The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins is a novel taking place in the fictional Tibbehah County, Mississippi. This is the second book in “The Ranger” series, which was also the name of the first book.
Quinn Coloson resigned from the Army Rangers to become Sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi, his uncle’s old job. A Mexican cartel appears to be getting guns from a gun store his friend owns and at the same time an abused child case sends the sheriff and his deputy to discover a child bootleg ring.
The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins returns familiar and new characters in the series. Quinn Colson, a former Army Ranger, his family, friends and nemesis. Ace Atkins, in my opinion, is one of the best active Americana writers. I have read several of his historical fiction books (many set in the 1920s) and enjoyed them tremendously. Mr. Atkins’ foray into fiction proved to me that he is a capable writer and is here for the long haul.
The author has an uncanny ability to paint a picture with few words. It’s amazing that he describes a scene or a person with just the right amount of verbiage, letting the reader do most of the work according to their understanding. Atkins draws a country where “new in town” means you’ve been there for only ten years, Sonic is the go to place to get a meal and you still think of girls you knew with their maiden name attached.
There is a lot going on in this book, Mexican drug gangs, child abuse, baby racketeering, family drama and small town corruption, yet the book moves along slowly, well paced letting the reader take in the multiple storylines as if strolling in the park on a lazy summer day.
The character of Quinn Colson is bound to become a phenomena in pop-culture much like Jack Reacher or Cotton Malone. I can see a fan base built around this character, a peaceful warrior who has many issues most of us have. Mexican drug gangs are just as big an issue as a disturbed sister or an Army buddy who needs a job. That is how life is, there are no small problems – it’s all personal.
While I never visited the Deep South, this novel was still a pleasure to read. Mr. Atkins has a way of portraying his characters in a believable, moving manner. The stories take on a life of their own with the excellent dialog and characters’ motivations while the suspense and implied violence kept me at the edge of my seat.
The Ranger by Ace Atkins