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Vengeance Is Mine: A Red River Mystery    by Reavis Z. Wortham Amazon.com order for
Vengeance Is Mine
by Reavis Z. Wortham
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

It's 1967 in Center Springs, East Texas. The residents want only peace and quiet. Rock and Roll exists among the younger members of the population, but the seniors are understanding.

When hit man Anthony Agrioli heard Cody and Norma Faye Parker speak highly of their home town of Center Springs, Tony decided to leave the underworld life, take his girlfriend and disappear from Las Vegas. They arrive in Center Springs and begin to fit in.

Unfortunately, a mob of gangsters get wind of where Tony and his girlfriend live and arrive on the scene. Seems like everyone is carrying weapons lots of them, Tony included. A crooked sheriff with his hand in the cookie jar rules his police department with a closed fist. Counterfeit money fits in this mess somewhere. A body of a local is found shot to death in his truck. Slide a bank robbery in between everything else, and you have the plot for a really enjoyable story.

Top Parker, thirteen years old, has what his grandmother calls a Poisoned Gift his convoluted dreams mostly come true. Not soon enough for him to head anything off, but enough to cause fear in his heart.

The characters in Vengeance Is Mine by Reavis Z. Wortham are purely homespun. At first, the reader expects to live through the tales of country bumpkins. Not so! These players are the real stuff, living their happy lives out in a rural community and pleased to do it. They all know and care about each other and have minds as keenly honed as that of a big city businessman.

A touch of race relations is handled with kid gloves, but makes one realize that problems still exist. And we are doing very little to correct them. Vengeance Is Mine is a very feel-good book, enjoyable from first page to last.

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