The Rock Hole
Reavis Z. Wortham
Poisoned Pen, Jun 7 2011, $24.95
In 1964 ten year old Top moves to Center Springs, Texas to live on the farm of his grandparents Ned and Becky Parker. A part-time Lamar County constable Ned works minor crimes and family disputes. Thus, he is taken aback with the vicious torture and murders of animals starting with the bird dog of Top’s Uncle Cody.
Ned consults with his friend deputy sheriff John Washington, a black cop who works the black community beat. However, Ned is unaware that his grandchildren Top and his tomboy cousin, Pepper overhear the discussion. The already horrific case turns even more gruesome when the killer murders Ned's cousin Joseph as a psychopath is stalking the Parker kin.
This is a great historical mystery that will remind readers of Dylan’s song The Times They Are a-Changin' as the Civil Rights Era has begun with for instance Washington being the first black law enforcenmt officer in the county. The Vietnam War has started to heat up and also impacts residents. The mystery is fun as the professional adults and amateur sleuth tweeners compete. The strong deep cast makes the time and place come alive as Reavis Z. Wortham provides a strong whodunit.