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Ace Atkins - Author

About the Author

A former journalist who cut his teeth as a crime reporter in the newsroom of The Tampa Tribune, Ace Atkins published his first novel, Crossroad Blues, at 27 and became a full-time novelist at 30. While at the Tribune, Ace earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for a feature series based on his investigation into a forgotten murder of the 1950s. The story became the core of his critically acclaimed novel, White Shadow, which earned raves from noted authors and critics. In his next novels, Wicked City, Devil's Garden, and Infamous, blended first-hand interviews and original research into police and court records with tightly woven plots and incisive characters. The historical novels told great American stories by weaving fact and fiction into a colorful, seamless tapestry.Ace lives on a historic farm outside Oxford, Mississippi with his family.

 

Author photo © Joe Worthem

 

Below is a Q&A with Ace Atkins on THE RANGER

1.    You’ve spent the last seven years creating crime novels based on true events, with White Shadow, Wicked City, Devil’s Garden and Infamous. What brought you back to contemporary series fiction in The Ranger?
The idea of kicking off a new series actually started with my long-time editor, Neil Nyren. Neil edits John Sandford, Patricia Cornwell, Robert Crais, Tom Clancy and Randy Wayne White to name a few. So when he requests that you start a series, you take the idea very seriously.

The first four books of my career were series fiction, and I’m a huge fan of the form. I felt like my standalone novels had allowed me to grow, however, and develop new skills. It was just a good time to go back to the well, especially since I had been playing with a Mississippi-based character like Quinn in my head for a few years now.

2.    So where did Quinn Colson come from, and what makes him someone you wanted to follow?
For the first time in decades, we’re seeing a mass of young men and women returning home from the frontlines of war. These soldiers have experienced things that make a transition back to normal life nearly impossible. I am fortunate enough to know a lot of them, from barely 20-year-old enlisted guys to officers who are my age, and I have the utmost respect for the sacrifices they’ve all made.

So many people of my generation and younger are completely wrapped up in trivial things. Our big problems aren’t really problems when you consider the state of the world. But there’s a subset of us who are different, who are truly heroes: the American soldier. Who better to serve as our fictional hero? And when I thought about the best soldiers, I knew that my hero had to have been a Ranger. They have a deep, rich history that goes back before the Revolution.

3.    Did you have much help in getting Quinn’s Army background correct?
As luck would have it, as I began thinking about the series, I heard from an Army colonel serving in Afghanistan who’d just finished reading Devil’s Garden at Camp Phoenix. Through our emails, we became fast friends, with a mutual respect of classic crime, noir and good cigars. He put me in touch with a colleague, a former Ranger who’d taken part in several missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

That Ranger ended up being my advisor for this novel and helped me to ensure that Quinn’s background, skills and experiences were true. These guys pride themselves on being great woodsmen. And that’s perfect for a place as remote as Tibbehah County.


4.    Tell us a little about Jericho, Mississippi and Tibbehah County, where the Quinn Colson novels are set. Is this a real place?
Tibbehah County could be several different counties in northeast Mississippi. I’ve borrowed from several and made my own county to explore. I wanted a county that would essentially be a throwback to old times, something as lawless and corrupt as a town from the Old West. I mean, if you really want to break down this series, it’s a contemporary Western. And yes, places like Tibbehah County really exist in Mississippi. Highway strip clubs, thieving politicians, meth dealers, corruption, plenty of people willing to look the other way, and some really great catfish joints, too. I read the local newspapers for story ideas and listen to gossip. Tibbehah County is based on four counties that surround where I live and I’ve take all the best – or worst – of each.

5.    So far, The Ranger is built on the experiences of real people, set in a real place. What about its fictional influences? What kind of popular culture is at work in The Ranger?
I am a huge fan of the gritty realism of early 1970s filmmaking. Some of my favorite films of that period were set in the South, everything from Deliverance to Walking Tall. There was also a movement of films now known as Hixploitation films that I love. That includes cult films such as Billy Jack, Mr. Majestyk and White Lightning. Many of these films center on a soldier back from the front facing hard times as home. The premise was that simple and very attractive to me to take into current times.

6.    From Quinn and his troubled sister Caddy to pregnant Lena walking a “fur piece” to find “Jody,” The Ranger is peppered with William Faulkner references. What influence does Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha County have on your modern crime novel?
First off, Faulkner was not only one of the greatest novelists of the 20th Century, he was also one of the greatest crime novelists.  Intruder in the Dust and Sanctuary are the obvious examples, but Absalom, Absalom and Light in August also have terrific elements now found in the modern crime novel. He also wrote several gripping short mysteries featuring attorney Gavin Stevens. Living in Oxford, you can’t help but soak up these influences; that’s the main reason I live here. People also forget that Faulkner wrote the screenplay to The Big Sleep and was very close to Dashiell Hammett. So you’ll find a lot of Chandler and Hammett and Faulkner in my novels, since those are the guys I’ve been soaking into my brain for the last 20 years or so.

