Title: The Fallen by Ace Atkins
Quinn Colson Series Book Seven
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 365 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Penguin’s First to Read Program
A classic southern tale of backroom deals, tainted honor, dysfunctional family, high-stakes greed—and everyday heroism—from the New York Times–bestselling author.
Mississippi sheriff Quinn Colson had to admit he admired the bank robbers. A new bank was hit almost every week, and the robbers rushed in and out with such skill and precision it reminded him of raids he’d led back in Afghanistan and Iraq when he was an army ranger. In fact, it reminded him so much of the techniques in the Ranger Handbook that he couldn’t help wondering if the outlaws were former Rangers themselves.
And that was definitely going to be a problem. If he stood any chance of catching them, he was going to need the help of old allies, new enemies, and a lot of luck. The enemies he had plenty of. It was the allies and the luck that were going to be in woefully short supply.
In Ace Atkins’ seventh installment in the Quinn Colson series, The Fallen, Tibbehah County, Mississippi is once again a hotbed of illegal activity which runs the gamut of bank robberies, missing teenage girls and an underlying corruption that Sheriff Quinn Colson just cannot seem to stay ahead of.
When bank robbers Rick Wilcox, Jonas Cord and their buddy Opie make an ill-fated decision to rob Jericho First National Bank, they are certain they will get away with their crime. However, instead of a clueless small town police force, their crime falls under the jurisdiction of Sheriff Quinn Colson and assistant Sheriff Lillie Virgil who have proven time and again they are a formidable crime fighting duo. Colson correctly deduces the men are former military and with few clues to go on, he turns to federal agent Jon Holliday who does not have any more information about the crew than Quinn and Lillie.
Interspersed with the investigation into the bank robbery are a couple of story arcs set in the local community. Quinn’s sister Caddy is worried about two missing teenagers that she has been trying to locate under the Sheriff’s radar. Strip bar owner Fannie Hathcock is running up against good ole boy Skinner whose Southern Christian values are greatly offended by her establishment. The search for the missing girls leads straight to Fannie’s strip joint and ultimately, the latest round of corruption that is attempting to gain a toehold in Tibbehah County.
In between the investigation of the bank robbery and fighting petty crimes in the county, Quinn reunites with childhood friend Maggie Powers who has recently moved to town with her nine year old son Brandon. As they reminisce about their innocent exploits, a simmering passion threatens to explode into full blown passion but since Maggie is in the midst of a messy divorce, they attempt to keep their relationship platonic.
When Quinn begins putting the pieces of the various puzzles together, Lillie’s concerns about his objectivity lead her to make a surprising decision about her future. When the multiple plotlines finally converge into a violent showdown, she concedes Quinn’s suspicions are, indeed correct, and her expertise is instrumentally in bringing the siege to an end. In the aftermath, will Lillie change her mind about the events she set into motion during a moment of frustration?
The Fallen is another well-plotted mystery with a storyline that is an accurate reflection of the pervasive political mindset of the deep South today. Ace Atkins lightens the mood with some laugh out loud funny one-liners as Quinn and Lillie take aim at the corruption and crime that threaten to destroy Tibbehah County. Although this latest release is the seventh installment in the Quinn Colson series, it can easily be read as a standalone. However, I have to warn readers that the novel’s tantalizing conclusion will leave them impatiently awaiting the next book in this fantastic series.