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Publisher's Summary

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' 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.

©2016 Jeffrey Todd Scott (P)2016 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Texas Noir

Mr. Scott has created a very compelling set of characters set in the badlands of fictional Murphy, Texas....somewhere in the border area of Southwest Texas. Ironically, the character who gets the least convincing psychological development is the 'hero' Deputy Cherry, but there is enough of him there to give him weight. I would have liked a little more exposition of the criminal backstory which animates a lot of the tale but as it stands it is well worth a listener's time. Would always read/listen to something by Mr. Scott.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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The Stars Are Bright Deep in the Heart of Texas

The location is Marfia, Texas, no matter how it is pronounced in the story, wow I remembered all the ethnic trash talking of the 1959's, 60's, 70's, and 80's, but as pointed out change comes slow to really rural border towns that are one step from nowhere.
This book stirred memories of the cultural clashes of a time that has for the most part gone bye.
Even though it is never admitted to, this story deals with a police department in a West Texas Location just out side Big Bend state park, close to the Mexico, and the New Mexico borders. The story is full of the cultural trash talking that was reminiscent to an era as recent as the mid 80's.
If you choose to listen to This story: the characters are:
Sheriff...who killed 3 men, all of the women he has been married, and runs a corrupt office
Sherries son... Hate father... And believes his father murdered his mother
A long term substitute teacher...with a questionable background, a dead husband, and may form relationships without thinking about the consequences .
A few federal dea agents that meet up with a deadly bunch
Representatives of Mexican cartels
Living in Texas I was curious about the story line....well it was a pretty good story, moved right on along, and provides an insight to ideology in life off the path in an area of Texas that is right next to no mans land.
I thought it was birth both the credit and the time spent listening

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • rhl60
  • Jamestown RI, United States
  • 04-28-18

For the genre, as good as it gets...

Dunno why Audible is not promoting this author on its website recommendations. Just finished the "Far Empty" after reading Mr. Scott's second effort, "High White Sun". It did not matter that I listened to them out of order.

I wanted neither to end...fascinating characters buffered by superior dialogue, and all done with an economy of language that is the mark of great writing. Beyond the mechanics, Scott offers a great story.

And T. Ryder Smith is the perfect narrator. His tone and inflection matches perfectly that which Scott clearly wanted to convey on a linear level.

Best new author I have read since - years ago - I picked up Michael Connelly's first "Bosch" police procedural.