Friends of the Festival
J. Todd Scott
has been a federal agent with the DEA for more than twenty years, working cases investigating international maritime smuggling, domestic meth labs, and led a multi-agency Strike Force dedicated to attacking Mexican cartel smuggling routes. A posting in West Texas provided the backdrop for his debut,
The Far Empty
(01/22/2018): Scott's superb sequel to 2016's
The Far Empty
combines multifaceted characters with edge-of-the-seat suspense. The savage bludgeoning of river guide Billy Bravo, which obliterated part of his face, leads Texas sheriff Chris Cherry's deputies--veteran Ben Harper and rookie Ame Reynosa--to confront John Wesley Earl, a leader of a vicious prison gang, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. Their efforts to find proof linking the ABT to the murder are derailed by a surprising revelation from an FBI agent, making Chris's pursuit of justice even harder. The reverberations of the brutal 1999 murder of Texas Ranger Bob Ford also affect the homicide investigation. Scott excels at presenting the juxtaposition of the horrific and the mundane ("Her daddy had died on a stretch of dirty concrete ten steps from her window, and afterward cops came and got the body and took some pictures and tossed their cigarette butts on the place where he'd drawn his last breath, leaving behind only a yellow chalk outline"). J. Todd Scott has a law degree from George Mason University and is a father of three. A Kentucky native, he now resides in Arizona.