Monday, June 24, 2013

The Broken Places - Ace Atkins

My review of Ace Atkins' The Broken Places first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers. It is appearing here today with their permission.

First line: "'This ain't no joke,' Esau Davis said."

Sheriff Quinn Colson has a bit of a quagmire on his hands when three escaped convicts show up in Tibbehah County, Mississippi, to collect stolen money and exact revenge on the man who betrayed them. The predicament becomes personal when Colson learns the cons are pursuing Jamey Dixon, recently—and questionably--pardoned from his murder conviction. Dixon also happens to be dating Colson’s sister.

As federal agents and a tornado bear down on Tibbehah County, Colson races to protect his family and his jurisdiction from the impending disasters.

This series has been exceptional from the start, but Ace Atkins is truly finding his groove with Quinn Colson in the third outing. Atkins has found that quintessential balance in Colson, allowing readers to easily forgive his transgressions because they result in justice when the law cannot.

And Colson doesn’t carry the series. Atkins’ entire cast contributes to its strength, including Colson’s recurring nemesis, Johnny Stagg.

The Broken Places opens with a Hemingway quote: “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” Atkins merges that theme flawlessly with his uses of faith and nature. He simultaneously respects and questions both through the eyes of his hardened and oft-broken hero, Colson, as well as Jason, Colson’s uncorrupted five-year-old nephew. The result is what sticks with the reader long after “the end.”

Whether new to the series or a fan from the start, The Broken Places will touch readers the way all great novels do, profoundly.

The Broken Places is available in hardcover (ISBN: 9780399161780) from Putnam. There is also an unabridged audio from Recorded Books, narrated by Brian d'Arcy James.


Irene Jennings June 27, 2013 at 7:15 AM  

The Quinn Colson series is what introduced me to Ace Atkins and I love this character, the stories, the grit and the real ness of the characters. Even the minor characters have depth and interest. Can't wait for more.

Irene Jennings (Professional Microdermabrasion Machine)

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