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May 15, 2013 BOOKLIST
Titles similar to The Girl Next Door
Reporter as detective hero isn’t anything new, but few have been as convincing in the dual role as ink-stained wage slave Carter Ross, the fearsomely articulate hero of Parks’ fine new novel. He didn’t become a newshawk to save the world; he did it because he wants to find stuff out. He’s not uncomfortable in the role of professional bystander. It’s not just what he does; it’s who he is. And when a nice young woman who works for the newspaper is brutally murdered, he’s sure who did it. Someone in newspaper management, of course. Aren’t they responsible for all evil? But this is a detective story so there’s more to it, and Ross’ constant prodding finally gets him suspended, which means he no longer has to worry about making nice. The revelations in the last pages turn up motives that seem a tad weak, but never mind. Ross believes that the mark of a life well lived is the caliber of stories you tell in your last days. From the evidence here, he’s living a masterpiece.