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As the weeks pass, Ned’s grandchildren, ten-year-old Top and his tomboy cousin Pepper, struggle with personal issues resulting from their traumatic experiences at the Rock Hole only months before. They now find themselves in the middle of a nightmare for which no one can be prepared.
Cody and Deputy John Washington, the law south of the tracks, follow a lead from their small community to the long-abandoned Cotton Exchange warehouse in Chisum, which they are stunned to find packed full of the town’s cast-off garbage and riddled with booby-trapped passageways and dark burrows. Despite Ned’s warnings, Cody enters the building and finds himself relying on his recent military experiences to save both himself and Big John. Unfortunately, the trail doesn’t end there, and the killing spree continues.
Reavis Z. Wortham is an author, humor editor, and frequent contributor to Texas Fish & Game magazine. His work has also appeared in American Cowboy, Texas Sporting Journal, and other magazines. He is the author The Rock Hole, named one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Mystery Books of 2011.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Livia on 09-15-13
Claustophobics Need Not Apply
I really liked the first book in this series, and was looking forward to this one. While the characters, small western town setting, narrator and writing is good, the charm of the first book was missing for me.The last third of the novel has characters traveling through a nightmare of trash tunnels in what can only be described as a hoarder's Taj Mahal. While I understand the Vietnam reference, and the skill with which this is presented, I thought the the story line was buried by the author's drive to show us the bravery, skills, trauma, and horror experienced by US soldiers who served as "tunnel rats" in Vietnam. It is an important topic, but completely overpowered the plot for me. Frankly, it was all a bit too unbelievable and claustrophobic, and I just wanted the book to end. BUT, I am not giving up on this series. The first was so good, and the characters are so strong, I plan to purchase the next in the series hoping this one is the exception.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Ted on 03-18-17
Not bad but...
Reavis Wortham is a craftsman, especially in action scenes. He has a sense of Dixie culture that's neither condescending (read Scott Thurow) nor exploitative (read John Grisham). Nor is he a tiresome proselytizer for progressive politics (read James Lee Burke). Oh he has The Noble Black Man, but also entire groups of noble white men... and women.
I like complexity and nuance. What I didn't like was the inexplicable(and interminable) burrowing which subjected two of his heroes to endless risk. Why they didn't just wait till morning and a crane I cannot imagine.... Nor could Wortham.
It helps this book that Traber Burns' tongue is sautéed in dead-on Dixie-country.
I wish that "Burrows" had been tightly edited but then it would have been too short. In this book Wortham is better at writing than at plotting. Still, I think I may get another Reavis Z. Wortham to hear how this guy's plotting grows.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful