Wortham’s outstanding sequel to The Rock Hole (2011), likewise set in 1964 East Texas, finds Ned Parker uncomfortably adjusting to being merely a retired constable. Ned’s nephew, Cody, is settling into the job of new constable, while Ned’s grandson, Top, and great-niece, Pepper, are enjoying being bright, inquisitive 11-year-olds. Rural life isn’t exactly easy, but it’s predictable; people know themselves and what to expect of each other. The discovery of a headless corpse in the Red River and a butchered farm family nearby, the handiwork of an escaped lunatic, shoves the Parkers into a vortex of insanity that culminates in Cody and Dep. John Washington getting trapped in boobytrapped tunnels burrowed through the junk, including leftover bales of cotton, that fills the huge Cotton Exchange warehouse. Wortham 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. Author tour. Agent: Jeanie Pantelakis, Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012 Release date: 07/01/2012 Genre: Fiction
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