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  • Faces of the Gone

  • Carter Ross, Book 1
  • By: Brad Parks
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Faces of the Gone

By: Brad Parks
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
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Summary

Four bodies, each with a single bullet wound in the back of the head, stacked like cordwood in a weed-choked vacant lot: Thats 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 different parts of the city and didn't seem to know one another.

The police, eager to calm jittery residents, leak a theory that the murders are revenge for a bar stickup, and Carter's paper, hungry for a scoop, hastily prints it. Carter doesn't come from the streets, but he understands a thing or two about Newark's neighborhoods. And he knows there are no quick answers when dealing with a crime like this.

Determined to uncover the true story, he enlists the aide of Tina Thompson, the paper's smoking-hot city editor, to run interference at the office; Tommy Hernandez, the paper's gay Cuban intern, to help him with legwork on the streets; and Tynesha Dales, a local stripper, to take him to Newark's underside. It turns out that the four victims have one connection after all, and this knowledge will put Carter on the path of one very ambitious killer.

Faces of the Gone is a Nero Award Finalist and has been named to lists of the year's best mystery debuts by the Chicago Sun-Times and South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Treading the same literary turf as Harlan Coben, and writing with a fresh Jersey voice, Brad Parks makes an energetic, impressive debut.

©2009 Brad Parks (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Brad Parks [has] delivered a first-rate crime thriller.... Faces of the Gone is gritty and hard boiled, but with a sly sense of humor. This strong and confident debut is sure to make an appearance on many 'best of' and awards lists. Parks is a bright new talent whom readers will hopefully be able to enjoy for years to come." ( Chicago Sun-Times)
"This is the most hilariously funny and deadly serious mystery debut since Janet Evanovich's One for the Money. Former journalist Parks has learned the art of making words flow and dialog zing. Fans of the NFL's Cleveland Browns will find the Brick City Browns street gang an added delight." ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about Faces of the Gone

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

One of my favourites

Loved this book. I read book 4 first (The Girl Nextdoor) so I'd met most of the characters there already.

Loved them here too. Well developed and diverse characters with a great and gripping plot that pulls you in. Great narration also brings the characters to full high definition 3D life. Great work Brad and MacLeod!
...l wrote that last sentence as though I'm old friends with the author & narrator :)

If you're reading this review to see if the book is worth the read - it is! Happy listening.

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A new listener

I thought the ending weak but otherwise a good yarn that kept me interested until the near end. I will try another book by this author.

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Marlowesque!

Carter Ross a thirty-one year old journalist has the instinct for a story in his blood and he nearly spills his blood in the hunt for the truth. The investigation concerns why four drug dealers were executed in cold blood and left in an exposed place where their bodies could be found easily. Carter covers the story and eventually uncovers the truth. The story line of the book is not astounding in its originality and there are no real cliffhangers in this account. What there is however is well worth a read - the character of Carter is extremely attractive with his self-disparaging humour and his quick wit which reminded me of Phillip Marlowe. Sometimes I found myself laughing out loud. The marvellous characterisation is accentuated by the excellence of the narration of Andrews. His older men are sometimes a bit crackly-voiced but his narration of Carter is spot on and hilarious. I also liked the down and outs and the sex worker as well as the lovely Tina, an editor on his paper. This book reveals the racism inherent in American society but in a down-beat manner and with genuine humanity. If you are looking for light relief this is an ideal book to read.

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Easy Read

Faces of the gone is an easy going book with a hint of humour that doesn't take itself too seriously.

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  • shelley
  • 16-02-18

Wish Brad Parks were more prolific!!!!

This book is actually the first book in the Carter Ross series. When I started listening to this series I started with the second book because this one had the lowest rating. After listening to the whole series I had to go back and get this one. At the time I purchased it, it have a 3.9 rating while all the others were above 4. Not a major difference but after listening I found his just as good or better then some of the other books.
I really enjoyed this entire series and HIGHLY RECOMMEND them to anyone who enjoys a good suspense with lots of twists. These books are very well written with believable characters who are fleshed out and no super human heroics.
MacLeod Andrew is an excellent narrator.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Lia
  • 02-03-18

Really Dissapointing Book

This book 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 the, er, fun since Ross now is an investigative reporter for a Newark, NJ, daily newspaper which means, of course, he often is blundering about in the projects.

The plot involves deadly drug-dealing -- four black drug dealers who were skimming are executed, their bloodied bodies left as a warning to their brethren not to cheat the boss who is a figure of mystery and at the heart of Ross' investigation. Standard stuff, no surprises, nothing new or even interesting.

