“Eyes of the Innocent” by Brad Parks is the second book in the Carter Ross series. Sometimes when authors go on to write sequels to books that I enjoy I see a decline in the writing. This was so definitely NOT the case with Brad Parks’ second Carter Ross book. I really enjoy all the different aspects of his writing. His main character, Carter Ross is a very amusing newspaper reporter.
In his first novel, Carter is showing the ropes to a young, flamboyant male intern. (Who is constantly trying to get Ross to take his fashion tips). In this second novel, Carter is showing the ropes to another young intern–only this one is a hot, female blonde. This led to quite an interesting turn of events and quite a few amusing situations. For example, after Ross writes a short article the intern starts raving about his writing and asking him how he does it. “I debated telling her about the frequent-urination method but decided such advance concepts in fluid dynamics were better left to the professors at Princeton. So I gave my other standard writing advice: “writing is like a muscle,” I said. “The harder you work it, the stronger it gets.” I immediately regretted the metaphor. “I bet you’ve got the biggest muscle of anyone I’ve ever met,” she gushed. I coughed uncomfortably.” (Eyes of the Innocent, pg 43). These kinds of amusing exchanges occur throughout the book. It adds a nice comedic relief to an otherwise rather brutal murder mystery.
Carter Ross is a very likable character and I find myself relating to him a lot. I don’t know if this is because he is a writer or because he makes it a point to solve crimes. Ok, granted, I don’t actually solve crimes myself…but I write about it and love to read about it. So sort of. Either way, I very much enjoy reading about Carter Ross’s adventures and where he ends up. In “Eyes of the Innocent” there are a lot of supporting characters that were introduced in the first Carter Ross novel. One of these characters is a source for Carter and he is a very amusing black guy. Ross points out, “He liked the novelty of having a white friend–in some parts of Newark, it was almost like keeping an exotic pet.” (Eyes of the Innocent, pg 85). As I pointed out earlier, throughout the novel Brad Parks keeps things light with the ever-present comedy.
Would I recommend this to a friend? Most definitely. I think that Brad Parks is a very talented writer and I cannot wait for him to write more books. I am curious to see what direction he will take his career. So far there are four books in the Carter Ross series and one short story. I am looking forward to reading more Carter Ross books and also reading some stand alone novels. “Eyes of the Innocent” was a great read that I think would appeal to a wide range of readers. I highly recommend it.