Saturday, July 06, 2019
The Shameless by Ace Atkins
Twenty years ago, a fifteen-year-old boy, Brandon Taylor, went missing in the woods where he hunted all the time. When the body was found, Brandon's death was ruled a suicide. But, Brandon's family never accepted the verdict. Now, they've reached out to a podcaster, Tashi Coleman, and, according to her report, they asked her to come to Mississippi and find out what really happened to Brandon.
Sheriff Quinn Colson was only a teenager at that time, but his uncle was the sheriff in Tibbehah County. Although Colson is "a young crusading sheriff" coping with drug dealers, prostitution, and politics in a rural county county in northern Mississippi, he's willing to investigate and cooperate with Tashi Coleman when she arrives. But, Tashi's search for answers pushes Colson into the crosshairs of the Syndicate and the Watchmen.
The Syndicate is a group of good ole boys who have controlled the crime enterprises in the Deep South since the 1950s. But, they have competition now. Fannie Hathcock, a truck stop madam, wants her share of the state. She manages trafficking drugs, stolen goods, and young women. And, the Watchmen are a quasi-military group who protect and are always around a political candidate running for Governor, Senator Jimmy Vardamon, who is campaigning on states' rights, racism and ignorance.
It isn't going to be a comfortable place to live for ordinary people and Colson and his allies, if he loses his battle against powerful interests. But, Colson is willing to step out front as he investigates that cold case of Brandon Taylor, a case that hits too close to home for influential people in Mississippi.
Sheriff Quinn Colson has a few allies in law enforcement in Mississippi. However, if the story of one young sheriff taking on corrupt officials and criminals reminds you of "Walking Tall", you're not alone. Atkins' series is an atmospheric, scary set of books, all too plausible right now. And, when The Shameless leaves the reader dangling, it makes the story all the more frightening.
Ace Atkins' website is www.aceatkins.com
The Shameless by Ace Atkins. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2019. ISBN 9780525539469 (hardcover), 464p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.