DARK PLACES (Red River Mystery) by Reavis Z. Wortham
Poisoned Pen Press Mystery/Thriller
A first-rate period piece with rare moments to catch your breath, Dark Places delivers one power-packed scene after another. Balancing the multiple story lines effortlessly, Wortham skillfully keeps the reader on course, as Ned tracks his runaway granddaughter, Pepper, who is determined to get to San Francisco and join the Flower Children. He picks up a traveler, the enigmatic Crow, as he traverses the famous Route 66, leaving unsolved deaths and murders in the capable hands of Sheriff Cody Parker and Deputy Anna Sloan back home in the little town of Center Springs, Texas. Ned’s grandson, Top, does his best to “man” the house while Ned is on the road and take care of Aunt Becky, but he is struggling to fit into the town, faced with local bullies and the going is rough. Infused with blasts from the past—drive-in movies with speakers hanging on car windows and trips to the little snack shop in the middle of the cars; hippies and their crazy vans, drugs, and runaway kids; outlaw motorcyclists; Route 66’s tangy little towns, bus stations, and diners; and charming ten cent RC colas, Dark Places vibrates with robust drama, violence, tension, and familial relationships. Complex plotting, believable characters, extraordinary dialogue that is true to the characters, and remarkable settings bring each scene to life.