Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: Dark Places: A Red River Mystery (Red River Mystery #5) by Reavis Z. Wortham

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 565 KB
  • Print Length: 349 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1 edition (Sept. 1 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0128OO5OC

About the Book

 At the tail end of 1967, the Parker family once again finds it impossible to hide from a world spinning out of control. Fourteen-year-old Top still can't fit in with their Center Springs, Texas, community or forget recent, vicious crimes. His near-twin cousin Pepper, desperate to escape her own demons, rashly joins the Flower Children flocking to California—just as two businessmen are kidnapped and murdered in the Red River bottoms on the same night a deadly hit and run kills a farmer. Constable Ned Parker wonders if these crimes are connected, but he goes after Pepper, leaving the investigation in the hands of Sheriff Cody Parker. Parker hires Deputy Anna Sloan, an investigator with an eye toward detail as everyone is eyeing her. Yet it is instinct that propels her after killers through a world nearly forgotten, the hunt’s backdrop one of continuous rain, gloomy skies, and floods. When she’s ambushed, the investigation accelerates into gunfire, chases, and hair-raising suspense. What of Pepper? Out on Route 66, the Mother Road to California, a man named Crow isn't what he seems. Lies, deceptions, and a band of outlaw motorcyclists proves to the Parkers that no matter where you turn, no matter what you do, the world is full of such darkness that even grandmothers are capable of unspeakable deeds.

About the Author

 As a boy, award-winning writer, Reavis Z. Wortham hunted and fished the river bottoms near Chicota, Texas, the inspiration for the fictional setting for THE ROCK HOLE. He was born in Paris, Texas, but lived in Dallas. “We grew up in the city and went to school there, but every Friday evening my parents put us in the car and made the 120-mile drive to Chicota, where we truly lived at my grandparents’ place in the country until Sunday evening, when we came back to the city. Our true home was that little scratch farm in Lamar County.”

Author Reavis Z. Wortham’s first novel, THE ROCK HOLE, is described by Kirkus Reviews as “an unpretentious gem written to the hilt and harrowing in its unpredictability.” Kirkus also listed it as one of the “Top 12 Mysteries of 2011.”

BURROWS, the second Red River Mystery, received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly, “Wortham's outstanding sequel to The Rock Hole (2011)... combines the gonzo sensibility of Joe R. Lansdale and the elegiac mood of To Kill a Mockingbird to strike just the right balance between childhood innocence and adult horror.”

In a recent Starred Review by Kirkus Reviews says of BURROWS, “As in Ned’s debut (The Rock Hole, 2011), his grandchildren, Top and Pepper, are on hand to provide welcome humor and lend perspective to the acutely and unobtrusively observed small-town landscape. The result is that rare bird, a mystery with something for everyone.

Reavis also penned DOREEN'S 24 HR EAT GAS NOW CAFE. More than 1,500 newspaper and magazine articles bear the byline of this award-winning Texas writer. THE ROCK HOLE was a finalist in the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award presented by the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Reavis is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Writers’ League of Texas, and the International Crime Writers Association.

He lives with his wife, Shana, in Frisco, Texas.

My Review

 Dark Places is the fifth novel in the Red River Mystery series by author Reavis Z. Wortham. This is a great series published by Poisoned Pen Press. I have immensely enjoyed the first four books in the series. Dark Places is a fabulous addition to this series.

Reavis Z. Wortham is an excellent author who not only takes the reader back to the 1960s, he weaves a tale that is impossible to put down. The suspense was intense as he wove the different stories together. Young Top and Pepper are still front and center along with their older Parker relatives. The small town tale centered around the disappearance of two gentlemen, the hit and run of a resident and torrential rains that would not quit. And at the beginning of the tale, young Pepper was still yearning to follow all the young hippies out to San Francisco.

Dark Places can easily stand alone but I highly recommend that you read this entire series. It is a wonderful journey back to the old timey world of small town Texas in the 1960s. Dark Places was a pleasure to read. I love these characters!

Highly recommend!

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