Author: Reavis Z. Wortham
Series: Texas Red River Mysteries #9
Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on Feb. 15, 2022
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Source: Poisoned Pen Press
Book Rating: 9/10
Some men are destined for danger
Texas Ranger Tom Bell is simply tracking a fugitive killer in 1931 when he rides into Kilgore, a hastily erected shanty town crawling with rough and desperate men―oil drillers who’ve come by the thousands in search of work. The sheriff of the boomtown is overwhelmed and offers no help, nor are any of the roughnecks inclined to assist the young Ranger in his search for the wanted man.
In fact, it soon becomes apparent that the lawman’s presence has irritated the wrong people, and when two failed attempts are made on his life, Bell knows he’s getting closer to finding out who is responsible for cheating and murdering local landowners to access the rich oil fields flowing beneath their farms. When they ambush him for a third time, they make the fatal mistake of killing someone close to him and leaving the Ranger alive.
Armed with his trademark 1911 Colt .45 and the Browning automatic he liberated from a gangster’s corpse, Tom Bell cuts a swath of devastation through the heart of East Texas in search of the consortium behind the lethal land-grab scheme.
Astute, sinister, and immersive!
The Texas Job is an absorbing, highly authentic western that takes you into the life of Texas Ranger Tom Bell during 1931, as he heads to Pine Top, Texas to hunt a fugitive wanted for murder in a town bursting with oil, booming with riffraff, and home to a group of men who have happily made their bed with the devil and will do whatever it takes, even murder, to acquire prestige, power, and riches.
The prose is vivid and descriptive. The characters are rugged, intimidating, and resolute. And the plot, including all the subplots, seamlessly intertwine and unravel into a gripping tale full of deception, manipulation, community, greed, corruption, profiteering, mayhem, violence, and murder.
I’m not usually a huge western mystery type of gal, and yet every time I read a Wortham novel, I’m blown away by how much I love the characters and the atmosphere, and The Texas Job is no exception. In fact, it’s probably one of my favourites. It’s suspenseful, gritty, and downright thrilling, and I can’t do anything other than highly recommend it.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.