Thursday, May 24, 2012

Burrows-Reavis Z. Wortham


Reavis Z. Wortham

Poisoned Pen, Jul 3 2012, $24.95

ISBN 9781464200076

In 1964 Ned Parker retires as the Center Springs, Texas constable. He plans to rusticate as a cotton farmer while his nephew Vietnam vet Cody replaces him at the town’s constable. Ned looks forward to spending time with his two ten-year-old grandchildren Top and Pepper as they struggle with coping after the recent trauma they suffered at The Rock Hole.

Meanwhile, a headless corpse is found in the nearby Red River and a psychopath who escaped incarceration has slaughtered a farm family. Cody and Deputy John Washington follow clues that lead them to the abandoned Cotton Exchange in Chisum where the garbage laden warehouse is filled with deadly booby-traps as the killings continue.

The latest Red River mystery is a great historical police procedural that focuses on a tense serial killer whodunit. Burrows also invokes time and place as Cody’s experience with booby-traps in Vietnam may save their lives and John’s ass the first black law enforcement officer in the county shows the early impact of the Civil Rights movement. Readers will appreciate Reavis Z. Wortham’s taut Texas thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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