Interview: Author ‘Brad Parks’ Talks His New Novel Closer Than Your Know

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. Check out his website and follow him on Twitter. You can listen below. The book is in stores Tuesday, March 6.

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 Monday 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.

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