The Ranger (Quinn Colson Series #1)

The Ranger (Quinn Colson Series #1)

3.6 34
by Ace Atkins
     
 

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Fans of Justified and James Lee Burke will love Mississippi lawman Quinn Colson…
The first Quinn Colson novel from the author of The Lost Ones, The Broken Places,  and The Forsaken

After years of war, Army Ranger Quinn Colson returns home to the rugged, rough hill country of northeast Mississippi to find his

Overview

Fans of Justified and James Lee Burke will love Mississippi lawman Quinn Colson…
The first Quinn Colson novel from the author of The Lost Ones, The Broken Places,  and The Forsaken

After years of war, Army Ranger Quinn Colson returns home to the rugged, rough hill country of northeast Mississippi to find his native Tibbehah County overrun with corruption, decay, meth runners, and violence. His uncle, the longtime county sheriff, is dead. A suicide, he’s told, but others—like tomboy deputy Lillie Virgil—whisper murder.

In the days that follow, it’s up to Colson to discover the truth, not only about his uncle, but about his family, his friends, his town, and himself. And once it’s discovered, there’s no going back for this real hero of the Deep South.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“I have always been impressed with (jealous of) how easy Ace Atkins makes it look. The Ranger is by far his best work…I hope Quinn Colson and Lillie Virgil stick around for a good long time.”—Michael Connelly

“Atkins has written a bunch of great thrillers, but this one sets up a series that should push him to the top of the bestseller list.”—John Sandford

“A dark, headlong crime story set in the Mississippi hill country and teeming with corrupt officials, murderous meth dealers and Southern femmes fatales.”— St. Petersburg Times

Patrick Anderson
…what brings the story roaring to life is that it takes place…in a fictional Tibbehah County that is populated by some of the most ignorant, mean-spirited, violent and generally deranged human beings who ever walked the Earth…Atkins has an unerring sense of the rural underworld of trailer parks, truck stops and meth labs…The Ranger is a joy ride into the heart of darkness.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Best known for historical thrillers like Infamous, Atkins kicks off a new series with a solid action-packed yarn featuring U.S. Army Ranger Quinn Colson. When Colson returns home to Jericho, Miss., from his most recent tour of duty in Afghanistan for his uncle's funeral, he's surprised to learn that his uncle, former sheriff Hampton Beckett, shot himself to death. An old friend, Deputy Lillie Virgil, suspects that Beckett was actually murdered. Colson's efforts to prove that theory bring him up against both the violent and the corrupt. During Colson's time away, his rural community has been overrun with meth dealers, whose blight affects those close to him. The contours of the story line are a bit too familiar—the prodigal son returning home to clean up the town—and the setup for sequels is predictable, but the author's superior prose will carry most readers along and raise hopes for more original plotting next time. Greg Iles fans will find much to like. (June)
Sun Sentinel
Atkins understands the beauty and ruggedness of rural Mississippi, from feel of dirt roads that lead nowhere, former farmland now used for timber, and, unfortunately, the smell of meth labs. "The land ... clear-cut down to nothing, making the whole landscape feel used.
Associated Press Staff
A fast-paced thriller....an enticing first novel....deftly drawn characters, vivid scenes and surprising twists. . . a memorable debut for a new series.
Library Journal
Returning home to Mississippi to attend his beloved uncle's funeral, army ranger Quinn Colson finds himself fighting a power broker and meth-cooking white supremacists. Friends, including a beautiful deputy sheriff, follow his lead in the escalating confrontations. Quinn does not hesitate to draw on his training and combat experience, which means violence is a big part of the story. An effective companion plot shows the man Quinn might have become if he hadn't left town. Atkins, the author of true-crime-based novels (White Shadow; Wicked City) and the Nick Travers series, launches a new crime series set in the Deep South. Give this one to Stephen Hunter fans who like fast-moving plots and decisive good guys facing down evil. [See Prepub Alert, 11/29/10.]
Kirkus Reviews

Home is the Ranger, home from the wars, to a town full of good old boys, bad old betrayals and some fresh ones.

