Review: Atkins delivers engrossing thriller 'The Fallen'
By OLINE H. COGDILL
Jul. 18, 2017
"The Fallen" (Putnam), by Ace Atkins
Ace Atkins' novels about Quinn Colson, a former Army Ranger turned sheriff, takes place in Mississippi's rural Tibbehah County, where the largest town is the small Jericho. But Edgar finalist Atkins uses this as a microcosm of the world in "The Fallen."
Corruption, politics, crime, dirty deals and people trying to lead honest lives all converge here as Atkins succinctly shows in his seventh superb novel about Quinn.
"The Fallen" also looks at the effects of war on veterans returning home, a situation Quinn knows all too well. Atkins delivers stronger tales about Quinn with each outing, and "The Fallen" continues those high standards.
Quinn's responsibilities as sheriff are fraught with crisis. His region of Mississippi is being invaded by a series of bank robberies in which the criminals wear Donald Trump masks. The masks aren't political to the robbers, only a way to get attention. Their methods and efficiency indicate to Quinn that they may be former military. So far, no one has been killed during the robberies, but Quinn believes the violence will soon escalate.
Corruption also is seeping through the county through Vienna's Place, the strip bar on the highway run by the ruthless Fannie Hathcock, who may be responsible for the disappearance of two teenage girls. No one cares about those girls except Quinn's sister Caddy, who runs an outreach program for abused women.
Atkins skillfully pulls together several plotlines into the cohesive, action-packed "The Fallen," a story about a community strengthened by its believability and character studies. Atkins continues to show new aspects of Quinn, Caddy and Deputy Lillie Virgil. Mississippi is home to these characters and they will do whatever is necessary to protect it. Atkins even delves into the multilayers of the villains of "The Fallen," especially Fannie, who despite being rotten to the core, has a soupcon of humanity.
Atkins, who also is continuing the late Robert B. Parker's Spenser series, delivers another engrossing thriller with "The Fallen."