quinn colson series

Review: The Innocents by Ace Atkins

the innocents

The Innocents by Ace Atkins, (Quinn Colson, #6), Netgalley copy, 12 July 2016, 384p.

4 out of 5 stars.

I have reviewed previously:
The Ranger, The Lost Ones and The Broken Places (Quinn Colson, #1, #2, & #3)
The Forsaken (Quinn Colson, #4)
The Redeemers (Quinn Colson, #5)

The Innocents is a glorious return to thriller form for Ace Atkins. Quinn Colson and the residents of Tibbehah County are fantastically interesting characters who live in a world believable but disjointed from my own reality. The world building that Atkins has put into this series is unrivaled (I actually googled a year ago to see if Tibbehah County was a real place. It’s not.) and when I step back into a Colson novel it is like visiting best friends who have been away on holiday.

When a woman is found walking down the highway, on fire, the community demands a quick result from the Sheriff, Lillie Virgil. She and Quinn Colson, recently back from training the police force in Afghanistan, have to investigate the crime and discover an insidious conspiracy of silence. As always, the focus of the investigation soon falls on the local titty bar, although it is no longer owned by Stagg. The new owner, Fannie Hathcock, is delightfully dark and a force to be reckoned with. While we are talking about Fannie Hathcock, let me just say that her name is even better in Australia – where a woman’s vagina is called a fanny. I assume in America it’s something similar, but we don’t say ‘fanny-pack’ here because that’s just too dirty. Anyway, I think that is the first time I’ve ever talked about genitals in a book review. ONWARDS!

The last two Colson novels were somewhat lackluster compared with the first three, and The Innocents certainly takes back the trophy and holds it high. The characters, setting and plot all combine to create an atmospheric thriller that took hold of my interest and didn’t let go. The atmosphere that Atkins creates in these novels is surreal, and his ability to get across a mood took me by surprise. My one pet peeve with the writing style of The Innocents is that the description of the people seemed over-done and unnecessary. We get hardly any description (which is what I prefer) of the main characters in this book, but know everything background characters are wearing (including brand names) and what they look like. It did lead to a fun game in which I tried to use Ace Atkin’s style to describe random people on the street to my boyfriend. This is such a minor issue that it feels silly to mention it, but it did stand out to me. I find this is the accepted style as opposed to what I actually prefer.

Now I have to wait for a year for the next book to be released. I really want to see what happens in Quinn’s personal life now that my shipping dreams have come true. I’m trying to avoid spoilers here, but oh, my god. Just grab yourself a copy of this book and be blown away!


Review: The Redeemers by Ace Atkins


The Redeemers by Ace Atkins (Quinn Colson, #5), Hardback from Library, July 2015, 373p.

I live tweeted this book: #visitingjericho

I have reviewed previous titles in this series:
The Ranger, The Lost Ones and The Broken Places (books 1-3)
The Forsaken (book 4)

3 stars.

I’ve been waiting on The Redeemers since reading the last book in the Quinn Colson series: The Forsaken, which had such a great cliffhanger I have been thinking about it for around a year. The Redeemers did a great job in resolving that cliffhanger – leaving Jericho shaken up and the reader feeling very satisfied.

Atkins’ talent lies in creating strong, believable characters that you can’t help but root for. Lillie Virgil is one of these, and in The Redeemers she really gets to shine. I enjoy how she had a starring role in this book, she is tough as nails and mentally strong that she often comes across as cold, but in the past book or two of this series she has been revealed as one of the most generous and awesome of people. I’d happily hand over my hard-earned for a series of books in which Virgil is the main character.

I want to also quickly talk about Johnny Stagg. He’s a baddie who walks that line between despicable business man and despicable human being, and every scene that he is in I end up laughing uncontrollably. The Redeemers is strange in that Colson and Stagg don’t actually have to do with one another, but as always they are still connected and constantly thinking of their nemesis.

The thing that always drags me back to this series is the setting. I like the characters, but I LOVE the setting. Tibbehah County and Jericho feel so real, I actually googled them to see if they are real places (they’re not). It feels like Atkins is writing about real – fleshed out – places. I get (and appreciate) the small town vibe, I grew up in a small town but Tibbehah is still so foreign to me, the American South is a million miles distant from the Australian South. There are some similarities between the places, and there are familiar character tropes, the ‘redneck’ is essentially our ‘bogan’. I feel connected but distant from the people in the Colson series.

To conclude, I enjoyed The Redeemers by Ace Atkins – it is a good addition to the series. It’s a solid three star read for me.