By: Reavis Z. Wortham
Illustrated By: Michael Hagelberg
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: July 2014
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict
Review Date: July 17, 2014
Anthony Agrioli always knew his place in the business, he was a killer and he was good at his job. His boss Mr. Best had sent him out countless times to take care of people who choose to interfere with their business at the casino in Las Vegas.
One thing Anthony had never been asked to do was wipe out a whole family, children included, but that was his orders from Mr. Best and he had to follow orders or he would be killed himself. However, when the time came, Anthony’s gun misfired and right then and there he took it as a sign that he needed to get out of this business and fast! Without looking back he decides to head to a small town in Texas called Center Springs as surely no one from Las Vegas would ever think to search for him in a little country town like that. As he is making his escape he runs into a woman named Samantha who is also looking for a path away from the city life. Quickly deciding that they could make a life together in the country, the two of them pack up what little they have and head for Center Springs never imagining what or who would find them there.
The quiet life in Center Springs, Texas was all two cousins named Pepper and Top knew and while Top enjoyed living here, Pepper found it to be boring and wished for the excitement of the cities in California. So, when two strangers move into town that look as if they had just stepped off the Vegas strip, of course Pepper and Top are intrigued and want to know more about them. When they learn that the man who introduced himself as Tony had met their Uncle Cody a few years back in Las Vegas, it gave them a perfect excuse to have the couple over for dinner and ask as many questions as they could. It was great getting to talk with people who had not spent their whole lives in this one place but soon these two cousins realize that there may be more to these two strangers than Tony and Samantha are telling them.
One of the reasons this book was appealing to me at first was the fact that it was based in a small town in Texas that was close to where I had lived at one time. I was thrilled to discover that Wortham did an amazing job of bringing to life the characters of a small country town. Even in the midst of crimes and murders this story had me laughing out loud at some of the crazy little things that local police have to deal with in a small rural setting. I thought it was brilliant the way this author was able to put together a truly intriguing, nail biting mystery with a well written and humorous story. When I started this book I did not expect to have all of these elements included together but with this book the combination made for a wonderful read.
Quill says: A fantastic combination of city crime, small town life, and humor all wrapped up in a mystery book.