Named one of the Top 12 Mysteries of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews
Finalist in the Benjamin Franklin Awards (Mystery)
It's 1964: farmer and part-time Constable Ned Parker combines forces with John Washington, the almost mythical black deputy sheriff from nearby Paris, to track down a disturbed individual who is rapidly becoming a threat to the small Texas community of Center Springs.
Summoned to a hot cornfield one morning to examine the remains of a tortured bird dog, Ned finds a dark presence in their quiet community. Ned is usually confident when it comes to handling moonshiners, drunks, and domestic disputes. But when the animal atrocities turn to murder, the investigation spins beyond his abilities.
After a dizzying series of twists, eccentric characters, and dead ends, Judge O.C. Rains is forced to contact the FBI. Worse, sinister warnings that Ned's family has been targeted by the killer lead the old lawman to become judge and jury in order to end the murder spree in the Red River bottomlands.
"Not just scary but funny too, as Wortham nails time and place in a sure-handed, captivating way. There’s a lot of good stuff in this unpretentious gem. Don’t miss it." —Kirkus Reviews
"Throughout, scenes of hunting, farming, and family life sizzle with detail and immediacy. The dialog is spicy with country humor and color, and Wortham knows how to keep his story moving. The Rock Hole is an unnerving but fascinating read." —Historical Novels Review
"Solid characters and a vivid depiction of a vanishing period make this a series to watch." —Publishers Weekly