The Innocents (Quinn Colson Series #6)

The Innocents (Quinn Colson Series #6)

4.7 3
by Ace Atkins

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From New York Times-bestselling Southern crime master Ace Atkins comes a gritty, darkly comic tale of greed, violence, and unexpected redemption.
Quinn Colson didn’t owe his home town of Jericho, Mississippi, a damn thing. After serving for more than a decade as a U.S. Army Ranger, he’d returned, been elected sheriff, and


From New York Times-bestselling Southern crime master Ace Atkins comes a gritty, darkly comic tale of greed, violence, and unexpected redemption.
Quinn Colson didn’t owe his home town of Jericho, Mississippi, a damn thing. After serving for more than a decade as a U.S. Army Ranger, he’d returned, been elected sheriff, and tried to make the town and surrounding Tibbehah county a better place. He was rewarded with being voted out of office, and went back to the war zone he’d left.
     Now, back in Jericho, trying to fix things with his still-married high school girlfriend and retired Hollywood stuntman father, he’s drawn to becoming a lawman again. This time, he accepts a badge from acting Sheriff Lillie Virgil, a foul-mouthed law woman with shades of Calamity Jane. But what they must confront together is something brand-new.
     When a former high school cheerleader is found walking a back road completely engulfed in flames, the entire state focuses on the rural county, wanting answers. The light soon shines on several people: the girl’s father, a worthless drunk named Wash Jones; a pair of teenage thugs with grand ambitions to control north Mississippi; and a red-headed truck stop madam named Fannie Hathcock, who has her own problems – the Syndicate from down on the Gulf Coast has big plans for her neck of the woods.
As Quinn and Lillie uncover old secrets and new lies, the entire town turns against them, and they learn the most dangerous enemies may be the ones you trust most.
     Ace Atkins  “sets a new standard for Southern crime fiction,” writes The New York Times Book Review– and, with The Innocents, he sets it again.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Atkins’s disappointing sixth Quinn Colson novel (after 2015’s The Redeemers) lacks the thoughtfulness and excitement of earlier installments. After Quinn served his country for a decade as an Army Ranger, he returned home to Jericho, Miss., to serve as the sheriff of Tibbehah County. When he was voted out of office, Quinn went to Afghanistan, where he helped train the local police force. With that assignment complete, he finds himself at loose ends both professionally and personally back in Jericho. For starters, he has work to do on his relationships with his estranged father, a retired Hollywood stuntman, and his significant other, who’s married to someone else. The pace picks up when Quinn joins his successor as sheriff, Lillie Virgil, in investigating a horrendous crime in which a woman was set on fire. But what develops into an intriguing murder case is weakened by underdeveloped characters who consist mostly of types, such as the creepy football coach and the wholesome cheerleader who becomes a stripper out of desperation. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (July)
From the Publisher
Praise for Ace Atkins
“In Quinn Colson, bestselling author Ace Atkins has created an American hero in a time when we need him.” —C. J. Box
“Ace Atkins’s Quinn Colson series is, quite simply, the best in crime fiction today—and also so much more. With a rich cast of characters, and a hero we can count on, these are tales of morality and desperation, of shocking violence and the enduring resilience of family and community. And the emotional places they take us make them unforgettable.” —Megan Abbott
“With terrific, inflected characters and a dark, subtle sense of place and history, these are exceptional novels.” —John Sandford
“Quinn Colson is my kind of guy. I would follow him anywhere.” —Lee Child
“Atkins finds his natural-born storytellers everywhere. It’s all music to these ears.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“I will throw down against anyone who disagrees with the statement that Atkins is one of our best American writers. Period.” —

Praise for The Innocents

“[N]othing short of riveting, a page turner that you will stay up all night to read....Atkins is a master of description on all points of the continuum....While I inwardly groan at the thought of having to wait another year for more Quinn Colson, my feelings are balanced by the certainty that it will be worth it.” — 

“The rough-and-tumble relationship between two tough-as-nails law officers and the place they love provides plenty of action [and] well-developed characters.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Quinn has to be the most refreshing New York Times Bestselling series character (there are numerous unsung independent publishing protagonists just as worthy) that I’ve come across in quite some time, and I’m hard pressed to name others that compare on this level—and, holy hell, that’s an invigorating statement to make…What else is there to say…read The Innocents by Ace Atkins. It’s literary crime fiction worthy of the hype.”—

