THE FORSAKEN by Ace Atkins
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Cases both hot and cold force a Mississippi sheriff to confront issues from the past.

For now at least, former Army Ranger Quinn Colson (All the Broken Places, 2013, etc.) is the sheriff of Tibbehah County. Hidden behind the county’s down-home atmosphere is a seething mass of corruption, drug dealing and violent crime. Quinn and his sharpshooting deputy, Lillie Virgil, are under investigation for shooting a crooked sheriff and stealing money. Former sheriff Johnny Stagg remains Tibbehah’s political power. His legitimate business is vastly overshadowed by his income from drugs and prostitution, and he aims to get the all-too-honest Quinn removed from office. Stagg has hired a tough new bodyguard because his nemesis, Chains LeDoux, a crazed biker who ran the Born Losers, is about to be released from prison. Quinn himself is preoccupied by crimes committed before he was born. Some time after Diane Tull was raped and her friend Lori Stillwell murdered, an unidentified man was found beaten, burned and hanged. But Diane, who knows the dead man wasn’t the rapist, asks Quinn to right that old wrong and find whomever killed the nameless victim. Lori’s father, Hank Stillwell, was part of the Born Losers. So was Quinn’s father, Jason, who got sucked into the biker gang on a visit home from his job as a Hollywood stuntman. Quinn’s mother would never reveal why Jason left his family. Now Quinn must investigate the father he hasn’t seen since childhood for murder. Meantime, Stagg, the Born Losers, and rival black and Mexican drug lords continue to fight for control of the lucrative drug market.

Atkins is at the top of his game in Quinn’s fourth appearance, filled with nonstop action and moral ambiguities. The sheriff’s many flaws only enhance his human appeal.

Pub Date: July 24th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-399-16179-7
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2014

Kirkus Interview
Ace Atkins
June 2, 2015

P.I. Spenser, knight-errant of the Back Bay, returns in Kickback, the latest in the iconic New York Times–bestselling series from author Ace Atkins. What started out as a joke landed 17-year-old Dillon Yates in a lockdown juvenile facility in Boston Harbor. When he set up a prank Twitter account for his vice principal, he never dreamed he could be brought up on criminal charges, but that’s exactly what happened. This is Blackburn, Massachusetts, where zero tolerance for minors is a way of life. Leading the movement is tough-as-nails Judge Joe Scali, who gives speeches about getting tough on today’s wild youth. But Dillon’s mother, who knows other Blackburn kids who are doing hard time for minor infractions, isn’t buying Scali’s line. She hires Spenser to find the truth behind the draconian sentencing. “It’s great to see Spenser tackle a social evil with its roots in real life,” our reviewer writes. View video >


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