The Good Cop (Minotaur Books) is Brad Parks’s fourth novel following the adventures of Carter Ross, an investigative reporter for the fictional Newark Eagle-Examiner. Parks, a former Star-Ledger reporter, injects realism into the newsroom scenes without burdening them with jargon. Ross is drawn as a stereotypical reporter with his boring wardrobe, coffee addiction, sardonic wit and a cat named Deadline.
The detective work begins when a Newark cop is found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. Ordered not to cover the story, Ross forms a relationship with the officer’s widow, and they begin to suspect something is awry. Plenty of absurd situations occur along the way, such as meeting a death-studies graduate student at an absinthe party and sneaking into the county morgue.
In addition to police suicide, The Good Cop, though somewhat formulaic, addresses other timely issues such as state-to-state gun smuggling.