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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.
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, the 2014 massacre of a busload of Mexican students, which the author attributes to the fictional Nemesio cartel. Things get complicated for Sheriff Chris Cherry of Big Bend County when five bodies are found in a remote West Texas stretch of the Rio Grande. The DEA suspects law enforcement complicity in a neighboring county, a lingering remnant of the corrupt reign of Cherry's predecessor. There's also the fact that America Reynosa, Cherry's brilliant young deputy, is related to the notorious Nemesio cartel leader, Fox Uno, who has escaped from an attempted coup in Mexico and seeks temporary asylum with Reynosa. With Mexican sicarios and rogue American cops seemingly working together to bring down the fugitive cartel boss, it's up to Cherry, Reynosa, and Deputy Danny Ford, an Iraq War combat vet with demons of his own, to preserve some semblance of law and order in the Big Bend. 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.