Vengeance is Mine: A Red River Mystery by Reavis Z. Wortham was selected as the June feature in my book club. As is my nature, I dove in, last minute, without even a perusal of the jacket summary. Okay, I admit, I’m ASSUMING there is a hard cover with a jacket summary out there somewhere. I downloaded the book in a moment of, “Holy sheep shizzle the author is COMING to our meeting and I need to start reading!” Exactly seven seconds after the kindle download completed, my thought shifted to, “Awe crap bag, the author is COMING to our meeting! I could have had a SIGNED copy!”

The point is, I had no expectations of this book being a winner. Indeed, I had been avoiding it in deference to several others I deemed more attractive. Knowing our hostess had met Reavis at a local event, I assumed that Vengeance is Mine: A Red River Mystery, was Reavis’ first publication. I discerned that our member’s selection was compelled by her desire to support an inexperienced local author. I felt the book likely to be poorly written and moderately entertaining; begrudgingly, I began reading.

Turns out, I was wrong. On all counts… Further support of the idiom, “When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.” – Although, in this case, I’m the only ass. But, I digress…

Reavis writes a damn good book. Evidently, this is not his first rodeo… (Yes… I did that on purpose. Thanks for noticing). The structure of the written word and the plot line is well done. The characters feel real, (likely because many are based on people Reavis grew up around). The players propelled me forward with desire to connect the dots between seemingly unrelated plot lines.

The setting also resonates as genuine . The novel begins in early gangster Vegas,(a place Reavis admits to harboring a fascination with, but never having visited). However, the story-line unfolds in a small north Texas town; a town that Reavis spent childhood weekends and summers enjoying. Having recently relocated from New England to North Texas; reading this book was like gaining insight into the childhood of a new friend.

When asked what Reavis most wanted Vengeance is Mine readers to come away with, he indicated that he hopes to realistically portray the tone of small town Texas. Job well done sir.

Note: THIS IS THE FOURTH NOVEL IN A SERIES… I had literally NO IDEA. The book stands alone. Yet, I’m pretty damn excited that I am now able to go back and gain some insights into the characters I’ve become invested in. The first in the series, The Rock Hole: A Red River Mystery, is sitting on my bedside table, (signed… because I learn from my mistakes y’all).