#allthebookreviews – Closer Than You Know by Brad Parks – Reviews and Author Q&A

Happy publication day!

Thanks to Dutton Books #PRHPartner for the advanced copies in exchange for our honest reviews 🙂


Last year we read SAY NOTHING and we LOVED it – so we were very excited to pick up his newest release.


Chandra’s Thoughts: 4/5 stars

I found Brad Parks last year with his book, Say Nothing.  I LOVED IT.  See #CJSReads collective reviews HERE.  His second book, Closer Than You Know, is also a winner in my book.

Let’s talk about the characters for a moment.:There’s a LOT going on in this book with Melanie’s past, what’s happening to her now, how they intersect and how the prosecuting attorney comes into play.  I’m not a mother so I can’t imagine how hard it would be to have your child ripped away from you with no warning whatsoever.  I mean, Melanie’s already been through enough – can’t this woman get a break?  Then to have drug charges put on top of that while still dealing with an aftermath of a rape from a while ago… WOAH.  I really would’ve loved to have learned more about her husband – his part was too minor for the character he was given, but that’s just my opinion.  I really enjoyed the lawyers – both defending and prosecuting and while we learned quite a bit about Amy, I would’ve loved to have seen more of Mr. Honeywell – I have a very special place in my heart for him.

Ok, so let’s get to the book.  It’s fast paced, easy to read and kept me glued to the pages all day today.  I’ll admit I had it all figured out pretty early on.  Did this take away from the joy of the read? NOPE. Not at all.  I feel like you need to suspend a bit of reality about the happenings in these story lines… but that really didn’t make a difference to me.  I mean, it’s FICTION after all, right?

Brad Parks has a fan in me and I will be on the look out for his upcoming work.  If you’re looking for a part domestic suspense with a dash of legal thriller mixed in, I think it’s safe to say you’ll enjoy this read.  Put this one on your TBR.

My Thoughts: 4.5/5 stars

Last year I was introduced to Brad Parks when I read SAY NOTHING (you can see my review here), and I was hooked from the start. So when I saw he had another thriller releasing I was so ready to get sucked in again. CLOSER THAN YOU KNOW is another page-turning thriller meets court room drama and did not disappoint!

Melanie’s life has been anything but perfect. Growing up in the foster care system made for a rough upbringing but now she has a loving husband, a healthy son, and a stable job. Has her awful past been left behind her for good? Melanie’s security is shattered when she goes to pick up Alex from daycare but is told that Social Services has already taken him. With no reason given Melanie is determined to get her son back, but this will prove to be much more difficult that she could ever imagine.

Throw in enough cocaine to land her with a few felonies, a cold case no one wants, and a serial rapist that has been on the run for years, Melanie will stop at nothing to get Alex back before he lost to the system.

In true form, this book pulled me in from the start. Despite there being a lot of characters it was easy to keep everyone straight and I loved learning more about each of them. I really enjoyed the court room drama portion and the scenes involving the defense and prosecution. While some thriller fans might be able to figure out the ending early on, this did not take away from the entertainment value of this read.

If you’re looking for a thriller/suspense novel to suck you in and not let go, then you need to get some Brad Parks on your TBR. Another solid read and I’m looking forward to more from him in the future.

Author Q&A:

  • What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

Love this question. And I have at least ten possible answers. But to pick one: Junior year of high school, I wrote a story for the local paper about a classmate named Jimmy Beasley, who had a tumor removed from his leg and went on to became a champion cyclist. (As I recall, the lede was about Little Jimmy Beasley, on his bike, riding away from big, bad cancer. Note to young writers: DO NOT use metaphors involving cancer, unless you feel like making yourself cringe several decades later). Anyhow, the day after the story ran, Jimmy came into physics class told me his mother liked the story so much she cried at the end. I was a pretty typical 16-year-old boy—read: callow and almost completely disconnected from my feelings—so I was blown away that words (my words, at that!) could such an impact on someone. And while I hope my writing has gotten more sophisticated since then, my goal as a writer really hasn’t: It’s to move people—to tears, to laughter, to fear, to whatever—with words.

  • As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

No question: A spider. One reason is because I always tell aspiring authors that every story needs a spider (for more explanation: https://www.facebook.com/BradParksBooks/videos/10156061255310629/). But really it’s because, if I could be any character in fiction, it would be Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web. People are so astonished that she can write anything at all—even something as rudimentary as “SOME PIG”—they come from miles around to read her stuff. I feel like I could really thrive as a writer if I had that kind of consistently low bar.


Have you read SAY NOTHING? Is this on your TBR?


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