The Broken Places (Quinn Colson Series #3)

( 6 )


The remarkable third novel in the “harrowing” (Associated Press), “killer” (Minneapolis Star Tribune) new series about the real Deep South from the New York Times–bestselling author.

A year after becoming sheriff, Quinn Colson is faced with the release of an infamous murderer from prison. Jamey Dixon comes back to Jericho preaching redemption, and some believe him; but for the victim’s family, the only thought is revenge.

Another group who ...

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The Broken Places (Quinn Colson Series #3)

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The remarkable third novel in the “harrowing” (Associated Press), “killer” (Minneapolis Star Tribune) new series about the real Deep South from the New York Times–bestselling author.

A year after becoming sheriff, Quinn Colson is faced with the release of an infamous murderer from prison. Jamey Dixon comes back to Jericho preaching redemption, and some believe him; but for the victim’s family, the only thought is revenge.

Another group who doesn’t believe him—the men in prison from Dixon’s last job, an armored car robbery. They’re sure he’s gone back to grab the hidden money, so they do the only thing they can: break out and head straight to Jericho themselves.

Colson and his deputy, Lillie, know they’ve got their work cut out for them. But they don’t count on one more unwelcome visitor: a tornado that causes havoc just as events come to a head. Communications are down, the roads are impassable—and the rule of law is just about to snap.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Ace Atkins's killing honesty sets a new standard for Southern crime novels. Gone is the fuzzy nostalgia for the old hometown, switched out for a more authentic look at the modern "Mayberry of domestic violence, drug use, child endangerment and roadhouse brawls."
Publishers Weekly
At the outset of bestseller Atkins’s strong third Quinn Colson novel (after 2012’s The Rangers), Jamey Dixon returns to his native Jericho, Miss., to start a church and preach the good word after being pardoned for a murder conviction. While Dixon has his critics—namely Ophelia Bundren, who happens to be the sister of the woman Dixon supposedly killed—he finds solace in the arms of Caddy Colson, who’s the sister of the local sheriff, Quinn Colson, Atkins’s laconic everyman. Quinn suspects Dixon of being nothing more than a huckster, yet he prefers to stay out of his sister’s affairs, even when Ophelia urges him to protect Caddy. But when two escaped convicts come seeking revenge on Dixon, the town of Jericho is thrown into turmoil and Quinn is forced to act to keep law and order—even if that means defending Dixon. Amid the full-throttle plot, Atkins never loses sight of his characters’ sensitivities. Author tour. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (June)
Library Journal
Atkins’s third book in the “Quinn Colson” series (after The Ranger and The Lost Ones) begins when intelligent, nasty thugs Esau and Bones escape the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman Farm so they can recover some loot they left with murderer and ex-con Jamey Dixon. A fascinating character, Jamey found Jesus and is now giving his all to preaching. He’s one of them deep thinkers (says things like, “[m]y Jesus would dig Marshall Tucker”), who believes “…everything he read from the Bible or learned from Johnny Cash” and is mutually besotted with his girlfriend Caddy. Local sheriff Quinn Colson is a dutiful, likable 13-tour vet of Iraq who stays calm in the most painstakingly tense situations. The big problem them boys don’t know is that Quinn is also Caddy’s brother. Anyone who puts a Southern man’s beloved sister close to dangerous conflict is going to have a problem The three-pointed conflagration coincides with a combo-meal rainstorm/flood/tornado ripping the area apart, itself a culmination of Atkins’s concise, but masterly, descriptions of Southern weather. Hidden agendas muddy typical good/bad guy dynamics and Atkins has real men grappling with classic themes like redemption, duty, villainy, and sympathy; his knack for realistic dialog is especially attuned to the direct, Southern way of speaking that conveys volumes about the speaker’s nobility or crudeness.
Verdict Supercool. “Manly” writing akin to Elmore Leonard’s Detroit Westerns.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
A small-town Mississippi sheriff fights criminals and corruption. Former Army Ranger Quinn Colson returned to Tibbehah County and took over the sheriff's job from crooked Johnny Stagg. Now his sister, a former wild child who recently returned home to reclaim her son and her life, is dating Jamey Dixon, who's been pardoned for murdering his wife. Claiming that he found Jesus in prison, Jamey's returned home to run a ministry out of an old barn. Things get a whole lot worse when two escaped convicts show up looking for Jamey, who they think has the money from an armored car robbery they never got the chance to collect before being caught. Jamey claims that Stagg kept most of the money after using the rest to bribe the governor to pardon Jamey. The cons don't care who has the money. They've already killed two federal agents and are willing to do whatever it takes to retrieve it. In addition to conducting a manhunt for the killers, Quinn is continuing a secret affair with the high school sweetheart who married another man. His sister believes in Jamey, but it's hard for Quinn to tell whether Stagg or Jamey is telling the truth about the stolen money. Then his hometown is struck by a tornado. Amid the devastation, Quinn digs deep into dark and dirty secrets and does what he must to protect his family. The third in Atkins' acclaimed series (The Lost Ones, 2012, etc.) is a high-tension thriller with a hero to rival Jack Reacher.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399161780
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/30/2013
  • Series: Quinn Colson Series , #3
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 593,356
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Ace Atkins

ACE ATKINS is the author of eleven previous books, including two Quinn Colson novels, The Ranger—nominated for the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel—and The Lost Ones. In addition, he has been selected by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue the Spenser novels, the first of which, Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby, was a New York Times bestseller. He lives on a farm outside Oxford, Mississippi.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Quinn Colson, in this third novel in the series, has just entere

    Quinn Colson, in this third novel in the series, has just entered his 18th month as sheriff of his hometown, Jericho, Mississippi, and encounters a tough situation. A convicted killer is pardoned and comes to town, starting a church as a mail-order-ordained reverend. Moreover, to complicate Quinn’s life even more, his sister falls in love with the preacher.

    Then two armed, violent prisoners escape from prison, and arrive in Jericho looking for the preacher. They believe he has a significant sum of their money from a robbery they committed prior to their incarceration. To top off all the violence that ensues, a tremendous tornado practically wipes out a good portion of Jericho before the plot winds down to a conclusion.

    Ace Atkins is a prolific author, and has written ten novels, in addition to two under the Robert B. Parker imprint. “Broken Places” is of the same high quality as his previous efforts, with smooth dialogue, tight plotting, excellent pacing and lots of suspense. The Quinn Colson novels also highlight the sheriff’s sense of law and order and right and wrong. The author says the next book in the series will be about the unmaking of Quinn and destruction of all he’s helped build since returning home from the army. Should be worth waiting for.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Excellent Part 3

    I think the lost ones was a better read but this certainly was a book that left you wanting more. Quinn is an excellent character and Mr. Atkins does a great job in this 3rd edition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Just keeps getting better.......

    I enjoyed the first, read the second in a night and did the same with this book. As stated - it just keeps getting better. My only complaint is Mr. Atkins can't write them fast enough. But I consider that a good problem to have.

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    Posted July 3, 2013

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    Posted March 30, 2014

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    Posted February 19, 2014

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