#BookReview Laying Bones by Reavis Z. Wortham @ReavisZWortham @PPPress #LayingBones #ReavisZWortham #TexasRedRiverMysteries #inkedinpoison Title: Laying Bones

Author: Reavis Z. Wortham

Series: Texas Red River Mysteries #8

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on Jan. 12, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The stakes don’t get much higher than murder…

It’s January 1969 in the small rural community of Center Springs, Texas. Constable Ned Parker is looking into the seemingly accidental death of his nephew, R. B., who was found in his overturned pickup near Sanders Creek Bridge.

Eventually, the investigation leads Parker back to the Starlite Club, a dangerous honky-tonk recently constructed in a no-man’s-land on the Lone Star side of the Red River. Although Ned’s investigation uncovers suspicious characters, drugs, and gambling, the series of murders that eliminated any potential witnesses to what happened to R. B. on that cold January night is the most troubling. As he works his way to the coroner’s office, Constable Parker finds himself involved in a high-stakes game of consequences with no good end in sight.


Suspenseful, pacey, and unpredictable!

Laying Bones is an engrossing, gritty novel that takes us to Center Springs, Texas in 1969, where Constable Ned Parker suddenly finds himself mixed up in a complex investigation involving drug smuggling, illegal gambling, corruption, and multiple murder when the suspicious death of his cousin leads back to the honky-tonk club recently built on the banks of the Red River.

The prose is authentic and rich. The characters are sensible, intelligent, and tenacious. And the plot unfolds and unravels quickly into a compelling tale full of family, community, intrigue, drama, greed, deception, power, manipulation, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, Laying Bones is an ominous, pacey, immersive thriller by Wortham that may be the first time I’ve visited Lamar County but certainly won’t be my last.


This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Reavis Z. Wortham

Spur Award winner Reavis Z. Wortham retired in 2011 and now works harder than before as the author of the critically acclaimed Red River historical mystery series. Kirkus Reviews listed his first novel, The Rock Hole, as one of their Top 12 Mysteries of 2011. True West Magazine included Dark Places as one of 2015’s Top 12 Modern Westerns. The Providence Journal writes, “This year’s Unraveled is a hidden gem of a book that reads like Craig Johnson’s Longmire on steroids.” Wortham’s new high octane contemporary western series from Kensington Publishing featuring Texas Ranger Sonny Hawke kicked off in 2017 with the publication of Hawke’s Prey. The fourth Sonny Hawke thriller, Hawke’s Fury, was published in June 2020. In 2019, the Western Writers Association presented Hawke’s War with the Spur Award in the WWA Best Mass Market Paperback category. The next Red River Mystery, Laying Bones, will be published in January 2021.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

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