Featured Review: ‘The Sinners’ by Ace Atkins

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The SinnersQuinn Colson, a former Army Ranger turned sheriff of Mississippi’s Tibbehah County, returns in The Sinners, the eighth novel in Ace Atkins’ New York Times bestselling series. 

Twenty-three years ago, Heath Pritchard, patriarch of the Pritchard crime family, was sent to prison for growing and distributing marijuana. Sheriff Hamp Beckett, Quinn’s uncle — whose death originally brought Colson back to Mississippi in Atkin’s 2010 novel The Ranger — played a key role in putting Heath away after inadvertently stumbling across the man’s marijuana plants when he went to relieve himself by a cornfield. Now, two decades later, Pritchard is out of jail and back in Tibbehah County, ready to make some noise. 

Meanwhile, now just weeks away from his wedding, Quinn is ready to settle down with nurse Maggie Powers and her young son, Brandon. Unfortunately, their final wedding plans are interrupted when Colson’s job lands him smack dab in the middle of a turf war between multiple gangs, pulling Quinn and his best man, Boom Kimbrough, into a murderous conflict. 

Fannie Hathcock, who runs and operates a gentleman’s club called Vienna’s Place, tasks her most trusted employee, Ordeen Davis, a twenty-something African American who’s shown plenty of loyalty to Fannie during his time tending bar, to sneak a peek at the property owned by her drug trafficking partners. Brothers Tyler and Cody Pritchard (who sure can curse with the best of ’em) took up the mantle vacated by their uncle Heath, splitting their time between growing weed and racing dirt tracks around the state. Fannie doesn’t trust them, though, and she sends Ordeen to see what the boys are really up to, making sure to pick a time when they’re guaranteed not to be there.

Tragically, Ordeen finds out the hard way that Heath is fresh out of the joint, and the elder Pritchard shoots him dead. . .  partially for trespassing on his property, and partially because he’s a flaming racist. 

Ordeen’s mother pleads with Quinn to look into her son’s murder, which he does, unaware of the gang war raging on behind the scenes involving the Dixie Mafia and a group of truckers who’ve found a way to move significant amounts of product under the radar of local and state authorities. It doesn’t take Quinn long to catch on to what’s really happening around him, but bringing down Pritchard proves to be as difficult as it is dangerous. Complicating matters further is the fact that Boom is asked to go undercover, putting him shoulder-to-shoulder with the very men Quinn is trying to nail. 

Ace Atkins has built a following of diehard readers who can’t get enough of his particular brand of southern fried homicide, and The Sinners makes it easy to see why. Few authors are able to capture the south the way Atkins does, and his usage of the third-person close point of view is perfect for this type of dark and gritty story that sucks readers in and doesn’t let go. 

Between his work on Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series and his own Quinn Colson franchise, Ace Atkins has quickly become one of the genre’s top must-read, can’t-miss authors, and The Sinners is the obvious frontrunner for best southern crime novel of the year.

Book Details

Author: Ace Atkins
Series: Quinn Colson #8
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0399576746
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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