If you have never heard of Ace Atkins you are living a sad, sad literary life, so you should go fix that. I'm going all full disclosure on you here and telling you that I have had the opportunity to spend time with him, and putting aside the fact that the man is drop dead gorgeous and sexy as hell even when he's helping his toddler-sized son with a sippy cup, he's one of the nicest people writing books about bad people ever.
What you notice about Ace first -- well, okay, second -- is that when he talks to you he is totally into the conversation, even if you are only able to speak in single syllable, two word sentences for a few minutes while your brain adjusts to the realization that a Man Who Looks Like That is talking to a Woman Who Looks Like You and paying attention.
It is this gift of his, this ability to be fully invested and interested in people, that gives the characters in his books authentic appeal. His Quinn Colson novels, of which The Broken Places is the third, reflect his intimate knowledge of backwoods Mississippi and the people who live and love and, occasionally, inflict grievous injury upon one another there.
You do not need to have read The Ranger or The Lost Ones before you read this one, but seriously DO IT ANYWAY, because they will all blow you away, and you do not want me to think that you are one of those readers who comes late to the party and then gushes all over the place like you have discovered these characters because you and I will know the truth, won't we?
Here's the blah-blah-blah about The Broken Places: Quinn Colson, sheriff of Tibbehah County (wherein his hometown Jericho, Mississippi sits) is upset that his troubled sister is all wrapped up in a relationship with a recently released convict cum evangelical pastor, especially when it becomes clear that prison life isn't done with him yet. He's also still really invested in keeping his personal love life all screwed up. And then there's a catastrophic storm brewing that he can't do a blessed thing about, but lordamercy, will you ever know exactly what a tornado sounds and feels and smells like after you've read this book.
Ace doesn't take the easy way out with his characters. Colson and Stagg (his natural born enemy) are archetypes, make no mistake, but Atkins puts flesh and blood on them. Colson is the kind of guy women want to sleep with and men want to go hunting with.
Surly's bottom line: The Quinn Colson series started out strong, and has gotten better with each installment. If the next book is any better than this one I do not know how I will stand it.
|This is Ace. You can thank me now.|