Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review: Burrows: A Red River Mystery by Reavis Z. Wortham

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (July 3 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146420005X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1464200052

Book Description

Lyndon B. Johnson is President, Beatlemania is in overdrive and gasoline costs 30 cents a gallon when Ned Parker retires as constable in Center Springs, Texas. But his plan to live a quiet life as a cotton farmer is torpedoed. A phone call leads Ned to a body in the Red River and into the urgent investigation headed by his nephew, the newly elected constable Cody Parker. Together they work to head off a multi-state killing spree that sets northeast Texas on fire. As the weeks pass, Ned’s grandchildren, ten-year-old Top and his tomboy cousin Pepper, struggle with personal issues resulting from their traumatic experiences at the Rock Hole only months before. They now find themselves in the middle of a nightmare for which no one can prepare.  Cody and Deputy John Washington, the law south of the tracks, follow a lead from their small community to the long abandoned Cotton Exchange warehouse in Chisum. Stunned, they find the Exchange packed full of the town’s cast off garbage and riddled with booby-trapped passageways and dark burrows. Despite Ned’s warnings, Cody enters the building and finds himself relying on his recent military experiences to save both himself and Big John. Unfortunately, the trail doesn’t end there and the killing spree continues... 

About the Author


As a boy, award-winning writer, Reavis Z. Wortham hunted and fished the river bottoms near Chicota, Texas, the inspiration for Center Springs.   He is the author of Doreen’s 24 HR Eat Gas Now Café. Humor editor and frequent contributor for Texas Fish and Game Magazine, he writes on everything from fishing to deer hunting. In addition to several other magazines, his work has appeared in American Cowboy and Texas Sporting Journal. A retired educator of 35 years, he and wife Shana live in Frisco, Texas.

My Review

I loved the first book in this series, The Rock Hole, so I knew this one would be fabulous as well. Most of the same characters are back including Top, Pepper, Uncle Cody, Miss Becky and Constable Ned.  Top and Pepper are still overcoming the terrors of the Rock Hole.  I think it would be helpful to read that book first.

Burrows revolves around as seemingly abandoned cotton exchange warehouse.  In fact Cody was having nightmares about it for weeks before.  Cody and Deputy John Washington head into the cotton exchange in searching for a fugitive only to find the horrendous example of a hoarder that anyone could hope to find.  They are trapped inside the garbage filled monstrosity and undergo a terrifying journey through burrows or tunnels through the garbage to try to escape.  

This is an excellent read filled with tension-filled action scenes.  The conclusion holds a real shocker, a twist that I didn't see coming at all.  Wortham brings Chisum, Texas life along with all of its interesting characters.  The 1960s small town in Texas is realistically portrayed.  Hard to believe there was still a separation of blacks or whites to the degree that it was.  And kin was still kin and you looked out for each other.

Highly recommend this excellent thriller.  It publishes in July.

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