Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Once again, ranger-turned-sheriff Quinn Colson and a small group of deputies and law enforcement friends battle corruption and crime in northeast Mississippi. A crooked politician, backed by the Syndicate, is running for governor. The mob and their candidate face a challenge from a truck stop madam who has plans to make the state a place for drug trafficking and prostitution. A 20-year-old crime brings everything crashing down when a podcaster comes to town to investigate the old case of a teenager who supposedly committed suicide. Quinn tries to find the old records of the tragedy handled by his uncle, the late former sheriff, but politicians and criminals unite to stop him. Quinn's attempts to fight corruption in Tibbehah could lead to his death. VERDICT The author follows The Sinners with a troubling, violent, plot-driven drama focusing on far-right politics supported by corruption and murder. The result is an intense, open-ended novel that should carry a "To be continued" message. It's no surprise Atkins has continued Robert B. Parker's "Spenser" series. Fans of those books, or of Lee Child's "Jack Reacher" titles, will relish this series featuring another lone hero battling evil. [See Prepub Alert, 1/23/19.] --Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN
Publishers Weekly Review
In bestseller Atkins's gritty ninth Quinn Colson novel (after 2018's The Sinners), Colson, the sheriff of Tibbehah County, Miss., is alarmed by the growing popularity of Jimmy Vardaman, a gubernatorial candidate who dismisses accusations of racism as "fake news." Vardaman has appeared on the fringes of Colson's corruption investigations, but the sheriff has been unable to get sufficient evidence to bring charges. Colson hopes that will change after he gets custody of Wes Taggart, a lowlife who attempted to kill one of Colson's friends, who he believes is connected with Vardaman. Meanwhile, Tashi Coleman, the host of a true crime podcast, has arrived in Tibbehah County to look into a 20-year-old mystery-the death of 15-year-old Brandon Taylor. Taylor went missing in the woods, only to be found a week later, dead of a gunshot wound. Tashi has doubts about the rigor of the investigation led by the sheriff at the time, Quinn's uncle, Hamp Beckett. The suspense rises as the two cases converge. Atkins makes the thrilling plot accessible for first-timers, while further deepening both main and secondary characters. Series fans will be eager to see what's next in store for Quinn. Author tour. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The ninth in Atkins' Quinn Colson series finds the beleaguered sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi, once again battling the Syndicate, mobsters who have run the county's illicit drug and prostitution business for decades. But this time Quinn has a more personal demon to battle: 20 years earlier, when Quinn was a schoolboy, teenager Brandon Taylor disappeared in Tibbehah's Big Woods, his body eventually found in a position suggesting suicide. Now a pair of New York podcasters have come to town, intent on reopening the case, which reverberates for Quinn in multiple ways: the boy's girlfriend at the time is now Quinn's wife, Maggie, and the then-sheriff, Quinn's uncle, who committed suicide himself, has been widely accused of corruption, a fact that the podcasters are attempting to tie directly to Brandon's case. Meanwhile, the gubernatorial campaign of State Senator Jimmy Vardaman, long in the Syndicate's pocket, is gaining steam, with Quinn still a burr in the would-be governor's saddle. Atkins' signature blend of country noir and southern humor remains on display here, though this time the focus is on the personal traumas in the Quinn family's closets. Another strong outing in a consistently fine series.--Bill Ott Copyright 2019 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
As if Mississippi's Tibbehah County didn't have enough present-day malfeasance to keep Sheriff Quinn Colson hopping, a cold case brings the customary pot of criminals and misfits to yet another boil.Newly married to Maggie Powers, Quinn would like nothing better than to take a break from his hometown's constant diet of organized and disorganized crime and begin adoption proceedings for Maggie's 8-year-old son, Brandon. Not happening. His attention is demanded by another Brandon, who's suddenly captured the imagination of Thin Air podcast reporter Tashi Coleman and her producer, Jessica Torres. They've made the trip down from New York at the behest of Shaina Taylor, whose brother vanished in the wilderness 21 years ago before turning up shot to death a week later. Brandon Taylor, the cold-case publicity hounds announce, has waited long enough for justice, and they aim to camp out in Tibbehah County, asking awkward questions and bedding the locals, until they've gotten to the truth. Does this mean that franchise villains like Fannie Hathcock, the county's premiere supplier of sweet young female companionship, and the syndicate she's in bed with will wither from neglect? Not a bit, because they're all tied in to Brandon Taylor's long-ago shooting, U.S. Marshal Lillie Virgil's recent arrest of fugitive Wes Taggart, and the race-baiting gubernatorial campaign of state Sen. Jimmy Vardaman. When Taggart, who hints that he knows where the bodies are buried, is shot to death in his cell by a pair of hired killers who manage to infiltrate the jail, his murder raises what ought to be the pivotal question of "why his sorry ole ass was so important to the Syndicate boys." But the furious torrent of crimes past and present and revelations about same keep any one question or plotline from rising above the fray.Like James Lee Burke's Louisiana, Atkins' violent Mississippi idylls seem more and more clearly shaped as installments in an ongoing serial drama, and this one, ending with both a bang and a whimper, seems mainly intended to set up the next. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.