In Wortham’s well-paced sixth Red River mystery (after 2015’s Dark Places), set in 1968, Constable Ned Parker has his hands full, between raising his grandchildren, Pepper and Top, and trying to keep the peace in the rural community of Center Springs, Tex. When a car runs off the bridge over Lake Lamar Dam killing Frank Clay, the white mayor, and his black secretary, Maggie Mayfield, local speculation runs rampant. Were they having an affair? Could it have been foul play? If so, who was the target: Frank or Maggie? The incident rekindles an ancient feud between the Clays and the Mayfields, and the body count rises. Some of the chapters are narrated by 15-year-old Top, who knows or is related to “most everyone” in these parts, and occasional introductory paragraphs give us insights into the killer’s mind. The book’s strength lies in Wortham’s ability to construct a world; it doesn’t take long for readers to feel like kinfolk. Agent: Anne Hawkins, John Hawkins & Associates. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016 Release date: 10/01/2016 Genre: Fiction
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