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THE SINNERS  by Ace Atkins


by Ace Atkins

Pub Date: July 17th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-399-57674-4
Publisher: Putnam

Quinn Colson, the sheriff of Mississippi’s Tibbehah County, juggles old-school and newfangled gangs while praying that someone will get him to the church on time.

Now that Quinn’s finally looking forward to getting married and acquiring an instant family that includes nurse Maggie Powers and her 7-year-old son, Brandon, he’d love to cut back on the crime-busting. Fate, as usual, has other plans. Heath Pritchard, the incorrigible marijuana grower Quinn’s late uncle and predecessor Hamp Beckett locked up 23 years ago, has just been released, and he’s eager to horn in on his nephews, dirt-track racers Tyler and Cody Pritchard, who’ve been carrying on the family business on their own less obtrusive terms. Heath’s unforgettable way of announcing his return to his nearest and dearest is to tell them that he needs their help disposing of the remains of Ordeen Davis, whom he caught nosing around on the Pritchard spread. Fannie Hathcock wouldn’t have sent Ordeen, her bartender and general factotum at Vienna’s Place, the county’s premier cathouse, over there in the first place if she hadn’t been getting squeezed between the Pritchard boys, who’d been violating a long-standing agreement with her by running way more weed than they could have been raising themselves, and the Dixie Mafia, for whom she’s been laundering money and providing other services for years and who now send a pair of hands-on managers to Vienna’s Place. The only one who’s in a position to do anything about this mess, it seems, is Quinn’s old friend Boom Kimbrough, whom DEA agent Nathalie Wilkins is pressing to go undercover at Sutpen Trucking, still another major player in the drug trade. Will Boom last long enough to serve as Quinn’s best man?

Though it’s amusing on its own terms, the constant infighting among lowlifes keeps this installment below Atkins’ high standard (The Fallen, 2017, etc.). When bad guys are mostly targeting other bad guys, there’s just not that much for good guys to do besides stand aside and watch the carnage.