The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right side bar.
The Redeemers by Ace Atkins highlights Quinn Colson, a former Army Ranger who has returned to his Mississippi hometown to become sheriff. Action seekers should understand that this series is more than a crime novel. It is also about the culture of the Deep South and the importance of family within that culture.
Atkins intentionally chose Quinn to be an Army Ranger, because of “their backgrounds. I grew up in a town not far from Fort Benning, Georgia, which is where I developed my long admiration for the Rangers and how tough they are. I knew that a certain type of culture and individual are drawn to this unit. I specifically made Quinn an Army Ranger because he exemplifies the qualities of toughness and endurance.”
Atkins puts out two books a year. He writes the Spenser series made famous by the late Robert B. Parker as well as his own series with Quinn Colson. Both series’ plots move along through the dialogue of the characters. There is also a similarity in that the storyline is about how the characters live their life, invoking honesty, toughness, and trust.
Atkins told blackfive.net, “Writing the Spenser books is more of a challenge than writing the Quinn books. I not only must write a really good novel, but must do so in the style of Parker. I am constantly thinking, ‘what would Bob do here.’ These two characters are similar in that they understand the world is made up of good and bad.
They do not have hypocrisy in any shape and form. I consider them classic American heroes. Where the series differs is that the Spenser books has an urban setting, while the Quinn books are based around a rural environment.”
This storyline begins with Quinn pondering his next move as he finishes up his term as sheriff. He must help solve a case in which local lumber-mill owner Larry Cobb had his safe stolen, literally. Besides money and jewels the contents of the safe contain ledgers of Cobb’s crooked dealings. The family element comes into play with Quinn trying to reconnect with his estranged father, helping his drug addicted sister, and contemplating his relationship with Anna Lee. She is someone he has loved dearly since high school but is currently married to an old friend of Quinn, a serious obstacle for both.
The Redeemers has a richness of characters whose lives move the story along. More than just a crime story these Quinn novels invoke morality, the enduring resilience of family and community, and someone to root for.