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Publisher's Summary

The vicious Mexican cartel war boils over into the Big Bend in the explosive new novel from the author of The Far Empty and High White Sun.

In the Mexican borderlands, a busload of student protesters is gunned down in broad daylight, a violent act blamed on the Nemesio cartel. But its aging leader, Fox Uno, sees the attack for what it is: another salvo in the long-running battle for control of Nemesio itself; perhaps by a rival cartel, or maybe someone closer to home....

Across the Rio Grande, Sheriff Chris Cherry and his deputies America Reynosa and Danny Ford find themselves caught in Fox Uno's escalating war with the recent discovery of five dead men at the river's edge. But when El Paso DEA agent Joe Garrison's own Nemesio investigation leads him into the heart of the Big Bend, he's not ready to accept the cartel leader's retreat or defeat. Not only does he suspect a high-profile drug task force in a neighboring county is corrupt, he can't shake lingering doubts about the loyalty and motives of the young deputy, Ame Reynosa. And he won't let Sheriff Cherry ignore them either.

In this pitiless land, it's kill or be killed, where everyone will make one final bloody stand to decide the fate of Nemesio, the law in the Big Bend, and most of all, the future of America Reynosa.

©2019 J. Todd Scott (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“The author exploits his decades of experience as a federal agent to create a powerful, realistic picture of crime along the southern border. Thriller fans will enjoy this absorbing and disturbing book.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“The stellar third volume in Scott’s epic Texas border series (after 2018’s High White Sun) draws its inspiration from a real-life tragedy...Scott, a veteran federal agent, writes with authority and gravitas about complex border issues. Fans of Don Winslow and Cormac McCarthy won’t want to miss this one.” (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Matt S. Lewis
  • 12-06-2020

Where Has J. Todd Scott Been All My Life?

I've read so many detective/crime/thriller books that I'm pretty numb to many of them. So many books are formulaic that you start to give up hope and then one day, your doing a 10 mile hike with your dog in the rain and something new opens your eyes. Boom! Thank you for this book and it's narrator. J. Todd Scott is a former cop writing about the difficulties of a fictional Texas border town and it's amazing. His use of the language is perfect. He describes the hard-scrabble life and the people that live it in such a way that you can feel the heat and the grit of the dust in your teeth. Texas is one of the stars of this universe and there are many. Crime, punishment, love, loss, murder and mayhem in the isolation of West Texas. Just an intelligent, well written series.

I loved it, finished it in a weekend and by the following Sunday I'd finished all three books in the series... They're all awesome (although book 3 got a little disjointed in parts.) Kind of a bummer to be done with these books, really. I actually mowed my lawn 2 times so could keep listening... I couldn't imagine another voice other than T. Ryder Smith narrating this series. Just spot on in every way.. Freaking Well Done!!!

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  • testarossa28
  • 24-09-2019

Another Good One

The 3rd book about Sheriff Cherry and the Big Bend from J. Todd Scott. Another one where you get to work and find you have made yourself late by wanting to hear 'just one more chapter'. T. Ryder Smith's narration is perfect

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