Thursday, July 01, 2021

The Right Side of Wrong - Reavis Z. Wortham


The Right Side of Wrong
(2013) is the third book in Reavis Z. Wortham’s eight-book “Red River Series” featuring Constables Cody and Ned Parker. The Parkers, along with black deputy John Washington, take care of law and order on both sides of the tracks in little Center Springs, Texas. In fact, the trio even sometimes has a lot to do with maintaining law and order in Oklahoma because it is only the Red River, just north of town, that places part of their overall community in Texas and the other part in Oklahoma. Things may be a little wilder on the Oklahoma side of the river, but as the Parkers and their deputy learned a long time ago, crime and criminals don’t tend to respect state borders.


Cody Parker, the younger of the two Parker constables by a generation, can’t seem to catch a break these days. Barely having survived the second book in the series, Burrows, Cody, this time around is ambushed and left for dead just a few months later as The Right Side of Wrong opens. But because the ambush happens in the middle of the night during a heavy snow storm, there are no witnesses and no apparent motive for what looks to be a pre-planned ambush. Even while Cody is still in the hospital struggling to recover from the resulting car crash and exposure to such severe weather, Ned and John begin rattling cages on both sides of the river to see who might come running out of them.


Even then, it is only when Cody follows the suspects across another river, this time The Rio Grande, into Mexico without telling Ned, his wife, or anyone else that he is tailing them across the state of Texas, that Ned figures out just how much danger his family is really in. The strings are being pulled all the way from Mexico, and now that Cody is locked tightly inside a Mexican prison notorious for its violence and corruption, his life expectancy is down to days, if not hours. Now, with the help of their new neighbor, Ned and John are determined to rescue Cody before his mouth is closed forever. 


Bottom Line: The Right Side of Wrong, especially, I think, for those who have read the earlier books in the series, is both fun and thrilling. The fun comes from watching the antics of Top and Pepper, the youngest members of the Parker clan, as they refuse to be kept out of the action. Children always feel that they are invincible, and even after what happened to the kids in the first book of the series, Pepper and her cousin still feel that way. If their grandfather and uncle are in trouble, they are always ready to join the fight. The thrills peak with the dramatic escape from Mexico engineered by Parkers as they fight their way back across the Rio Grande into Texas. This is a nice addition to the “Red River Series,” and now I look forward to reading the next one soon.


Reavis Z. Wortham

10 comments:

  1. I'll have to tell my husband about this series. It sounds like something he might enjoy.

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    1. It's set in the 1960s, Dorothy, so times are a little different - and that's part of the fun of the series. It's a reminder that the good old days weren't necessarily always good - and that some suffered more than others.

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  2. I still haven't tried this series, although I say I am going to every time you review a new one!

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    1. I do think you'd like it, Jen. I've read the first three now, and I plan to catch up at some point and then continue on.

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  3. I have heard of this author and the series before but not tried any of the books. It does sound like a good series, so maybe I will do that some day.

    I just finished a book set in small town Texas by Bill Crider, #6 in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series. Booked for a Hanging. The bad guys in that novel are plenty evil but the series is closer to the cozy side than this one.

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    1. The series is set in the sixties, Tracy, and like most series set in small towns, it requires you to believe that there are a whole lot of criminals per capita in the area. If you can do that, the stories are really well told.

      Bill Crider was a local author and I met him a few times at book events around Houston, but it's been a long time since I've read the Dan Rhodes books. I think the last of his work I read was the two-book western series he wrote. That was really good, too.

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    2. I was thinking earlier that the Bill Crider series was like Midsomer Murders, a small area in Texas that had a lot of murders and criminals. But I find them all believable.

      I saw that you had read Outrage at Blanco and its sequel. I have only read the first one so far.

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    3. If you enjoyed Outrage in Blanco, you'll like the second book, too. I wish Bill had continued that series but I don't think it did particularly well for him when the books were published.

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  4. Locked up in a Mexican prison is definitely not where you want to be. This sounds like a great read. Thanks for adding yet another book to my TBR list. ;D

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    1. Absolutely not, Lark. I worked with a guy in the late seventies who was hispanic and spoke pretty good Spanish even though he grew up around Corpus Christie. He made the mistake of driving into Mexico one weekend...was stopped and accused of having drugs in the car (not true), and taken to jail. He made the mistake or telling the jailers that his father was an American attorney - and that poor family became a cash cow for the next several months. They had to pay thousands of dollars to the jail for decent food, bedding, etc., and eventually all charges were dropped and the records destroyed as if nothing happened. According to my buddy, the bulk of the money ended up in the hands of the small group running the jail.

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