Judith D Collins
Closer Than You Know
By: Brad Parks
Publication Date: 3/6/2018
My Rating: 4 Stars Brad Parks delivers another riveting, emotionally powerful stand-alone domestic suspense thriller perfect for fans of The Couple Next Door and What She Knew. Disaster, Melanie Barrick was once told, is always closer than you know. It was a lesson she learned the hard way growing up in the constant upheaval of foster care. But now that she's survived into adulthood--with a loving husband, a steady job, and a beautiful baby boy named Alex--she thought that turmoil was behind her.
Until one Tuesday evening when she goes to pick up Alex from childcare only to discover he's been removed by Social Services. And no one will say why. It's a terrifying scenario for any parent, but doubly so for Melanie, who knows the unintended horrors of what everyone coldly calls "the system."
Her nightmare mushrooms when she arrives home to learn her house has been raided by sheriff's deputies, who have found enough cocaine to send Melanie to prison for years. The evidence against her is overwhelming, and if Melanie can't prove her innocence, she'll lose Alex forever.
Meanwhile, assistant commonwealth's attorney Amy Kaye--who has been assigned Melanie's case--has her own troubles. She's been dogged by a cold case no one wants her to pursue: a serial rapist who has avoided detection by wearing a mask and whispering his commands. Over the years, he has victimized dozens of women.
Including Melanie. Yet now her attacker might be the key to her salvation . . . or her undoing.
A special thank you to Dutton and #NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. Review to follow.
Buy the Book SAY NOTHING
In Brad Parks’ thriller Say Nothing, judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job.
A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead. It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma.
For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told. “The nerve-shredding never lets up for a minute as Parks picks you up by the scruff of the neck, shakes you vigorously, and repeats over and over again till a climax so harrowing that you’ll be shaking with gratitude that it’s finally over,” our critic writes in a starred review. Read More
“Another winning tale of domestic suspense from the Shamus- and Nero Award–winning author Parks, who knows how to get readers to empathize emotionally with his characters while amping up the tension and suspense from the first page.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“Parks (Say Nothing, 2017, etc.) dishes out another irresistible descent into hell.” —Kirkus (starred review)
"Closer Than You Know grabs you by the gut in Chapter One and keeps upping the tension through every shocking plot twist. Don’t expect to come up for air until the final, satisfying pages.” —Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Wife
“Strong plotting, memorable characters, and situations that will hit readers where they live make Closer Than You Know a compulsive read.” —Linwood Barclay
“A diverting, exciting read, with an ending you won’t see coming.” —Booklist
About the Author
Brad Parks is the only author to have won the Shamus, Nero and Lefty Awards, three of crime fiction's most prestigious prizes. His first standalone thriller, Say Nothing, released March 2017 from Dutton Books in the U.S., along with thirteen other publishers worldwide. Parks's six previous novels chart the adventures of sometimes-dashing investigative newspaper reporter Carter Ross, and have collectively won stars from every major pre-publication review outlet. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Parks is a former journalist with The Washington Post and The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger. He is now a full-time novelist living in Virginia with his wife and two school-aged children. Read More