Dark Places

2015 (Poisoned Pen Press)

Dark Places by Reavis Z. Wortham

At the tail end of 1967, the Parker family once again finds it’s impossible to hide from a world spinning out of control. On the Red River in Center Springs, Texas, fourteen-year-old Top still can’t fit in with their rural community, or forget recent, vicious crimes. His near-twin cousin, Pepper, desperate escape her own demons, rashly joins the Flower Children flocking to California while…

…at the same time, two businessmen are kidnapped and murdered in the Red River bottoms on the same night as a deadly hit and run kills a local 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 who…

…hires a Deputy Anna Sloan, an investigator with an eye toward detail, but it seems that everyone in town is eyeing her. Yet it’s instinct that propels her after killers through a world nearly forgotten, in a backdrop of continuous rain, gloomy skies, and floods. When she’s ambushed, the investigation accelerates into gunfire, chases, and hair-raising suspense. Meantime…

…what of Pepper? Out on Route 66 to California, 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.

“Readers will cheer for and ache with the good folks, and secondary characters hold their own… The novel’s short chapters fit both the fast pace and the deftly spare actions and details… the rhythm of Wortham’s writing, transporting us back in time, soon takes hold and is well worth the reader’s efforts.”
Historical Novel Society

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