The Lost Ones, the second novel in Ace Atkins series featuring former U.S. Army Ranger Quinn Colson, finds him serving as the newly-elected sheriff of his native Tibbehah County, Mississipi. Given the rural county’s legacy of lawlessness and political corruption, he’s got his work cut out for him.
As the story opens, Quinn is hot on the trail of a gang selling stolen Mexican babies. And he’s hoping his old high school buddy and fellow veteran Donnie Varner, the owner of a local shooting range, is not the guy supplying military firearms to a gang of drug suppliers that has moved into the county.
The duel investigations soon immerse Colson and his feisty deputy, Lillie Virgil, in a lonely battle against a powerful Mexican drug cartel. Meanwhile, Colson’s old enemy, the former sheriff, is quietly doing what he can to undermine the man who unseated in the first novel, The Ranger, an Edgar Award finalist in the best novel category.
— In this year’s Lullaby, he resurrected Spenser, the hero of the late Robert B. Parker’s best-selling Boston P.I. series. The book has received both popular and critical acclaim, with many, me included, calling it the best Spenser novel in years.
— His series of historical crime novels, including White Shadow and Infamous, were superb.
— And with Colson, he’s got the makings of a fine new hardboiled series.
As with every Ace Atkins novel, the setting superbly drawn, the characters are so real that you can reach out and shake their hands, and the writing is as crisp and precise as a slug from a good deer rifle.
Disclosure: I’ve known Ace for several years and consider him a friend. He wrote some glowing jacket copy for my first novel, Rogue Island. But I wouldn’t highly recommend his books if I didn’t genuinely admire them. I’d just hold my piece.