Closer Than You Know by Brad Parks (4 out of 5)

This one is out on March 6, 2018, brought to us by Dutton Books (Penguin Random House). I got an advance from the publisher sometime last fall. And then the holidays. You know what that means in retail. It means no books get read until after January!

Melanie heads to pick up her son from the lady who does daycare for her. She’s in a hurry because the lady is OCD about punctuality, and she is quite late after getting pulled over for a speeding ticket. She gets there, only to have the sitter tell her that the Department of Social Services came and took Alex away, before lambasting her as a bad parent. Melanie is beside herself with grief and worry. She gets home and finds her house torn apart by the cops, and is then told that cocaine-a lot of it- was discovered in the house and she’s going to be arrested. Melanie tries to get ahold of her husband Ben, to no avail. She gets nailed for what she claims is a setup. Right on the heels of her son suddenly being taken by Social Services? Not a coincidence, it turns out. The public defender takes over Melanie’s case, her husband has been hiding stuff from her, and no one seems to care that her infant son has been taken from her. Meanwhile, prosecuter Amy gets pulled into the case against Melanie, whom she is familiar with because Melanie was one of the victims of a cold case serial rapist who has never been caught, and that Amy is still working on. It’s a case of a lot going on at the same time, and when Melanie’s husband Ben enters the picture, you aren’t sure what is going on, with whom, and why. And that is where shit got very interesting with this book. You have to hang in there for a bit and be patient, but the payoff is worth the paint sniffing. This was the first Brad Parks novel I read; it won’t be the last.

~ by generationgbooks on February 12, 2018.

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