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)
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.
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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.
Praise for Ace Atkins and the Quinn Colson Novels
“A series that should push him to the top of the bestseller list.”—John Sandford
“One of the best crime writers at work today.”—Michael Connelly
"Compares to the best of Max Allan Collins or Elmore Leonard."--Library Journal
“[Ace Atkins] has solidified his place alongside Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos as one of our most important literary crime novelists.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Ace Atkins goes straight for the throat in The Lost Ones.”—The Houston Press
“Atkins’ sense of place is superb, his story stark and suspenseful.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“In the same class as James Crumley and James Lee Burke. Atkins.”—Bookreporter.com
“Quinn Colson is a character I look forward to meeting again.”—Tampa Bay Times
“Goes for extreme thrills, complemented by in-depth character studies and a view to the motives that turns ordinary people corrupt. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and Greg Iles’ Penn Cage will find a kindred spirit in U.S. Army Ranger Quinn Colson, Atkins’ new take-charge hero.” —South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Southern-fried noir.” —The Washington Post
“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
“Has the down-and-dirty vibe of a ’70s drive-in action picture.” —The Dallas Morning News