So, what is new about this debut? The white upper-class reporter is an ignoramus in the real world and is astonishingly, criminally clueless as to cause and effect. So much so that he actually manages, during his investigation, to cause the deaths of three community members who give him information. Another is left dying in hospital but the reader never learns what her fate since she's just the mother of one of the victims and of no account therefore, apparently. Yet the reporter's cat, Deadline (so cute), which had been thought to have been incinerated in a house explosion turns up in good shape in the last paragraph.

It seems the "humor" cast in the book revolves around this white reporter twit trying to investigate a case in a black community project. Oh, hah-hah, ain't that funny ... NOT.

I cannot fathom the enthusiasm for this egregiously opprobrious mystery novel. If the content didn't repulse then the writing should have given pause.

MacLeod Andrews was excellent with the delivery of the story and the only reason I finished the book

9 people found this helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 05-02-18

New suspense series (new to me anyway!)

As often occurs I found the Carter Ross series by reading Shelley's reviews at Audible. Faces of the Gone is Book 1 in the six novel series. The protagonist is newspaper investigative reporter Carter Ross who writes for a Newark, NJ paper. Faces of the Gone is an outstanding suspense novel with superb narration by McLeod Andrews.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Will
  • 06-07-14

Carter Ross Rocks!

What did you love best about Faces of the Gone?

The attention to detail. I'm from Newark, and although I reside now in Middlesex County, my current profession ironically for a local TV station, takes me to the very places Carter Ross describes in his travels.

What did you like best about this story?

I appreciated the characters, from Tommy to Tina.

Which character – as performed by MacLeod Andrews – was your favorite?

Too many to list. I even applaud how MacLeod gave each character an identity. It was moments I forgot he was Tina or T, or the Director.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely. My listening is often done while cycling.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Terry
  • 20-10-11

Recommended for mystery lovers who like humor

I have some reservations about this book, but overall I would recommend it. I've read literally thousands of mysteries, and I'm darned hard to please, so a 4 star from me means something! On the other hand, the reader is not very good. He is boring, which is bad enough, but also does those phony baloney voices. Puhleese! I like a reader who reads the book, and doesn't try to fiddle around with voices - and pauses where not necessary. After the 10th pause before "I said." or "He said." I was wishing the guy would hand the book over to someone else. That said, the story is good and interesting, the characters are fun for the most part, although the main character jumps to some conclusions that aren't supported by the evidence - that tactic has been used in both of Park's books - which serves, I suppose, to put him in jeopardy and add unneeded "tension." On the other hand, there are a lot of mysteries out there, and few of them are as readable as these, so I say read them and you won't be sorry.

I think that Brad Parks could enter my exclusive group of favorite mystery writers as he hones his skills.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Regina
  • 17-09-10

Reporter as a one-man band

Fast paced, funny, reasonably well-written and well-plotted. Good on traditional journalism, with some glaring omissions. The word for a managing editor who sleeps with a reporter he/she supervises is gone. Fired. Relationships with other reporters don't quite ring true either, and what about the stupidity of these police? Never mind. The characters who aren't in the newsroom or in the cop shop are well done and lively, and inside the newsroom, the narrator's intern is also pretty good. If Brad Parks is white, he needs to be congratulated for writing non-over-top black characters. Even the street hoods have nuance. Also, excellent narrator.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Stephanie
  • 23-05-12

Fast Paced, Great Narrator

Looking for a mystery with some interesting characters and clever dialogue? I found both Brad Parks' books fast paced and enjoyable, largely due to the great narration. Admittedly, the story won't stand up to the best books I've read/heard this year, but it did make for a more enjoyable commute and I would recommend it overall.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-03-11

So bad I couldn't finish it

I listen to 3-4 books on tape each week and I always finish them. Not this one. What a horrible writer. Somehow he manages to turn multiple murders into a ho-hum who-cares event. Don't waste your time. I wish I hadn't wasted my money. This is the first review I"ve written, although I always read them before I buy.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 12-02-15

Yawn

If you're looking for a book where the serial killer is brilliant and the newspaper reporter is dogged and the plot rockets along at a blistering pace...look somewhere else. This yawner reeks of "first novel BLAH" with an unevenly written completely uninteresting lead character that isn't even good enough to be considered a copy of a good character.

We forget about the killer for hours at a time as the intrepid -- or should that be 'insipid' character plods about a life just slightly more interesting than watching grass grow.

A horrid waste of time.

If, however, you are one of those people who listens to audio books because you have trouble sleeping........

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane
  • 05-05-11

OK

Rather interesting at times. But rather stupid at more times. There is an edge to Carter Ross sometimes but it never develops and does not last.

3 people found this helpful