The sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi, is out of a job but not out of trouble.
When former Army Ranger Quinn Colson became sheriff, he cleaned up drug gangs, solved murders old and new, and helped the county recover from a devastating tornado. But he didn’t win re-election or bring down his archenemy, Johnny Stagg, whose legal businesses are just a cover for a vast network of corruption and criminal activities. There are hopeful signs, though. Stagg’s efforts to bribe incoming sheriff Rusty Wise are going nowhere, and his new right-hand man, Ringold, is actually an FBI agent working with Colson to bring him down. Colson and deputy Lillie Virgil have just hauled Colson’s troubled sister, Caddy, out of a Memphis crack house and into a rehab facility. Lillie’s problems go back to her childhood and the recent murder of the man she loved, whose killer Colson is still seeking. Meantime, a couple of good old boys plot to steal a bundle from local lumber-mill owner Larry Cobb with the help of an Alabama safecracker and his dumb, football-crazed nephew. Mickey Walls hates Cobb, his ex-father-in-law, and enlists his friend Kyle to work with the burglars while he establishes an alibi. Unable to open the safe, the luckless crew hauls it away, attracting the attention of a deputy who’s wounded by the nephew. Along with money and jewels, the safe contains the detailed books Cobb kept of all his crooked dealings, details that could ruin political careers and send many to jail. Colson is left pondering his future job possibilities, his continuing romance with his high school sweetheart (who’s just split with her husband), and his relationship with his long-absent father. But unless he and Lillie clean up the latest crimes, he may not live to worry about his future.
Colson’s fifth (The Forsaken, 2014, etc.) is another wild ride for a flawed, valiant hero who’s impossible to dislike.