Friday, June 15, 2012

THE LOST ONES by Ace Atkins

Atkins' Edgar®-nominated THE RANGER ended with Deputy Lillie Virgil prodding Quinn Colson to run for sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi. Having recently won election in THE LOST ONES, Quinn is confronted with two complex cases, one involving fugitive foster parents with eleven young children in tow, the other involving Donnie Varner, a disgruntled Afghanistan veteran looking to sell stolen weapons to Mexican drug dealers. On the homefront, Quinn has to deal with the reappearance of his sister, Caddy, who claims to have found religion, and wants Quinn to revisit a painful episode of their childhood.

THE LOST ONES shines in its moral complexity. Donnie is a reflection of what Quinn might have become had his uncle and the Army not straightened him out, but he isn't all black-hat villain, nor is the alluring drug dealer he falls for, nor the fugitive foster mother. Because none of the characters can be reduced to type, at no point can you assume how things play out. You have to keep reading, keep watching which way the characters turn. There is no better suspense.

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