The Right Side of Wrong (Red River Mystery Series #3)

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Overview

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...

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Overview

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 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.

            b. A short description of the book, not to exceed 50 words, typically distilled from the longer description. This information might be used in catalogues or promotional material.  Please be sure not to disclose too much.

In the spring of 1966, Constable Ned Parker tries to connect a string of seemingly unrelated murders in the small community of Center Springs, Texas. When Cody Parker tracks their main suspect into Mexico, Ned realizes he’ll have to cross over to the Right Side of Wrong to save him.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Violence is on the rise in the small town of Center Spring, Tex., in Wortham’s exciting third Red River mystery (after 2012’s Burrows), this one set in 1966. Constable Cody Parker—along with his uncle, Constable Ned Parker, and John Washington, a black deputy sheriff—discovers that his remote area near the Oklahoma border is becoming a pipeline for some murderous and unrepentant drug dealers, and further, that there might be an informant within the sheriff’s department. Cody unwisely decides to follow some of the dealers across the Mexican border. Folksy neighbors, good old boys, and Bible-thumping grandmas all speak with a twang so thick it could only be cut with a chainsaw. Two preteen cousins, Top and Pepper, a tomboy, give new meaning to the term “reckless endangerment.” Readers will want to see a lot more of the (mostly) law-abiding Parker clan. Agent: Jeanie Pantelakis, Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency. (July)
Library Journal
An ambush by unknown assailants almost kills Constable Cody Parker one winter night in his rural east Texas district, but he is rescued by Tom Bell, a mysterious older stranger who exudes a lawman's confidence. Fast-forward a few months, and Cody is healing, but a crime wave has hit Red River. The year is 1966, and a series of incidents indicate that the burgeoning marijuana trade is looking for a toehold upstate. A local who stole a bag of dope is killed. Eager to catch the killers, Cody chases them in a foolhardy drive to a more treacherous river, the Rio Grande, and Tom may need to rescue him again. VERDICT Wortham's third entry in his addictive Texas procedural set in the 1960s (after Burrows and The Rock Hole) is a deceptively meandering tale of family and country life bookended by a dramatic opening and conclusion. C.J. Box fans would like this title; for the Texas storyteller frame, pair it up with Milton T. Burton (see Series Lineup below).
From the Publisher

""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."" --Kirkus starred review about The Rock Hole

""Set in 1964, Wortham's engaging first novel takes readers to Center Springs, Tex., where 10-year-old Top has come to live with grandparents Becky and Ned Parker. Ned is both farmer and constable, used to dealing with illegal stills, minor thefts, drunks, and family disputes, but not with the kind of vicious cruelty behind a slew of animal tortures and killings. What might be an idyllic time for Top and his tomboy cousin, Pepper, is marred by their overhearing Ned and Deputy John Washington, who polices the town's black community, discussing whether the atrocities are being committed by whites, blacks, or Indians across the border in Oklahoma. When the killer turns to human victims, starting with Ned's cousin Joseph, the stage is set for a tense ending. Solid characters and a vivid depiction of a vanishing period make this a series to watch."" --PW about The Rock Hole

""VERDICT Wortham’s third entry in his addictive Texas procedural set in the 1960s (after Burrows and The Rock Hole) is a deceptively meandering tale of family and country life bookended by a dramatic opening and conclusion.""—Library Journal starred review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781464201486
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
  • Publication date: 7/2/2013
  • Series: Right Side of Wrong Series , #3
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 813,332
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


As a boy, award-winning writer, Reavis Z. Wortham hunted and fished the river bottoms near Chicota, Texas, the inspiration for Center Springs.   He is the author of Doreen’s 24 HR Eat Gas Now Café. Humor editor and frequent contributor for Texas Fish and Game Magazine, he writes on everything from fishing to deer hunting. In addition to several other magazines, his work has appeared in American Cowboy and Texas Sporting Journal. A retired educator of 35 years, he and wife Shana live in Frisco, Texas.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2013

    This third installment of the Red River mysteries is once again

    This third installment of the Red River mysteries is once again a good old fashioned, rip roaring, 1960's,  Texas, western.   The story combines more modern day western thrills with lawmakers and desperadoes, and great yarns narrated by a couple of pre-teen scalawags.  You'll pardon my language, considering I just finished this thoroughly entertaining book! 




    Constable Cody Parker was shot at while driving down a backroad during an unusual Texas snow storm.  Badly smashed within his car and a tree, Cody is rescued by a new elderly man in town, Tom Bell, just in time to save Cody's body from becoming food for a hungry pack of wild dogs.  Constable Ned Parker begins the search for the shooter and finds himself caught in a new evil coming to his town.  Tearing down illegal whiskey stills was easy work compared to the trouble caused by these new drug traders.  Meanwhile, the kids, Top and Pepper, are satisfying their curiosity about, Ted Bell. Thus the adventures and goosebumps begin!!




    Once again, Wortham combines, mystery, thrills, humor, and good old fashioned story telling as his characters get into,  and barley out of, trouble. Red River is still a distinctly segregated place, but the main characters are a mix of whites, blacks, American Indians, and Mexicans who defy these boundaries within their communities to work and love together, as God intended. The misadventures of Top and Pepper add a rich element to the story as well.  This book is not quit like any other book out there today, and is a greatly appreciated change. I thoroughly enjoyed this third installment, and am looking forward to many more books from Reavis Z Wortham. 

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