But sure, starting a book with a wandering pregnant girl named Lena and having a bad guy named Gowrie was no coincidence.

7.    What makes this novel different from the thousands of crime novels published every year?
I think the authentic Southern setting makes a big difference.  It’s definitely different than the moonlight and magnolias South seen in most Hollywood movies or in books. This is a pretty gritty world that I try to represent with the utmost accuracy. My favorite films and books are rooted in the real world, and I appreciate authors who get it right. I could drive within 10 miles of my house and show you the real Tibbehah County. I could tell you dozens of recent stories like the ones you find in The Ranger. And I could introduce you to dozens of guys like Quinn and his friend, Boom.

8.    Boom is one of the most intriguing characters in The Ranger. He’s a wounded veteran who’s definitely having a tough time making a go of it on the home front. How did he come about?
I think a lot of what Boom is going through came from the excellent Washington Post series about the troubles at Walter Reed hospital, and everything we’ve heard and read about battlefield injuries since then. I read about the hundreds of amputees returning home with physical and psychological scars. Thanks to advances in battlefield medicine, they had survived explosions and wounds that would’ve definitely killed them just 20 years earlier. Obviously, that’s wonderful, but what happens next after literally cheating death? Some of them fight back and go on to be recertified to fire weapons and serve, according to a story I read. But many others face a constant struggle to find their place in society after returning home changed forever. I did not want to water down Boom’s experience or his handicap. I wanted someone to accurately represent them in a true and heroic way.

9.    Meth seems to be a consistent plague in rural areas of America. We’ve seen it addressed in countless news stories and even in an Oscar-nominated film, Winter’s Bone. What made you drew you to the epidemic?
Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life in the Deep South. A major methamphetamine operation was broken up by the local sheriff’s office only a couple miles from my house. It’s a cheap high that anyone can make with ingredients from their kitchen sink and some Sudafed. The laws are just getting some teeth in them to help with the problem but not before it’s ruined countless lives. From a storyteller’s point of view, these guys are about the same as the old moonshine runners. There’s a lot of money in a cheap high. And with the money comes the violence and crime.

10.    What draws you to crime fiction? Why not a family drama or a coming-of-age tale?
Well, I think The Ranger actually is a family drama and a coming-of-age tale, and, I hope, a black comedy. I think the possibilities of crime fiction are limitless.

Hero-driven books are the most pure form of storytelling, from the ancient epics to today. In taking readers on the journey of the hero, you get to give a hell of a lot of social commentary. I think the best writers working today are crime writers. We are able to do the job of a novelist with less pretension and navel-gazing. There are wrongs to be righted and much to be learned on the journey.

11.    When will we see a return of Quinn, Boom, and Lillie?
I am halfway into the second book in the series, set for release in summer 2012. One of the most important parts of writing a series is making sure you’ve found a world and characters that have not only a lot of story possibilities but who you also love and respect.  I think The Ranger is just the jumping off point for these guys. They’re young and tough, and there is a ton of corruption and hidden secrets to uncover down in Tibbehah County.

Featured books by Ace Atkins

The Broken Places

The Broken Places

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2014

A year after becoming sheriff, Quinn Colson is faced with the release of an infamous murderer from prison. Jamey Dixon comes back to Jericho preaching redemption, and some believe him; but for the victim's family, the only thought is revenge. Another group who doesn't believe him - the men in prison from Dixon's last job, an armored car robbery. They're sure he's gone back to grab the hidden money, so they do the only thing they can: break out and head straight to Jericho themselves. Colson and his deputy, Lillie, know they've got their work cut out for them. But they don't count on one more unwelcome visitor: a tornado that causes havoc just as events come to a head. Communications are down, the roads are impassable - and the rule of law is just about to snap.

The Lost Ones

The Lost Ones

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2014

When Army Ranger Quinn Colson, the new sheriff of Tebbehah County, is called out to investigate a child abuse case, what he finds is a horrifying scene of neglect, thirteen empty cribs, and a shoe box full of money. Janet and Ramon Torres seem to have skipped town - but Colson's sure they'll come back for the cash. Meanwhile, Colson's sister has returned - clean and sober for good she says. His friend Boom has been drinking himself into oblivion and picking fights at the local bar. And his old flame is pregnant. But Colson can't focus on his personal problems. He and Deputy Lillie Virgil are convinced that Janet and Ramon have a taste for guns, drugs, and human trafficking. Soon Colson and Virgil find a link between the fugitive couple and a drug cartel that controls most of the Texas border, taking their investigation far beyond the rough hills of northeast Mississippi...

