Another stroll down memory lane to Center Springs, Texas, where life in 1964 is a lot more eventful than you remember.
Kendal Bowden’s therapist said that laying the ghosts to rest would help. So Kendal’s embarked on a murder spree, killing Randal Wicker and Josh Brooks, former schoolmates who tormented Kendal as a child, along with Josh’s wife, Beth, and his mother, Onie Mae. A headless body found in the creek turns out to be that of Kevin Jennings, whom Kendal broke out of a Tulsa asylum before tiring of his company. Although Ned Parker has retired as constable in favor of his son, Cody, it’s Ned who gets called to the scene and pressed into service when it becomes clear that Kendal is the killer. Even so, Cody, who served as a tunnel rat in Vietnam, will see plenty of equally nerve-shredding action on the homefront. When the trail leads to the home that Kendal’s abusive stepfather, retired mortician George Hart, shares with his invalid brother Alvin, a rookie deputy’s mistake triggers a device that turns the house into a deathtrap. Now it’s up to Cody and Big John Washington, Lamar County’s only deputy of color, to make their way through a dark, deadly interior labyrinth rendered disgusting by George’s inability to throw anything away and harrowing by the booby traps someone’s set.
As in Ned’s debut (The Rock Hole, 2011), his grandchildren, Top and Pepper, are on hand to provide welcome humor and lend perspective to the acutely and unobtrusively observed small-town landscape. The result is that rare bird, a mystery with something for everyone.