Thursday, June 28, 2012
The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins
After ten years serving as a Ranger in Afghanistan, Quinn Colson isn't even thirty. But, he returned home to Tibbeha County, Mississippi, where he cleaned up one mess, and now he's the sheriff. He has a small department of just nine, after he kicked out a number of dishonest cops. He can count on Chief Deputy Lillie Virgil to keep him honest, even when he has to deal with the County Supervisors who seem to have their fingers in a few too many pies.
Quinn was a hellraiser as a kid, but he straightened out, thanks to Uncle Sam. That's not necessarily true for a few other veterans that returned home. Boom Kimbrough came home with one arm. Now, he drinks and starts fights in bars. Donnie Varner came home, runs a shooting range and a gun shop, but he's interested in something bigger. When he runs into a hot woman working in a carnival, Donnie agrees to supply her friends with some guns. How about one hundred guns to a group of Mexicans? It isn't long before an ATF agent shows up saying the Mexican cartels are sending buyers into Mississippi, a state not exactly known for strict gun laws.
Now Quinn has two big problems in his county, illegal sales of guns, and the illegal trafficking of children. Those two cases are somehow linked, and Quinn and his department aren't happy with either problem in their county.
The Lost Ones is the second novel to feature Quinn Colson, following The Ranger. This one easily stands on its own. I didn't read the first one, and had no problem picking up this story. It's a dark story, reflective of the current situation in the country. Veterans are returning home after long years in the service, to find no jobs. And, small rural counties will have a number of returning vets, since young men went for money and for patriotism.
Ace Atkins has created realistic characters, and provided heroes in the form of Quinn Colson and his deputies. The Lost Ones is a dark novel, with multiple stories, people who can't necessarily be trusted, and a few points where law enforcement is not just black and white. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes Lee Child's Jack Reacher. But, Quinn Colson has returned home to straighten out Tibbehan County, Mississippi.
Ace Atkins' website is www.aceatkins.com
The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins. G.P. Putnam's Sons. 2012. ISBN 9780399158766 (hardcover), 352p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.