Quinn Colson has been gone from Jericho in deep-south Mississippi since he was a rambunctious, trouble-prone kid. Gone but not forgotten. An 18-year-old hell-raiser, he'd left behind an indelible string of colorful exploits. He's 29 now, a mission-tested, combat-scarred veteran of all his country's recent wars. Quinn's a Ranger sergeant, an elite soldier, complete with a fighting man's stare and recognizable haircut. On a week's emergency furlough from Fort Benning, he's headed home for a favorite uncle's funeral, the uncle who also happened to be the much-admired, frequently reelected Tibbehah County sheriff, the uncle who has allegedly taken his own life. Hamp Beckett a suicide? Hard for Quinn to accept, and yet there's the note, cryptic, perhaps, but convincing. In addition, there's Acting Sheriff Wesley Ruth, with whom Quinn played high-school football, expounding on the darker aspects of a secretive, skillfully sublimated nature. On the other hand, there's Deputy Lillie Virgil, holding a dissenting view, which she maintains the on-scene evidence supports, though no one, including Quinn at first, seems in any way persuaded. In all, he soon has much on his plate, including issues with a vicious, unprincipled longtime enemy, a savage crew of no-holds-barred meth dealers and, oh yes, a gorgeous ex-girlfriend currently married to someone else who, despite that, might be disinclined to remain history. Hardly Iraq or Afghanistan revisited, but, as agendas clash, the body count mounts, and suddenly Quinn finds himself fighting battles all over Jericho.

Another solid entertainment from Atkins (Infamous, 2010, etc.), whose estimable Ranger may bring to mind Lee Child's hard-fisted, soft-hearted Jack Reacher, which is entirely a good thing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425247495
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Series:
Quinn Colson Series , #1
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
85,801
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.04(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“I have always been impressed with (jealous of) how easy Ace Atkins makes it look. The Ranger is by far his best work…I hope Quinn Colson and Lillie Virgil stick around for a good long time.”—Michael Connelly

“Atkins has written a bunch of great thrillers, but this one sets up a series that should push him to the top of the bestseller list.”—John Sandford
 
“A dark, headlong crime story set in the Mississippi hill country and teeming with corrupt officials, murderous meth dealers and Southern femmes fatales.”— St. Petersburg Times

Meet the Author

Ace Atkins is the author of the Quinn Colson novels The Ranger, The Lost Ones, and The Broken Places.  Atkins was also chosen by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue the highly popular Spenser novels. A former journalist who cut his teeth as a crime reporter in the newsroom of The Tampa Tribune, he published his first novel, Crossroad Blues, at 27 and became a full-time novelist at 30. While at the Tribune, Ace earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for a feature series based on his investigation into a forgotten murder of the 1950s. The story became the core of his critically acclaimed novel, White Shadow, which earned raves from noted authors and critics. In his next novels, Wicked City, Devil's Garden, and Infamous, blended first-hand interviews and original research into police and court records with tightly woven plots and incisive characters. The historical novels told great American stories by weaving fact and fiction into a colorful, seamless tapestry.
The Ranger represents a return to Ace's first love: hero-driven series fiction. Quinn Colson is a real hero—a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan—who returns home to north Mississippi to fight corruption on his home turf. Ace lives on a historic farm outside Oxford, Mississippi with his family.

