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Summary

In October of 1967, the Summer of Love is history, rock and roll is dark and revolutionary, and people in the small east Texas community of Center Springs simply want to live their lives as quietly as possible. But a handsome darkness in the form of Las Vegas gangster Anthony Agrioli has left the business to hide out in their tiny backwater settlement with his blond bombshell girlfriend.

Two years earlier, Agrioli met newlyweds Cody and Norma Faye Parker in a Vegas casino and heard their enthusiastic descriptions of the perfect place to settle down and raise a family. At least it was perfect, before their peaceful world found itself in the crosshairs of a coming confrontation.

Back in Center Springs, thirteen-year-old Top Parker has what his grandmother, Miss Becky, calls a poisoned gift: His dreams, though random and disconnected, always seem to come true. This time Top dreams he's a wagon hub with spokes converging from all directions. To him, the spokes symbolize that something is coming. He doesn't know their quiet community will soon be a combat zone when the gangsters arrive. But they're after something else, not Agrioli…yet.

A sheriff crooked as a dog's hind leg, an unsolved murder in the river bottoms, counterfeit money, and a bank robbery all wrapped in a country Shakespearean comedy once again bring together Constables Ned and Cody Parker, Deputy John Washington, Judge O. C. Rains, and the rest of Wortham's real and sometimes wacky cast of characters.

©2014 Reavis Z. Wortham (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
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  • Byron
  • 04-09-14

Mystery and adventure in 1960's Texas

"Vengeance is mine, I will repay, sayeth The Lord." (Romans 12:19). In 1967, in the small town of Center Springs, Texas, events are going to take place that will put this promise to the ultimate test. Tony Agrioli and his girlfriend, have just moved into town after having met Center Springs' Constable Cody Parker and his new wife while they were on their honeymoon in Las Vegas. Tony wants to live a simple peaceful life, but we don't always get what we wish for when our past follows us.

Usually a rather peaceful town, where everybody knows everybody else's business, Constables Cody and Ned Parker find themselves up against a crooked and racist Sheriff who is steeped in evil. There's been a murder and a robbery, but the Sheriff seems to have his own agenda. The Parker teens, Top and his cousin, Pepper's curiosity gets them into the center of trouble yet again, as a number of strangers come into town bringing intrigue and tragedy with them.

Once again, Wortham has created a tale of old fashion humor and violence, steeped with references to past times that thrills the senses. There's murder, bank robberies, mobsters, counterfeit money, and deadly secrets that move this story like a huge roller coaster ride. This book can be enjoyed by itself, but I definitely recommend first being introduced to the tall tales from the first three books in this series. Cops and robbers with quirky characters, a bit of foreboding dreams, and real heroes raise the story above the average mystery.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Allen Anthony
  • 18-08-15

Nostalgia and the last man standing saga.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I liked the story, the 1960's nostalgia that is intermingled through the book, but a little more mystery or intrigue would have gone a long way toward peaking my interest level

What was most disappointing about Reavis Z. Wortham’s story?

The predictable situations throughout the story.

What does Traber Burns bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I thought he did a great job from a chatty teenaged girl, to a corrupt sheriff. He did a great job of giving each character an identity of their own.

Was Vengeance Is Mine worth the listening time?

I particullary enjoyed all the 60's talk, the reader and story setting, I thought these things made the story well worth the listen

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 14-08-18

Reavis does it again

Reavis is a great story teller and Traber Burns really brings them to life. A top shelf combination.

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  • lisa
  • 11-06-18

Back on track

This story opens in Vegas with a mob hit man and his boss. I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. I hadn't been too crazy about the last book in the series and I thought this might be it for me. I stuck with it, and I'm glad I did.

A hitman decides to leave the business and heads out toward a little town a couple of newlyweds he ran into at the casino one night had been talking about. Along the way he picks up a gorgeous blonde, who just happens to be his new ex-bosses' daughter, and a safe full of cash that should stake him anywhere.

Wouldn't you know, Constable Cody Parker isn't the only man in Center Springs that he knows.

What I love about these books is the nostalgia. Set in the 60's in rural Oklahoma I'm reminded of a lot of the little things that happened when I was growing up. How things used to be, at least in my memory. It's a different world, one we've passed by. These books are kind of a "thanks for the memories" and this one hit right on the head again.

You have to suspend belief a bit for the plot set up. The chances of these people all landing together the way they do is right there with playing the lottery, but it makes for a good story that's all about the characters anyway. The story ended the way it should, although I would have liked to see it end just a tad different for a bit more of a HEA. These books aren't about happy endings though.

As always, the narrator is spot on.

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  • RCC
  • 11-06-18

Shitfire! This series rules!

Its not too conceptual or cerebral, but its warm and funny and action-packed and a whole bunch of other things that make me download the next book in the series while the one im listening to is still wrapping up. Fantastic. Just great stories.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeannie F
  • 26-02-18

Red River Mysteries can't be beat. Pure enjoyment.

I am hooked on this series. The characters are so well developed, and feel like family. I have never been so invested in a storyline before, and hate to see each story end. I've laughed and cried, and traveled back to simpler times through this series. The narration couldn't be more perfect. Thanks to Reavis Z. Wortham and Traber Burns for bringing these stories to life!

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  • Annelle D. Garcia
  • 23-05-17

i love this whole series!

i can't wait to hear the next story_book...i love the nostalgia and adventure combined !

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joan E Nibbelin
  • 07-03-17

Super go book

Really a good book. so far I have liked all the books by this author.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rhea Irish
  • 01-03-17

Loving the 60's!

Great stories from small town Texas just like where I grew up! Very entertaining and fun!

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  • RocknChairHippie
  • 06-01-17

A Masterpiece... 5 stars again

Once again, Wortham gives us such a unique story line I hated to stop listening when life interrupted. The "Summer of Love" comes at a time when Pepper's growing pains and emotional issues from a traumatic past event all come to a head. When a new couple show up in town, she & Top get drawn into yet another violent and deadly incident. John has been a quiet hero since the first book. He shines in this book. Ned Parker never changes: Family first even if it gets him shot. And Cody is becoming his own man as he steps out of Ned's shadow. I'm hoping Sam will show up in the future. If I ever grow up, I want to be Miss Becky.
My only issue with a 4th book in this series...so much repetition from previous books. If authors are going to repeat events from previous books, the least they could do is have the characters re-hash them. Nothing aggravates me more than the narrator (in the book, not the narrator reading the audiobook) retelling old stories. I know tis is done so that people new to the series can get caught up, but they should just go read the books for themselves. Those of us Loyal to the series should not have to sit through all the repetition. Otherwise, fantastic & I'm off to find the 5th book.