by Atkins, Ace

When the patriarch of a drug-dealing clan begins targeting the family of the man responsible for his imprisonment, Quinn Colson finds himself relying on new deputies to survive.

Ace Atkins is the author of twenty-three books, including eight 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 seven New York Times-bestselling novels in the continuation of Robert B. Parker's Spenser series. Before turning to fiction, he 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.

*Starred Review* The Quinn Colson series just keeps getting better and better. Its blend of country noir and badass humor is as smooth as three fingers of Gentleman Jack, and its ensemble cast is uniformly rich-any of the multiple supporting characters, including Tibbehah, Mississippi, Country Sheriff Colson's best friend, Boom Kimbrough, and Colson's former deputy, now U.S. Marshal, Lillie Virgil, could easily front their own series. And, as we've remarked before, Atkins does bad guys, painting them in various shades of good and bad, from Falstaffian orneriness to satanic evil, as well as anyone in the genre. That's especially true here, as Colson tangles with two generations of the notorious Pritchard family: Uncle Heath, from the satanic side of the clan, freshly out of prison and looking to reclaim his patriarchy, and his two nephews, Cody and Tyler, race-car drivers whose marijuana-harvesting operation has grown too successful, eventually attracting the Memphis Mob. ("All me and Cody wanted to do was smoke a little weed and drive real fast. What's the matter with that?") Atkins throws this gallimaufry of characters together in a roller coaster of a plot that's alternately blood-splattered and tenderhearted, the latter driven by the fact that Quinn's imminent wedding looms over the whole shebang. If you like country noir, and you haven't visited Tibbehah County, you're overdue for a road trip. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Quinn Colson, the sheriff of Mississippi's Tibbehah County, juggles old-school and newfangled gangs while praying that someone will get him to the church on time. Now that Quinn's finally looking forward to getting married and acquiring an instant family that includes nurse Maggie Powers and her 7-year-old son, Brandon, he'd love to cut back on the crime-busting. Fate, as usual, has other plans. Heath Pritchard, the incorrigible marijuana grower Quinn's late uncle and predecessor Hamp Beckett locked up 23 years ago, has just been released, and he's eager to horn in on his nephews, dirt-track racers Tyler and Cody Pritchard, who've been carrying on the family business on their own less obtrusive terms. Heath's unforgettable way of announcing his return to his nearest and dearest is to tell them that he needs their help disposing of the remains of Ordeen Davis, whom he caught nosing around on the Pritchard spread. Fannie Hathcock wouldn't have sent Ordeen, her bartender and gen eral factotum at Vienna's Place, the county's premier cathouse, over there in the first place if she hadn't been getting squeezed between the Pritchard boys, who'd been violating a long-standing agreement with her by running way more weed than they could have been raising themselves, and the Dixie Mafia, for whom she's been laundering money and providing other services for years and who now send a pair of hands-on managers to Vienna's Place. The only one who's in a position to do anything about this mess, it seems, is Quinn's old friend Boom Kimbrough, whom DEA agent Nathalie Wilkins is pressing to go undercover at Sutpen Trucking, still another major player in the drug trade. Will Boom last long enough to serve as Quinn's best man? Though it's amusing on its own terms, the constant infighting among lowlifes keeps this installment below Atkins' high standard (The Fallen, 2017, etc.). When bad guys are mostly targeting other bad guys, there's just not that much for good guys t o do besides stand aside and watch the carnage. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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