Library Journal
Back on the job after a yearlong hiatus, Tibbehah County, MS, sheriff Quinn Colson is joined by Deputy Lillie Virgil in investigating a particularly shocking crime: the murder of 17-year-old high school dropout Milly Jones, found burning like a torch on the highway. What's worse, Milly's death appears to be the start of something grim. Lots of library marketing.
Kirkus Reviews
Even snakes are straighter than many of the denizens of Tibbehah County, Mississippi.Quinn Colson's roots go deep in Tibbehah. The former Army Ranger was sheriff for a while, but cleaning up some of the county's worst sins didn't endear him to many voters. Now that he's returned from training Afghan police officers, his former colleague Sheriff Lillie Virgil has asked him to become a deputy. Quinn is still trying to work things out with his high school sweetheart, who's taken her child and left her husband. Quinn's father, Jason, a former Hollywood stuntman absent for most of his son's childhood, is back with a moneymaking scheme that involves getting into bed with a big-time crook Quinn and the FBI took down (The Redeemers, 2015). Meanwhile, Milly Jones, a former cheerleader desperate to get out of town, takes a job at the newly renovated strip club run by Fannie Hathcock. As soon as she's made enough money, she plans to stiff Fannie for her share and run off, leaving her best friend information she claims will blow the lid off the county and its mealy-mouthed Bible beaters whose heads are eternally stuck in the sand. That plan ends when she's found walking down a road, her body aflame, and dies an excruciating death. Sheriff Virgil suspects Fannie and her enforcers, a bunch of doped-up motorcycle gang members. Among the numerous other suspects are two wild young men Milly was seen with before she died. As Colson and Virgil struggle to make sense of her death, the county they've struggled to clean up continues down the same old road of drug dealing, petty larceny, and criminal stupidity. The rough-and-tumble relationship between two tough-as-nails law officers and the place they love provides plenty of action, well-developed characters, and an ending that will more likely leave you disgusted than surprised.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Quinn Colson Series , #6
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Ace Atkins is the author of nineteen books, including six Quinn Colson novels, the first two of which, The Ranger and The Lost Ones, were nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel (he also has a third Edgar nomination for his short story “Last Fair Deal Gone Down”). In addition, he is the author of four New York Times–bestselling novels in the continuation of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series. Before turning to fiction, Atkins was a correspondent for The St. Petersburg Times, a crime reporter for The Tampa Tribune, and, in college, played defensive end for the undefeated Auburn University football team (for which he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated). He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

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The Innocents (Quinn Colson Series #6) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ReadYourWrites 5 months ago
The Innocents is the second book that I have read by Ace Atkins regarding former Army Ranger Quinn Colson and the town of Jericho, Mississippi. It did not disappoint. The Innocents is a true testament to southern baptists, rednecks, white trash, racists, pedophiles, and crazy people all around. It is so incredibly over the top that I couldn’t put it down. The way that Ace Atkins portrays the citizens of Jericho is comical. They come off to be ignorant, bible-thumping degenerates. Considering that the main storyline involves a police investigation into a young girl’s murder by fire, it’s sad to say that I couldn’t stop laughing. It was difficult to take anything that happened too seriously because the way everyone talked and expressed themselves was nothing I had ever heard of before. In short, Milly Jones had a secret regarding the death of her brother that she was desperately trying to get out into the open. Someone silenced her by bashing her in the head and pouring gas down her throat. Consequently, Quinn gets involved in the investigation as he is working temporarily as a Deputy for Interim Sheriff and friend Lillie Virgil. They end up crossing paths with Fannie who is the new owner of the newly renovated strip club called Vienna who is trying to make a name for herself. They also end up running afoul of her so-called enforcers in the biker gang. And of course, there are several other losers that are part-time drug dealers and all around thugs to consider. The list of suspects and lunatics grows throughout the book and that just keeps everything more entertaining due to various subplots that unravel along the way. While I would say that The Innocents had a lot going on, it never stopped being engaging. Poverty, religion, and deception play a major role in the downfall of several people in town. Everything takes place in present day so it’s easy to relate to all of the issues. I look forward to reading more books by Ace Atkins. **Received a copy from Penguin Group in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
Duells 6 months ago
I've read all the Ace Atkins Quinn Cousin series and this honestly is the best yet! 5 stars doesn't do it it justice. If you haven't read this you really need too. Quinn comes home from training Afghani to be police. While he's gone his father who to this point has been a non factor starts in about a business deal involving one of Quinn's enemy's. Then the town comes to a complete halt over a vicious crime.Jericho has some dark secrets and this one my unravel the whole country. There's allot of possible suspects but you NEED to read this one to find out who.
Deb-Krenzer 7 months ago
Wow, I just sped right through this one. The story was great. Of course, it's Ace Atkins! I thought I knew the killer pretty early, but was I right? Sort of. There are a LOT of bad guys in this story and I mean bad. But what a good story it was, yes I'm saying it again. This is definitely one you won't be able to put down, so don't start it at bedtime. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a little mystery with a lot of suspense. Thanks Putnam & Sons and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review!