want to write what I like about this series. First of all, it is at times laugh out loud funny. Ross Carter is an investigative reporter for a Newark newspaper and his take on daily things is humorous and refreshing. However, he shows himself to be a thoughtful and compassionate person. He doesn't take himself too seriously but does his job very well. When many people would think their job is done, he keeps investigating when something ...more
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it
another relevant topic for a theme in this one. (Mortgages, housing & house-flipping)
had some humor which comes out in the dialogue b/w Carter & his co-workers.

since i'm doing this series out of order, i already know what happens with some of the characters referenced in the story so it was interesting to see "where they started" as it were.

FYI: while it's best to do a series in order, it's not necessary with this one.
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read the first one years ago and kind of forgot about the series.
Judy Pietrobono
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely liked this book! Main character, Carter Ross, is a newspaper reporter for a large
Newark newspaper and ends up working on a story relating to the death of a city councilman.
Colorful characters, good plot. Need to get the rest of the Carter Ross books in my library so
I can read them all. As a former journalist may be slightly biased, but who doesn't like a good mystery set in Jersey?!
Cathy Cole
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found Brad Parks' third Carter Ross book, The Girl Next Door, such a wonderful blend of mystery, humor, heart, and character that I went back to the beginning of the series so I wouldn't miss a thing. It's taking me entirely too long to catch up, but I'm enjoying every page that Parks writes.

Interpersed throughout the book are a few short chapters told from the bad guy's point of view, and although they're not entirely necessary, they do show readers just what Ross is up against. We also get a
Mar 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I think I read this book because some New Jersey magazine recommended it. The story takes place in Newark and the author used to be a reporter in Jersey. For a guy who used to be a reporter writing about a guy who is a reporter, you'd think that this book would be spotless when it comes to punctuation and spelling errors. Not so. Don't have your main character get huffy about a grammar error if you can't fix the errors in your story. I'm a stickler about errors in books, especially because it ...more
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Investigative reporter, Carter Ross is back. Carter writes for the Newark Eagle –Examiner. Carter’s boss wants Carter to write about the dangers of space heaters, after a house fire that killed two young boys. Carter is being paired with the newest intern, Lauren McMillan aka Sweet Thang.

Akilah Harris is the boys’ mother. At first glance she seems like a devastated mother but there is more to Akilah than meets the eye. Carter would have brushed Akilah off but when councilman, Windy Byers goes
Betsy Ashton
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Brad Parks delivers a character as funny as Stephanie Plum. Carter Ross, investigative reporter at the Newark Eagle-Examiner, shows up at a house fire where two boys died. At first he thinks this is a tragedy, two kids home alone, single mother working to put food on the table. He meets the boys' mother who should be a professional storyteller for all the lies she weaves.

When Ross is assigned a perky, blond intern nicknamed Sweet Thang, he hands her a research project to check out whether or not
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I discovered Brad Parks when I won a copy of The Girl Next Door: A Mystery in a goodreads giveaway. I really enjoyed it. Once I figured out it was the third book in a series, I got my hands on the first two. The first book in the series, Faces of the Gone, was a bit of a disappointment, but Eyes of the Innocent almost matches The Girl Next Door: A Mystery. It is fast paced and entertaining. The mystery is nothing special but the characters Parks develops are fun even though most of the are ...more
Hiep Huynh
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not only was this a disappointing follow up to his (much better) debut, it left me feeling like a dirty ageist old man.

The plotline didn't seem as tight and believable as 'Faces of the Gone', with much less detail provided on the baddies. It seemed to be glossed over in favour of objectifying the hot young 'Sweet Thang', who cannot seem to be referred to without sexualising and/or infantilising her.

She is introduced as a 'shapely twenty-two-year-old blonde' whose 'wholesomeness... put
Monica Mateo
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Brad Park's storyline, however, not as much as Faces of the Gone. I wished he would have kept the dynamic trio of Carter, Tina, and Tommy as a much tighter team. They were present, but not central to the storyline. I was completely over Sweet Thang and her character. She was overly done and frankly, annoying to follow. I also can't stand the nickname. I would have understood Barbie and having her real name Barbara. But Lauren to Sweet Thang and she is white? It's just not believable. ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-copy
I really enjoy reporter protagonists.

I have met this author at Left Coast Crime events and cannot stop myself from picturing him as Carter Ross.

The voice of Carter is a delight. He throws in funny observations which I just cannot stop guffawing about.

