“J. Todd Scott’s The Far Empty is so good I wish I’d written it. The poetic and bloody ground of west Texas has given birth to a powerful new voice in contemporary western crime fiction.”
—Craig Johnson, NYT bestselling author of the Walt Longmire series
“Federal agent Scott’s knowledge of the border country of West Texas is on fine display in his outstanding debut… Scott’s skills as a storyteller are impressive, and his tale of an ambitious young lawman has echoes of the movie Shane and the books of Cormac McCarthy.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This thriller sprawls like the West Texas land of its setting, and, like all those arid miles, it’s fraught with mystery and echoes of a violent past. . . . Scott tells his story in a style placid on the surface and churning underneath, like water about to boil, and, when it does so, it erupts into a series of fine, violent action scenes. Does the finale really clear up all the mysteries? Not all of them, but some should stay mysterious. That’s their power—and part of this edgy novel’s appeal.”—Booklist
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In this gritty crime debut set in the stark Texas borderlands, an unearthed skeleton will throw a small town into violent turmoil.
Seventeen-year-old Caleb Ross is adrift in the wake of the sudden disappearance of his mother more than a year ago, and is struggling to find his way out of the small Texas border town of Murfee. Chris Cherry is a newly minted sheriff’s deputy, a high school football hero who has reluctantly returned to his hometown. When skeletal remains are discovered in the surrounding badlands, the two are inexorably drawn together as their efforts to uncover Murfee’s darkest secrets lead them to the same terrifying suspect: Caleb’s father and Chris’s boss, the charismatic and feared Sheriff Standford “Judge” Ross. Dark, elegiac, and violent, The Far Empty is a modern Western, a story of loss and escape set along the sharp edge of the Texas border. Told by a longtime federal agent who knows the region, it’s a debut novel you won’t soon forget.