A 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 adulthoodwith a loving husband, a steady job, and a beautiful baby boy named Alexshe 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 Kayewho has been assigned Melanie's casehas 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.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)|
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. A former reporter with The Washington Post and The Star-Ledger (Newark), he lives in Virginia with his wife and two children. His previous novel, Say Nothing, was named both a Library Journal and a Kirkus Best Book of 2017.
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Excerpted from "Closer Than You Know"
Copyright © 2018 Brad Parks.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I like this writing, it has a certain pace and style that really keeps you going and interested. I may have had it figured out but hey I’m 72 and have been reading this book genre since I was 10 and I still enjoyed this until the end. Well written, good characters, decent plot - that’s all you need. Certainly better than the drivel Janes Patterson is putting out these days.
Closer Than You Know is the latest stand-alone from author Brad Parks. Last year's Say Nothing was the first time I'd read Parks and it was a book I couldn't put down. I was eager to read this latest - and I couldn't put it down either! As he did in Say Nothing, Parks' premise preys upon a parent's worst fear - their child disappearing. Melanie Barrick goes to pick up her infant son Alex from the childminder, only to be told that Social Services has taken the child. A large amount of cocaine has been found in Melanie's house. Police are on their way to find her - and Alex is gone. Melanie protests her innocence, but at every step of the way, the evidence against her grows - and her chances of ever seeing her son again lessen. Great premise and Parks only builds the tension with every new plot development, ensuring that I stayed up much too late, reading 'just one more chapter.' Parks manipulates the reader with some red herrings, alternate paths and more than one 'whodunit' to choose from along the way to the final pages. There were a few plot points that I thought were perhaps a bit far-fetched, but I didn't think too hard about them - instead I just kept turning pages. And although my suspicions were proven out in the end, I really enjoyed the journey to the final reveal. Closer Than You Know is told from more than one viewpoint. I was drawn to Melanie and her inner thoughts. I did find her a bit calm in situations that I would have been losing it. The background Parks has drawn for her addresses this. The next door neighbor Bobby Ray was also a character I quite liked. Amy, the Assistant DA was a character I initially had high hopes for, but as the story progressed, her tunnel vision frustrated me. But my hands down fave was Melanie's rumpled, unprepossessing lawyer Mr. Honeywell. All in all, Closer Than You Know was a fast paced, entertaining read. Fans of Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben will enjoy this one. (And this reader will be eagerly awaiting Parks' next book.)
A suspenseful thriller, a riveting storyline… You think you know your life and those around you but do you really? Do you know the secrets those you trust the most keep? Are you aware of the enemies you might’ve made? All it takes is one disaster of epic proportions and everything you once believed in unravels. Having survived a rocky childhood, including the foster care system, Melanie Barrick believes she has a stable life with a steady decent job, a loving husband, and a beautiful infant son. Life is good, right? She thought so but it’s about to turn and nothing could have prepared her for the day her life went fubar, literally f*cked up beyond all recognition. She’d forgotten what someone once told her: “Disaster is always closer than you know.” You should never forget that life is not easy nor is it fair. After a normal, typical day at work Melanie heads to daycare to retrieve her son but he’s not there, social services took him away from his daytime caretaker. Emotionally distraught she tries to get him back from the agency only to be told to come back in the morning and given no reasons why her son was taken. Having had first-hand experience with the system she aged out of, that her son is in their care is the worst possible development that could have happened to this new mother. With nowhere else to go she heads home, a place she should expect to find some semblance of safety but instead finds police tape across her front door. Her home had been raided and a stash of cocaine was confiscated. Though Melanie has had a hard life she never turned to drugs or crime, someone is seriously messing with her. But who? And why? Determined, she’ll have to rely on her wits and what little resources she has to solve this puzzle if she’s ever to see her son again. On the other side of town the Assistant Commonwealth Attorney is working a frustrating case that spans decades and that has ties to Melanie who she now has to prosecute for conspiracy to distribute drugs, something she found hard to believe but the evidence speaks for itself or it did at the beginning. This was a suspenseful thriller, a riveting story I could not put down. It’s told from multiple viewpoints, from that of the desperate mother and the frustrated guilt-ridden law professional. It’s a well-written story with emotionally deep characters that you get easily invested in. The complex plot dangled many threads to confound and then it twisted and though some aspects were predictable how they unfolded weren’t. This was the first time reading this author and I was delighted with an engrossing read so it won’t be the last. An advanced reading copy was obtained from the publisher’s First to Read program.