by: Ace Atkins
Series: Quinn Colson
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Source: Penguin/G.P. Putnam’s Sons via NetGalley
From New York Times-bestselling Southern crime master Ace Atkins comes a gritty, darkly comic tale of greed, violence, and unexpected redemption.
Quinn Colson didn’t owe his home town of Jericho, Mississippi, a damn thing. After serving for more than a decade as a U.S. Army Ranger, he’d returned, been elected sheriff, and tried to make the town and surrounding Tibbehah county a better place. He was rewarded with being voted out of office, and went back to the war zone he’d left.
Now, back in Jericho, trying to fix things with his still-married high school girlfriend and retired Hollywood stuntman father, he’s drawn to becoming a lawman again. This time, he accepts a badge from acting Sheriff Lillie Virgil, a foul-mouthed law woman with shades of Calamity Jane. But what they must confront together is something brand-new.
When a former high school cheerleader is found walking a back road completely engulfed in flames, the entire state focuses on the rural county, wanting answers. The light soon shines on several people: the girl’s father, a worthless drunk named Wash Jones; a pair of teenage thugs with grand ambitions to control north Mississippi; and a red-headed truck stop madam named Fannie Hathcock, who has her own problems – the Syndicate from down on the Gulf Coast has big plans for her neck of the woods.
As Quinn and Lillie uncover old secrets and new lies, the entire town turns against them, and they learn the most dangerous enemies may be the ones you trust most.
The Innocents is the second book that I have read by Ace Atkins regarding former Army Ranger Quinn Colson and the town of Jericho, Mississippi. It did not disappoint. The Innocents is a true testament to southern baptists, rednecks, white trash, racists, pedophiles, and crazy people all around. It is so incredibly over the top that I couldn’t put it down. The way that Ace Atkins portrays the citizens of Jericho is comical. They come off to be ignorant, bible-thumping degenerates. Considering that the main storyline involves a police investigation into a young girl’s murder by fire, it’s sad to say that I couldn’t stop laughing. It was difficult to take anything that happened too seriously because the way everyone talked and expressed themselves was nothing I had ever heard of before.
In short, Milly Jones had a secret regarding the death of her brother that she was desperately trying to get out into the open. Someone silenced her by bashing her in the head and pouring gas down her throat. Consequently, Quinn gets involved in the investigation as he is working temporarily as a Deputy for Interim Sheriff and friend Lillie Virgil. They end up crossing paths with Fannie who is the new owner of the newly renovated strip club called Vienna who is trying to make a name for herself. They also end up running afoul of her so-called enforcers in the biker gang. And of course, there are several other losers that are part-time drug dealers and all around thugs to consider. The list of suspects and lunatics grows throughout the book and that just keeps everything more entertaining due to various subplots that unravel along the way.
While I would say that The Innocents had a lot going on, it never stopped being engaging. Poverty, religion, and deception play a major role in the downfall of several people in town. Everything takes place in present day so it’s easy to relate to all of the issues. I look forward to reading more books by Ace Atkins.
**Received a copy from Penguin Group in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
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The Redeemers ~ Review
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