The Right Side of Wrong (Poisoned Pen Press, July 2013)
Burrows ended as 1965 drew to a close with Constable Cody Parker's frightening precognition of gathering storm clouds for the tight-knit Parker family from Center Springs, Texas. The dreams proved accurate. Cody is ambushed and nearly killed on a lonely country road during an unusually heavy snowfall. With that attack, the locals begin to worry that The Skinner, from The Rock Hole, has returned.
Constable Ned Parker struggles to connect a seemingly unrelated series of murders as his nephew recovers. As the summer of 1966 approaches, rock and roll evolves to reflect the increasing unrest in this country, and the people of northeast Texas wonder why their once peaceful community has suddenly become a dangerous place to live.
Ned's pre-teen grandchildren, Top and Pepper, are underfoot at every turn. The two lawmen, along with the deputy John Washington, cross paths with many colorful characters originally introduced in Wortham's acclaimed Red River series: cranky old Judge O.C. Rains, the jittery little farmer Isaac Reader, and the Wilson boys Ty Cobb and Jimmy Foxx.
And then there's the arrival of the mysterious tough old man named Tom Bell.
When Cody follows his main suspect across the Rio Grande and into Mexico, Ned understands that to save his nephew, he will have to cross more than a river, he will have to cross over to the Right Side of Wrong.
Humor, suspense, horror, precognition, and life in the tumultuous 60s are examined with an unflinching eye by the author of the Red River series.
"Reavis Z. Wortham has masterfully reinvented the true meaning of 'heart pounding' by bringing fears to life right where we live. You'll burn through the pages of The Right Side Of Wrong from the first bone-chilling page."
—Sandra Brannan, author of the Liv Bergen Mystery Series, a two-time recipient of ABA Indie NextList
"Set in the 1960s, pits a group of Texas lawmen against a Mexican cartel in a gritty, dark and suspenseful Western with a final explosive showdown that kept me turning the pages late into the night to see who would survive. Wortham’s rich prose places him among the finest writers of American Western fiction today."
—Jamie Freveletti, Internationally bestselling author of Dead Asleep
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...
Selected by Library Journal as one of the Nine Historical Mysteries for the Summer of 2012!
"I am often sent books for review or blurb, and I no longer allow many to come my way, as they stack up. Now and then if someone wants to send one with the understanding I may or may not get to it, or if I do, may not like, or if like, I may not comment, then that is another thing altogether. But, in going through my pile I came across Burrows, by Reavis Z. Wortham, and let me tell you, it is fine. It's a historical crime novel, if the sixties is historical to you. For me, not that long ago, at least in mind. But highly recommended."
—Joe Lansdale, author of The Edge of Dark Water
"With atmosphere so thick you can breathe it, and characters so real you can touch them, Reavis Z. Wortham's Burrows is a book worth putting all others aside to read. Clear a space on your bookshelves, folks, because the real deal has arrived."
—John Gilstrap, author of Threat Warning and Damage Control
"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."
—Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
"The cinematic characters have substance and a pulse. They walk off the page and talk Texas."
—The Dallas Morning News
The Rock Hole was chosen by Kirkus as one of the 12 best novels of 2011! "An accomplished first novel about life and murder in a small Texas town. Back in the summer of 1964, life is simpler, though probably no less fraught with evil. In Lamar County, Texas, Ned Parker's the law. He's a bit long in the tooth but still has that don't-tread-on-me look that county reprobates have learned to take seriously. And then there's Top, the constable's adoring and well-loved 10-year-old grandson. Through them, in alternating chapters, Wortham tells a story of grace under pressure, of what happens when a deranged and vicious predator decides that they're his promised prey. Local news sources tab him 'The Skinner,' and the label is chillingly apt. He starts with small animals, then proceeds to small human beings—mutilated, murdered, their corpses gruesomely displayed as trophies, an idiosyncratic array doubly intimidating in its lack of pattern. Lamar County cowers. Constable Ned is convinced that a vendetta is involved, and though the why of it remains murky, he can no longer doubt its intent. Something noxious is heading for the Parkers. It arrives with breathtaking suddenness, leading to a fast and furious climax, written to the hilt, harrowing in its unpredictability. Not just scary but funny too, as Wortham nails time and place in a sure-handed, captivating way. There's a lot of good stuff in this unpretentious gem. Don't miss it."
"Throughout, scenes of hunting, farming, and family life sizzle with detail and immediacy. The dialog is spicy with country humor and color, and Wortham knows how to keep his story moving. The Rock Hole is an unnerving but fascinating read."
—Historical Novels Review
Watch the book trailer:
Doreen's 24 Hour Eat Gas Now Café (Texas Fish & Game Publishing Co., 1999)
Buy it from Amazon.com
From the Publisher: Doreen's 24 Hour Eat Gas Now Café is one of those reader-friendly books written to be consumed in small portions—short, funny stories that follow the escapades of a colorful cast of characters you'll feel you've known in your own life. The problem with that design is that once you pick it up, you will find it hard to put it down, so instead of serving its humor in small bites, you'll probably end up gobbling it all down in one setting. Which is fine. It's one funny book. If you've ever hung around a local coffee haunt, you'll identify with the likes of Delbert P. Axelrod, "Wrong" Willie, Doc, the ever splendid Trixie, and of course Doreen, the main characters who populate Reavis' thinly disguised fictional diner.