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Penguin: Adult Hardcover & Trade Paperback Summer 2019

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This Side of Night
By (author): J. Todd Scott
9780735212916 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Thrillers / Crime Jul 16, 2019
$35.00 CAD
Active 6.2 x 9.2 x 1.4 in 464 pages Putnam G.P. Putnam's Sons
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.

Story Locale: Texas borderlands

Series Overview: Chris Cherry, sheriff of the border town of Murfee, encounters drug dealers, muderers, and a deep countryside history in the badlands of West Texas in this gritty and raw series.

GREAT PRAISE & REVIEWS: The Far Empty earned blurbs from the likes of Craig Johnson and Michael McGarrity, was widely lauded by regional and national publications, and was named an iBooks Best Book of June 2016. High White Sun has earned fantastic reviews including a rave from the The Wall Street Journal (below).

STORY FROM AN AUTHOR WITH OVER 20 YEARS AS A SPECIAL AGENT IN THE DEA: J. Todd Scott’s background in drug and law enforcement that lends cracking authenticity to the narrative and will again make for a great publicity hook.

SERIES REPACKAGE AND STRONG NEW POSITIONING IN 2018: Starting with the mass market of The Far Empty, we repackaged the series for a look that’s more straightforward Western crime, and will appeal to a wider audience. The Far Empty mass is strongly represented in Walmart, where we know this kind of book can really work, and precedes the hc pub of High White Sun. With our strategy in 2018, the series is well-positioned for success in advance of This Side of Night.

COORDINATED PUBLICATION: We’ll publish this hardcover in coordination with the paperback edition of High White Sun, which will include a teaser of this novel.

WE OWN ANOTHER NOVEL: The next book will be a standalone, also set in Texas, about a disgraced sheriff who has only 13 days left on the job to investigate a crime. We believe in J. Todd Scott and hope to publish him for quite some time!

J. Todd Scott has been a federal agent with the DEA for more than twenty years, working cases investigating international maritime smuggling and domestic meth labs, and led a multiagency strike force dedicated to attacking Mexican cartel smuggling routes. He has a law degree from George Mason University and is a father of three. A Kentucky native, he now resides in the southwest, which provided the backdrop for his novels of the Big Bend.

Author Residence: Mesa, Arizona

Author Hometown: Paducah, Kentucky

Marketing: National print publicity

Online publicity campaign

Pitch op-eds and author essays

National author tour

National radio publicity

Online promotions

Backlist promotions

Author Website:

Author Social Media:;

“Everything you could want in a West Texas crime saga: generational conflicts; the sights and smells of an exotic landscape; the ghosts of monsters and loved ones past. And a dose of well-earned wisdom: ’No matter what people said,’ reflects the widower Harper, ’dying was easy…. It was living that was twice as hard.’”—The Wall Street Journal

“The best cop novel I’ve read in years.”—John Sandford on High White Sun

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