by Atkins, Ace

"Quinn Colson returns to take down a criminal syndicate that has ravaged his community, threatened his family, and tried to have him killed"-

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 has a third Edgar nomination for his short story "Last Fair Deal Gone Down"). 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 and a crime reporter for the Tampa Tribune, and he played defensive end for Auburn University football.

The tenth installment in Atkins' celebrated series concludes a multibook narrative arc in which Quinn Colson, sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi, battles the forces that has turned his beloved home into a cesspool of corruption. Recovering from the gunshot wounds that nearly killed him in The Shameless (2019)-an attack orchestrated by Mississippi's new governor, who runs the state's criminal syndicate as well as its political machine-Colson sets out to right a nearly capsized ship by bringing down the governor and those around him, especially Fannie Hathcock, the vice queen of Tibbehah County. Working in secret after having been replaced as sheriff by the governor's lackey, Colson gathers his remaining loyalists, including the redoubtable U.S. Marshal Lillie Virgil, and launches his Hail Mary campaign. The cleaning-up-the-county trope is a familiar one (from Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest through Stephen Hunter's Hot Springs), and Atkins delivers an action-forward homage, complete with a cordite-smelling finale (blood-spattered, yes, but cleansing, too). This one's a little less nuanced than typical for the series, but it's hard to resist seeing a cabal of evildoing white men brought to their knees. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Tibbehah County Sheriff Quinn Colson's 10th appearance finds him hard-pressed to keep his patch of Mississippi in line after his near-fatal shooting in The Shameless (2019) sidelines him in favor of an acting sheriff who's worse than no help at all. How much worse? Well, when Quinn's 12-year-old nephew, Jason, goes AWOL along with his schoolmate Ana Gabriel Hernandez-Ramirez to accept an unsavory invitation to follow the trail of Ana's mother, one of 53 undocumented workers from the local chicken processing plant rounded up by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Brock Tanner won't issue an Amber Alert. It's clear that Tanner is uncomfortably cozy with grasping madam Fannie Hathcock, "the queen hellcat of north Mississippi"; with J.K. Vardaman, the good-old-boy governor who's never met a graft he wouldn't latch onto; and with the Watchmen, a militia looking to boost their stockpile of weapons. Tanner's deputies harass Quinn's kid sister, Caddy, and go even further with activist Hector Herrera. The ongoing battle is complicated this time by the release of Donnie Varner from the prison where he's served eight years for dealing guns. Readers waiting to see whether he'll renew his friendship with Quinn, find romance wit h his old flame Caddy, or end up brokering a massive arms deal for the Watchmen will be treated to another bracing immersion in Tibbehah County's teeming criminal culture, whose opportunistic alliances between bad guys and the lawmen sworn to protect them would be outrageous if they weren't utterly routine. Perfect reading for socially distanced shut-ins who'll be pleased to learn that things could indeed be much, much worse. Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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