Category Archives: J Todd Scott

Review: Lost River by J. Todd Scott

Title: Lost River by J. Todd Scott
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 446 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


A blistering crime novel of the opioid epidemic–and its cops, villains, and victims–written by a twenty-five-year veteran of the DEA.

Angel, Kentucky: Just another one of America’s forgotten places, where opportunities vanished long ago, and the opioid crisis has reached a fever pitch. When this small town is rocked by the vicious killing of an entire infamous local crime family, the bloody aftermath brings together three people already struggling with Angel’s drug epidemic: Trey, a young medic-in-training with secrets to hide; Special Agent Casey Alexander, a DEA agent who won’t let the local law or small-town way of doing things stand in her way; and Paul Mayfield, a former police chief who’s had to watch his own young wife succumb to addiction.

Over the course of twenty-four hours, loyalties are tested, the corrupt are exposed, and the horrible truth of the largest drug operation in the region is revealed. And though Angel will never be the same again, a lucky few may still find hope.


Lost River by J. Todd Scott is a gritty, atmospheric mystery.

Angel, Kentucky is in a deep economic decline but the drug business is booming for the Glasser family. They have deep roots in the area and the newest generation continues their lawless tradition. While local law enforcement ignores them, the DEA has been trying to build a case against them for quite some time. Special Agent Casey Alexendra and her partner Van Dorn arrive on the brutal scene where it appears the entire Glasser family and their cohorts have been horrifically gunned down.  

Casey convinces paramedic in training Trey Dorado that it is in his best interest to help her locate people who might aid in the investigation. Van Dorn’s long standing ties to the town lead them to the former Chief of Police Paul Mayfield who is in the midst of his difficulties.  Will the assistance of the town’s insiders lead them to the one person they believe might have escaped the carnage at the Glasser property?

Casey is dealing with her own ghosts as she doggedly works this newest case. Fighting her own demons, she  tenaciously digs in her heels when Van Horn would rather regroup. She is a hardened  and tough woman but she is also surprisingly compassionate and caring.

Van Dorn is a veteran DEA Agent who favors a more nuanced approach to uncovering information. He has cultivated many ties in the local area and despite his reservations, he turns to Mayfield for answers. The former police chief  willingly answers their questions, but  Casey is not so sure he has been completely honest with them.

Unfolding from different points of view,  Lost River is a riveting mystery that is quite poignant. The setting is stark with the town’s struggles with poverty and drug addiction always at the forefront of the story. Casey is a force to be reckoned with as she convinces Van Horn to continue their hunt for the elusive Glasser who appears to have escaped death. The storyline is well-developed and  J. Todd Scott brings the novel to an explosive conclusion.

An outstanding novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.

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Filed under Contemporary, GP Putnams Sons, J Todd Scott, Lost River, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense