A Book Spy Review: ‘High White Sun’ by J. Todd Scott

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High White Sun.jpgJ. Todd Scott follows up The Far Empty (2016) with another gripping and violent crime novel centered around Texas lawman Chris Cherry.

Newly promoted sheriff of Big Bend County after the death of his boss Stanford Ross, Chris Cherry sets out to clean up his town and his department. His attention shifts, though, when the body of Billy Bravo, a Rio Grande river guide, is found in the desert. It’s clear that Billy was brutally murdered, and Cherry knows of just one group capable of such unthinkable violence — the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.

The ABT is a group of savage, tatted-out baddies who commit to the cause for life. Once you join, there’s no way to break free and still remain breathing. Those who defect die, much like anyone else who gets in their way.  Chris and his ragtag team of deputies — Ben Harper and America Reynosa — make the decision to go after them and their leader, a ferocious man by the name of John Wesley Earl, determined to pin Billy’s murder on the white supremacy gang.

While their investigation starts out promising, an unforeseen curveball leads them into an abrupt brick wall. Serving justice won’t be as easy as Chris had hoped, as they run into a number of shady characters and are tripped up by numerous lies, buried secrets, and more than a few twists and turns. . . 

J. Todd Scott also weaves an old homicide into the plot, which moves along rather quickly for a crime novel. High White Sun has it all — superb writing and visual descriptions, spine-tingling suspense, misdirection, a cunning plot, and tons of action. Bullets fly early and often in this one, as a small-town sheriff goes toe-to-toe against a heartless, conniving villain whom readers will want to see knocked down a peg or two. 

Though the book technically follows 2016’s The Far Empty, newcomers can jump in with ease thanks to plenty of character development and backstory. High White Sun reads like a standalone novel, and this violent crime thriller is perfect for fans of Craig Johnson, Ace Atkins, James Lee Burke, and Robert B. Parker. 

Book Details

Author: J. Todd Scott
SeriesChris Cherry #2
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1524762873
Publisher: Crown
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 7.0/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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