The Ranger

By Ace Atkins

Reading THE RANGER, it’s hard not be reminded of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series.

Both Quinn Colson and Reacher have military backgrounds. Neither tolerates crime nor corruption. Both are quick to help the powerless.

But while Reacher is rootless, Quinn returns to the town of his childhood, Jericho, in the rough hill country of northeastern Mississippi to fight crime.

Reacher forms few attachments. Quinn is close to his mother, concerned about his drug-addicted sister, protective of his nephew and holds on to connections and rivalries from his childhood and adolescence.

In THE RANGER, the opening book of the series, Quinn returns to Jericho on a week’s leave for the funeral of his uncle, Tibbehah County Sheriff Hampton “Hamp” Beckett.

He is surprised after the funeral when some of his uncle’s buddies tell him that his uncle committed suicide. Beckett’s loyal deputy, Lillie Virgil, doesn’t believe it. She suggests to Quinn it was murder.

The longer Quinn stays, the more corruption he sees: from the slimeball Johnny Stagg trying to take over Colson family land to pay off a debt that Hamp allegedly owed him; to the gold-toothed alcoholic preacher who rakes in cash from the collection plate; to the meth-loaded Gawper, a White Supremacist preparing his fear-controlled band of losers for the End Times.

Quinn has his own posse of stand-up friends. Among them are Boom Kimbrough, who lost his arm in an IED explosion in Iraq; Quinn’s mother, equally addicted to alcohol, Elvis Presley and gospel, but sharply perceptive about the virtues (or lack of) in her own family; and Lillie, a tomboy when Ranger met her in school, but a woman to be reckoned with in law enforcement.

THE RANGER (2011) was followed by:

  • THE LOST ONES (2012)
  • THE FORSAKEN (2014)
  • THE REDEEMERS (2015)
  • THE INNOCENTS (2016)
  • THE FALLEN (2017)
  • THE SINNERS (2018)
  • THE SHAMELESS (2019)
  • THE HEATHENS (2021)
By the second book in this series, Quinn leaves the Army and follows in his uncle’s footsteps to become Sheriff of Tibbehah County. He is voted in and out of office, fights local corruption and takes on national and international crime in the course of the series.

About the Author: Ace Atkins (1970 – )

A former crime reporter for the St. Petersburg Times and the Tampa Tribune, Ace Atkins is a prolific novelist who has written four stand-alone novels, two mystery series and was selected by the estate of mystery writer Robert B. Parker to continue writing the Spenser mystery series in 2011.

Atkins was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize while at the Tribune for a feature series that investigated a forgotten 1950s murder. That murder became the focus of his novel, WHITE SHADOW (2006). He became a full-time novelist in 2000. His stand-alone novels that followed were WICKED CITY (2008), DEVIL’S GARDEN (2009) and INFAMOUS (2010).

His first mystery series features Nick Travers and spans four books, beginning with CROSSROADS BLUES (1998), his first published novel. His second series, spans 10 books and features Quinn Colson, a U.S. Army Ranger.

Atkins graduated from Auburn University in 1994, where he played football in 1992 and 1993. He was featured on a 1993 Sports Illustrated cover marking the Auburn Tigers’ perfect 11-0 season.

He lives on a historic farm outside Oxford, MS, with his family.


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