The Ranger (Quinn Colson Series #1)

The Ranger (Quinn Colson Series #1)

3.6 33
by Ace Atkins

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

See more details below


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 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.

Read More

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Quinn Colson Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.04(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Ace Atkins, a former journalist, has written eight previous novels. He began his writing career in 1998, at age twenty-eight, when the first of four Nick Travers novels was published. In 2001, he earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his investigation into a 1950s murder. That murder inspired his 2006 novel White Shadow, which was followed by three further history-based crime novels, Wicked City, Devil’s Garden, and Infamous. Atkins lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >