First, they heard the rumble of a diesel engine. Then the clanging of a back-up alarm. Then the hiss of hydraulic breaks.
Sarah, the smart intern, had just finished hanging a homemade banner—"Happy THE GOOD COP Release Day!" it read—when she looked outside to see what the commotion was about.
That's when she saw two men climbing out of an 18-wheeler that was idling near the offices of BradParksBooks.com. One of them began rolling down flats of batteries, drinking water and meals ready-to-eat from the truck. The other came through front door.
"I got a delivery for a 'Zach?'" he said.
"Yeah, that's me," said Zach, the silly intern, rushing over to sign the man's clipboard.
"Where do you want the hurricane lamps?" the man asked.
"Over there will do just fine," Zach said, pointing to an unused spot in the corner.
"Zach, what's going on?" Sarah asked.
"Brad got a review from Library Journal saying, and I quote, 'Parks's award-winning series is essential reading,'" Zach said.
"Yes, I'm aware, but—"
"Careful with those hand-crank radios!" Zach called out to the men, then turned his attention back to Sarah. "It came to me in the middle of the night. Essential. What if we bundled Brad's new book with other 'essential' items and called it 'The Essential Brad Parks Disaster Preparedness Kit.' We'll sell millions of books and save our readers' lives when the next plague hits. I mean, talk about synergy!"
"Zach, I'm not sure that's what the folks at Library Journal had in mind when they—"
"I know! That's what makes it so brilliant!" Zach crowed. "Wait until Patterson hears about this. He'll be begging to make me one of his interns!"
Zach's lofty career aspirations aside, the pre-publication reviews are in and it looks like The Good Cop has earned its place in the pantheon of raved-about Carter Ross books. Critics have called this fourth installment in the series:
"... a tautly written page-turner with charm and humor."
"Parks nails the newspaper milieu and the Newark setting, while his solid cast of characters should keep readers eagerly awaiting the next installment."
"Carter (is) a strong contender for the title of best Stephanie Plum male impersonator."
"... will please even the most discerning reader."
—RT Book Reviews, 4 stars (out of 5)
And, finally, yes:
"Parks's award-winning series is essential reading. This fourth entry is a fine blend of suspense, bumbling-with-a-purpose detecting, and a chatty, humorous tone that the author makes seem effortless."
Meanwhile, the Khaki is the New Black Tour has been finalized and includes stops in nine states—and, hopefully, a bookstore/library/speakeasy near you. Brad would be delighted to see you, if only because he gets an allergic reaction to empty chairs.
Also, for those of you who haven't seen Brad's questionable new hairdo, this recent appearance on Virginia Living TV should get you properly braced (for the record: Maggie, the clueless intern, likes Brad's natural curls; but Peter, the slothful intern, thinks it looks like a bad perm).
Finally, in case you missed the sly reference above: THE GOOD COP IS NOW AVAILABLE. Feel free to stampede to your favorite actual or virtual bookseller and demand your copy—it comes with or without the emergency kit.
Happy Release Day,
The BradParksBooks.com Interns