With The Broken Places, his third Quinn Collins novel, author Ace Atkins has solidified his reputation as one of the finest crime fiction writers working today. Whatever doubters might still be out there, when they read this one, should be convinced that Atkins is the real thing. (Note: Atkins was chosen by the Robert B. Parker estate in 2011 to continue Parker’s Spencer series – a huge vote of confidence on the part of the estate representatives.)
Of course, as is always the case when reading good series fiction, the real fun of The Broken Places comes from watching the various characters develop and change over time. This is precisely why I always recommend that readers new to a series spend however much time it takes to go back and read the series from the beginning rather than jumping into it four or five books in - when the rest of the world finally wakes up and the latest book suddenly seems to be everywhere.
The Broken Places is all about redemption, complicated as the process is, and the fact that Mississippi Sheriff Quinn Colson is not sure that many people are capable of reforming, or that they should even be trusted long enough to prove themselves to a skeptic like him. Quinn might be thankful that Caddy, his sister, appears to have finally turned her troubled life around, but he refuses to consider that Jamey Dixon, her ex-con boyfriend, might be capable of the same thing. When three of Dixon’s pals escape from Parchman Prison and show up to claim the money they say Dixon owes them, and the body count starts to climb, Quinn is certain that his sister is in way over her head. Now, not only does he have to protect his little Mississippi town from the bad guys, Quinn has to protect his sister (and her little boy) from herself.
The Quinn Colson series is wonderfully atmospheric, its continuing characters are well developed and likable, and best of all, the books are getting better and better. But do yourself a favor by reading the series the way it was mean to be read: from the beginning. You can thank me later.
(Review Copy provided by Publisher)