The Lost Ones (Quinn Colson, Book 2) Hardcover – May 31, 2012
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“Atkins seems to have hit his stride with this splendid sequel to the Edgar Award-nominated The Ranger.” – Library Journal
"Edgar-finalist Atkins showcases his versatility in his exciting, thoughtful second thriller starring ex-Ranger–turned–lawman Quinn Colson . . . a contemporary laconic lead battling evil that could come straight out of a Gary Cooper western." -- Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Atkins began his writing career in 1998, at age twenty-eight, when the first of four Nick Travers novels was published. In 2001, he earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his investigation into a 1950s murder. That murder inspired his 2006 novel White Shadow, which was followed by three further history-based crime novels—Wicked City, Devil’s Garden, and Infamous. Atkins lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
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Colson may be a tough-as-nails former military man but he is also a sensitive conflicted man of ethics who believes in his responsibility to clean up his county from rampant corruption while doing the "right thing", sort of a modern version of Buford Pusser. Quinn maintains a balancing act of serving the corrupt local government leaders while preserving his independence and integrity. There are hints in this novel of future sparks regarding the death of Quinn's beloved Uncle Hamp, a former sheriff in his own right, and a powerful county leader.
Atkins provides some needed backstory in this outing of Quinn's youth and a traumatic event that affected not only his life but also that of his wayward sister, Caddy. Indeed, relationships-both successful and failures--play a significant role in "The Lost Ones" as Quinn is forced to revisit his past in an effort to deal with his family. Relationships between Quinn and Donnie, Donnie and a dangerous new addition in his life, Quinn and a hot (or cold) blooded FBI agent, Quinn and his sister, Quinn and his former army buddy, the one-armed Boom, and of course, Quinn and Lillie are all subject to the reader's dissection. Included are relationships of several of our key players with young children marking the dichotomy between innocence and deadly violence.
Atkins has a knack for portraying the culture and characters of the deep South. His descriptive prose, gripping suspense, and implied violence are a pleasure to read. His dialogue continues to be spot-on and believable as are his characters and their motivations. The pacing of this effort was less frenetic that in "The Ranger" with the real action not engaging until well into the last third of the narrative but the suspense and palpable danger kept this reader engaged with the characters throughout. I recommend "The Lost Ones" and Quinn Colson for those readers who enjoy strong independent men of virtue who are not afraid to do what must be done to ensure a way of life in which they truly believe.
In THE LOST ONES, Sheriff Colson has his hands full. Family first. His sister Caddy is back in town. She's had it rough. Drugs. Exotic dancing. A single mother. Only thing is, she doesn't take care of her own kid. Their mother, Jean, does. At least, she didn't take care of her own kid. Being back, she swears she's turned her life around. She is not going to walk away, not going to leave her son again. Problem is, Colson don't believe a word of it.The kid deserves more, deserves better. If they don't get things straight, Colson's hand may be forced.
An abused baby is brought to the hospital. Near death, the broken bones, and cracked skull are life threatening. Colson and his loyal deputy, Lillie, are trying to get to the bottom of it all. What they have is a couple who adopt a bunch of Mexican kids. With over ten in their place, they learn abuse is the norm. They make a living selling off the kids they adopted. The rotten couple is on the run, and have the young kids with them. There are additional rumors about what happens to the children. Physical abuse isn't the only horror the kids suffer.
Additionally, ATF is in town. Someone is running guns. Lots of guns. A contact in town is pushing stolen military weapons to a Mexican gang to fuel a cartel war south of the border. The joint investigation uncovers clues that leave both the ATF and the sheriff's department playing cards close to the chest.
Everything comes to an explosive head when an ATF informant points the finger. Outmanned, and outgunned, Sheriff Colson, Lillie, and the other deputies have their work cut out for them!
Badass Ranger Quinn Colson is a cross between Jack Reacher and Walt Longmire. The mix is a perfect blend. The novel covers a lot of ground, giving plenty of background, and character development. The series is shaping up nicely! With THE RANGER, Ace Atkins piqued my curiosity. With THE LOST ONES, he sold me, I am a fan!
Author of the Severed Empire Series,
and The Vaccination Trilogy
Top international reviews
There is a quite heart breaking sub-story, where we learn more about Quinn's and Caddy's childhoods, and these parts of the book almost had me in tears - a stark contrast to the main story of dark deeds done by deliciously nasty villains.
Something of a cliff hanger ending is leading on to the next installment perfectly, and I am now eager to get started on book three.
Plenty of action in a very readable style.