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The Ranger 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
PoCoKat More than 1 year ago
I am so thrilled to discover another amazing author. Ace Atkins is brilliant in portraying the corruption in modern day northeast Mississippi. The Ranger, Quinn Colson, a career army soldier returns home for the first time in six years to attend his beloved uncle's funeral. He immediately senses the changes in his hometown of Jericho not just with the newcomers but with people he has known all his life. But then how well do we really know those around us. Quinn Colson acts quickly to stabilize and eliminate the corruption that has overtaken Jericho in the years since he has been gone. It is action packed and full of twists and turns. It was hard to put this book down. This poverty-stricken area of the south which provided the dark, gritty background filled with contemptuous characters made for an amazing combination perfect for our hero, The Ranger. I highly recommend this exciting crime thriller and am looking forward to more of my new hero, Quinn Colson's adventures in Jericho, Mississippi.
Sicilian More than 1 year ago
This is the second Ace Atkins book that I've read and I'm anxious to read the follow up on The Ranger. I could "feel" the south by the descriptions and felt like I knew The Ranger. Ace Atkins writes the particular genre that I'm drawn to but definately has his own voice. Mr. Atkins is also going to be writing the Spenser character in a new book sanctioned by Robert B. Parker's family. With the Parker family seal of approval, you know he's got to be good.
harstan More than 1 year ago
On duty in Afghanistan U.S. Army Ranger Quinn Colson returns home to Jericho, Mississippi to attend the funeral of his beloved role model Uncle Hampton Beckett. Quinn is stunned when he arrives home to learn his uncle the town's former sheriff committed suicide. Long time friend Deputy Lillie Virgil rejects the notion that Hampton shot himself. She believes he was murdered. Knowing Lillie is not a person to pull punches, Quinn makes inquiries into his uncle's death only to find official and unofficial opposition. He learns that while he was serving his country, meth deals own Jericho. Though threatened with violence, Quinn with Lillie covering his back fights the drug dealers and corrupt officials closing their eyes on chemical cooking. This is an exciting violent homecoming filled with non stop action as Quinn finds Mississippi burning as much as Afghanistan. Fast-paced though following the classic theme of a lone cowboy cleaning up a corrupt outlaw town (see Bronson's Mr. Majestyk and Ladd's Shane), the freshness comes from a subplot in which Quinn muses about what he would be if he never left Mississippi. Readers will not be able to put down Colson's return to Jericho. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book of its type - the tough guy with the heart of gold, come to clean up Dodge City, type. Pure escapism, very well done.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Quinn Colson first appeared in “The Ranger,” and now, in this follow-up novel, faces a couple of situations that really put him to the test. As sheriff in a northern Mississippi county, he has to apply not only the skills he learned in the army, but a lot of common sense and a certain amount of diplomatic talent. First, a high school friend recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan now runs a local gun shop and shooting range. Colson suspects him to be the source of U.S. Army rifles which turn up in the hands of a Mexican gang. Meanwhile, a case involving an abused child leads Colson to discovering a bootleg baby racket. While raiding the place where the babies are being kept before they’re sold, Colson and his deputy, Lillie Virgil, discover that the two cases somehow converge. As the investigation progresses, lots of action takes place, sometimes reminding the reader of an actual military operation, led by General Colson, rather than sheriff Colson. The characters are colorfully drawn, and the dialogue is vibrant. The novel is sort of a cross between an old-fashioned western and a modern day crime novel and reads well, and is recommended.
beachpolly More than 1 year ago
It takes a while to solve the mystery.
Kbeck More than 1 year ago
I have found a new series !
bernardo8 More than 1 year ago
perfect book for the beach,plane or train. action packed & a page turner.
Sansabiel More than 1 year ago
great characters, great dialogue,
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I loved this book! I definitely recommend it. I am currently reading the next book in the series.
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gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
Quinn Colson, the eponymous protagonist, has returned home to Tibbehah County, in rural northeast Mississippi, to attend the funeral of his beloved uncle. He is told that his uncle committed suicide, but refuses to accept that. In trying to uncover the truth, he discovers much more than just what the former sheriff had been up to in the months leading up to his death. Quinn is a man of many talents and skills who had joined the Army when he was eighteen. The author says of him: “The Regiment had whittled him down to a wiry, muscular frame built for speed, surprise, chaos, and violence . . . .He had a Choctaw grandmother about a hundred years back mixed with the hard Scotch-Irish who settled the South.” He has not been home for six years, is now a platoon sergeant with the Rangers, having done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and back again. He returns home to find a town that had seen hard times, getting harder, and a bunch of good ol’ boys spreading drugs, money and corruption wherever and whenever they can. The town is perhaps typified by the following: “Nobody has real names out here. We’re all just kind of passing through until we can get to Memphis or Jackson,” and a chancery clerk at the Courthouse whose “job was elected, but unless you ran away with half the county’s budget or performed an intimate act in public you could pretty much keep the job as long as you wanted it.” All the action - - and there is a lot of it - - takes places over a one-week period, the time frame allowed to Quinn for his bereavement leave from the Army. There is a recurring theme of lost young women and the families - - and babies - - they leave behind. And finally the inevitable showdown that you knew had to be coming, but that packs a punch nonetheless, with some plot developments that perhaps should have been expected but were not, at least for this reader. I have to admit that this was my first Ace Atkins book. It is one which is recommended, and I am looking forward to the next one. [He has written four standalones, plus four books in the Nick Travers series, and, recently, “The Lost Ones,” a sequel to “The Ranger.” In addition, the author was selected by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue the Spenser series, the first of which, titled, aptly enough, “Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby,” was also published in the past few months.]
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