This episode was about the arson of a house with two little boys inside. The investigation also uncovered a city Councilman with wandering sexual appetite and a disreputable local entrepreneur who rehabs and flips houses which include balloon
LInda L
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read SAY NOTHING and loved it so much I thought I would read more Brad Parks -- so I read THE PLAYER because it was the only one on the shelf in the library. Didn't like it a lot, but got 4 more of the Carter Ross series checked out. Just finished EYES OF THE INNOCENT. Had a hard time finishing it -- so many characters, some good, some not. An editor who may or may not be interested in Carter, an intern who is definitely interested, several more at the paper who are apparently unhinged, and on ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Carter Ross sticks with the newspaper business even though it is falling down around him. He writes for the Newark Eagle-Examiner, doing whatever the editor tells him to do, so he heads off to write a space heater story about a burned down house that killed two little boys. What he finds is a lot bigger than that. Stuck with one of the interns, Carter takes her along and they find the homeowner in the kitchen of the burned out house. Lauren charms Akilah Harris into telling them her story: the ...more
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked the first book in the series better, because of the plot, although it was interesting to read in this story about the New Jersey real estate business (to some degree, because it helps to elucidate Donald Trump's business methods). I am still very fond of reading about the investigative methods and interpersonal relations of journalist Carter Ross and his pals at a Newark daily newspaper. Having lived in Northern New Jersey as a high schooler, I also enjoy an adult perspective on what ...more
Ellen Moore
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I found this novel, second in the series, more engrossing than the first. Two young boys left alone while their mother works two jobs are killed in a fast-moving house fire. Newark councilman Windy Byers is reported missing and is found to be involved in the case. The investigative reporter, Carter Ross, with the help of his friends, tracks down the shadowy figure behind all this. The author's humor and the unique characters he creates make this a very good read. I enjoyed the book and plan to ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I fell for Carter Ross, Brad Parks' protagonist, in the previous mystery, Faces of the Gone. Carter is an investigative reporter for the largest newspaper in the Newark NJ area. Carter is back with arson, murder, kidnapping, etc. involving local government and the housing industry. I learned a lot and will definitely go into any real estate deals with many questions. A 3.5. And I'm on to my third Carter Ross novel, though I wish he'd be more cautious!
Hazel Bright
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, I am starting to get really annoyed with Brad Parks because when I finish one of his books I get all crabby and grumpy having to read something that I don't enjoy nearly as much. His characters are extremely well drawn and engaging in this offering, and his description of feeling like prey to a hunting owl had me laughing right out loud. This is the last one in my library that I had not yet read. Guess I will have to break down and crack open the purse for Mr. Parks. He is so good.
Flash Floyd
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The is my second Carter Ross book and the main character is really growing in me. I like the tie in to the news gathering process. The surrounding characters added a lot of color to the story. At times, going without the assistance of police in the book’s final scenes seemed out of bounds, it did make for an exciting finish. More Carter Ross will be on my reading list.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not a fan of reading books in a series out of order, but I did it this time; started with #2. I really like this chracters and Parks writing style. I will be reding #1 soon.
The nly annoying thing about thsi book was the nickname of a female character in the book. I'll have to see if she's in the first book in the serires. I found the nickname so annoying it was distracting.
D.M. Barr
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great Carter Ross Reporter Procedure!

Brad Parks has a terrific voice--at once sarcastic, self-deprecating and astute. I finish one in the series and immediately start the next. I know I will be devastated when I finally reach the series' end!
Jane Dow
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Carter Ross and Lauren “Sweet Thang” are reporters who stumble onto city corruption and murder after reporting on a house fire where two little boys are killed. Then a city councilman is kidnapped and murdered by the unscrupulous house “flipper” who deals in subprime mortgages.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Breezily written but really, a young intern in the newsroom called "Sweet Thang" by everyone? This is supposed to be 2011, not 1975. If her coworkers did indeed call her that, I suspect a lawsuit would be in order, and newspapers are in enough trouble as it is.
Lynn Sinclair
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Great book, first I've read from the author, now I'm on the look out for more!
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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)
  • The Girl Next Door (Carter Ross, #3)
  • The Good Cop (Carter Ross, #4)
  • The Player (Carter Ross, #5)
  • The Fraud (Carter Ross, #6)
“I'm not saying it's simple to find and tell the truth. It takes a great deal of hard work, intellectual honesty, open-mindedness, and a willingness to keep listening to people even when your gut is telling you they're full of it. Then it involves drilling through the layers of one's cultural assumptions and prejudgments, all the way down to the mushy middle of all of us, where I believe there's a basic humanity that tells us what's right and what's wrong. If we as writers apply that code - without the anchors of agenda or ideology - we can lift our prose to something that can be called the truth. It's the very best of what journalism can and should be.” 2 likes
“My entrance into the courtyard caused a small stir among the lookouts. I could tell because in the middle of February, in the dark of night, Baxter Terrace suddenly sounded like an Audubon Society refuge - birdcalls being the latest in urban drug - selling counterintelligence...

Birdcalls allowed much more information to be imparted to other members of the operation, without the visitor being aware of what was being communicated. So while a crow's harsh cry could harken the arrival of a member of the city narcotics unit - a significant threat - the sweet song of a chickadee might signal an officer who was merely escorting a social worker to an appointment allowing business to continue in guarded fashion. Someone like me, a stranger on unknown business, might warrant a whipporwill's call.

Where exactly a city kid learned what a whipporwill sounded like, I have no idea. But these kids were nothing if not resourceful. It makes you wonder what they could have accomplished under different circumstances.”
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