Other books by Ace Atkins

The Sinners

The Sinners

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2018

The Pritchards had never been worth a damn--an evil, greedy family who made their living dealing drugs and committing mayhem. Years ago, Colson's late uncle had put the clan's patriarch in prison, but now he's getting out, with revenge, power, and family business on his mind. To make matters worse, a shady trucking firm with possible ties to the Gulf Coast syndicate has moved into Tibbehah, and they have their own methods of intimidation. With his longtime deputy Lillie Virgil now working up in Memphis, Quinn Colson finds himself having to fall back on some brand-new deputies to help him out, but with Old West-style violence breaking out, and his own wedding on the horizon, this is without doubt Colson's most trying times as sheriff. Cracks are opening up all over the county, and shadowy figures are crawling out through them - and they're all heading directly for him.

Robert B. Parker's Old Black Magic

Robert B. Parker's Old Black Magic

Author: Ace Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 01/05/2018

Iconic, tough-but-tender Boston PI Spenser delves into the black market art scene to investigate a decades-long unsolved crime of dangerous proportions.The heist was legendary, still talked about twenty years after the priceless paintings disappeared from one of Boston's premier art museums. Most thought the art was lost forever, buried deep, sold off overseas, or, worse, destroyed as incriminating evidence. But when paint chips from the most valuable piece stolen, Gentlemen in Black by a Spanish master, arrives at the desk of a Boston journalist, the museum finds hope and enlists Spenser's help. Soon the cold art case thrusts Spenser into the shady world of black market art dealers, aged Mafia bosses, and old vendettas. A five-million-dollar-reward by the museum's top benefactor, an aged, unlikable Boston socialite, sets Spenser and pals Vinnie Morris and Hawk onto a trail of hidden secrets, jailhouse confessions, and decades-old murders. Set against the high-society art scene and the low-life back alleys of Boston, this is classic Spenser doing what he does best.

Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Graphic Novel

Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Graphic Novel

Author: Ace Atkins, Marco Finnegan, Chris Brunner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2018

After a New Orleans college professor goes missing while searching for the rumored lost recordings of bluesman Robert Johnson-who, as legend has it, sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads-Nick Travers is sent to find him. Clues point to everyone from an eccentric albino named Cracker to a hitman who believes he is the second coming of Elvis Presley. From the Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist turned New York Times Bestselling author, ACE ATKINS, and artist MARCO FINNEGAN, comes a thrilling tale of crime and mystery that brings the history of the Blues and the Mississippi Delta to life on every page. 6 x 9 trade paperback trim size.

The Fallen

The Fallen

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2018

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.

The Innocents

The Innocents

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2017

She was just 17, a high school dropout named Milly Jones, found walking down the middle of the highway, engulfed in flames. Even in a tough Mississippi county like Tibbehah, it shatters the community, and it is up to Sheriff Quinn Colson, back on the job after a year away, and his deputy Lillie Virgil, to investigate what happened, and why. Before long, however, accusations start to fly; national media and federal authorities descend; and what seemed like a senseless act of violence begins to appear like something even more disturbing - with more victims waiting in the shadows.

Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies

Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies

Author: Ace Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2017

Boston PI Spenser and right hand Hawk follow a con man's trail of smoke and mirrors in this thrilling entry in Robert B. Parker's long-running series.Connie Kelly thought she'd found her perfect man on an online dating site. She fell so hard for handsome, mysterious M. Brooks Welles that she wrote him a check for almost three hundred thousand dollars, hoping for a big return on her investment. But within weeks, both Welles and her money are gone. Her therapist, Dr. Susan Silverman, hands her Spenser's card...A self-proclaimed military hotshot, Welles had been a frequent guest on national news shows speaking with authority about politics and world events. When he disappears, he leaves not only a jilted lover but a growing list of angry investors, duped cops, and a team of paramilitary contractors looking for revenge. Enter Spenser, who quickly discovers that Welles' name, resume, and client list are nothing but an elaborate fraud. As he follows the mystery man's trail from Boston to backroads Georgia, Spenser will need help from trusted allies Hawk and Teddy Sapp to make sure Welles's next con is his last.

Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn

Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/03/2017

The Innocents

The Innocents

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/07/2016

She was just 17, a high school dropout named Milly Jones, found walking down the middle of the highway, engulfed in flames. Even in a tough Mississippi county like Tibbehah, it shatters the community, and it is up to Sheriff Quinn Colson, back on the job after a year away, and his deputy Lillie Virgil, to investigate what happened, and why. Before long, however, accusations start to fly; national media and federal authorities descend; and what seemed like a senseless act of violence begins to appear like something even more disturbing - with more victims waiting in the shadows.

Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn

Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn

Author: Ace Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 03/05/2016

Boston PI Spenser faces a hot case and a personal crisis in this adventure in Ace Atkins' iconic New York Timesbestselling series.The fire at a boarded-up Catholic church raged hot and fast, lighting up Boston's South End and killing three firefighters who were trapped in the inferno. A year later, as the city prepares to honor their sacrifice, there are still no answers about how the deadly fire started. Most at the department believe it was just a simple accident: faulty wiring in a century-old building. But Boston firefighter Jack McGee, who lost his best friend in the blaze, suspects arson. McGee is convinced department investigators aren't sufficiently connected to the city's lowlifes to get a handle on who's behind the blazeso he takes the case to Spenser. Spenser quickly learns not only that McGee might be right, but that the fire might be linked to a rash of new arsons, spreading through the city, burning faster and hotter every night. Spenser follows the trail of fires to Boston's underworld, bringing him, his trusted ally Hawk, and his apprentice Sixkill toe-to-toe with a dangerous new enemy who wants Spenser dead, and doesn't play by the city's old rules. Spenser has to find the firebug before he kills againand stay alive himself.

The Redeemers

The Redeemers

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/2016

He is only in his early thirties, but now Quinn Colson is jobless - voted out of office as sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi, thanks to the machinations of county kingpin Johnny Stagg. He has offers, in bigger and better places, but before he goes, he's got one more job to do - bring down Stagg's criminal operations for good. At least that's the plan. But in the middle of the long, hot summer, a trio of criminals stage a bold, wall-smashing break-in at the home of a local lumber mill owner, making off with a million dollars in cash from his safe, which is curious, because the mill owner is wealthy - but not that wealthy. None of this has anything to do with Colson, but during the investigation, two men are killed, one of them the new sheriff. His friend, acting sheriff Lillie Virgil, and a dangerous former flame, Anna Lee Stevens, both ask him to step in, and reluctantly he does, only to discover that that safe contained more than just money - it held secrets. Secrets that could either save Colson - or destroy him once and for all.

Robert B. Parker's Kickback

Robert B. Parker's Kickback

Author: Ace Atkins, Robert B. Parker Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/2016

The Forsaken

The Forsaken

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/2015

Thirty-six years ago, a nameless black man wandered into Jericho, Mississippi, with nothing but the clothes on his back and a pair of paratrooper boots. Less than two days later, he was accused of rape and murder, hunted down by a self-appointed posse, and lynched. Now evidence has surfaced of his innocence, and county sheriff Quinn Colson sets out not only to identify the stranger's remains, but to charge those responsible for the lynching. As he starts to uncover old lies and dirty secrets, though, he runs up against fierce opposition from those with the most to lose - and they can play dirty themselves. Soon Colson will find himself accused of terrible crimes, and the worst part is, the accusations just might stick. As the two investigations come to a head, it is anybody's guess who will prevail - or even come out of it alive.

Robert B. Parker's Kickback

Robert B. Parker's Kickback

Author: Ace Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 19/05/2015

P.I. Spenser, knight-errant of the Back Bay, returns in this stellar addition to the iconic New York Timesbestselling series from author Ace Atkins.What started out as a joke landed seventeen-year-old Dillon Yates in a lockdown juvenile facility in Boston Harbor. When he set up a prank Twitter account for his vice principal, he never dreamed he could be brought up on criminal charges, but that's exactly what happened.This is Blackburn, Massachusetts, where zero tolerance for minors is a way of life.Leading the movement is tough-as-nails Judge Joe Scali, who gives speeches about getting tough on today's wild youth. But Dillon's mother, who knows other Blackburn kids who are doing hard time for minor infractions, isn't buying Scali's line. She hires Spenser to find the truth behind the draconian sentencing.From the Harbor Islands to a gated Florida community, Spenser and trusted ally Hawk follow a trail through the Boston underworld with links to a shadowy corporation that runs New England's private prisons. They eventually uncover a culture of corruption and cover-ups in the old mill town, where hundreds of kids are sent off to for-profit juvie jails.

The Forsaken

The Forsaken

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2015

Thirty-six years ago, a nameless black man wandered into Jericho, Mississippi, with nothing but the clothes on his back and a pair of paratrooper boots. Less than two days later, he was accused of rape and murder, hunted down by a self-appointed posse, and lynched. Now evidence has surfaced of his innocence, and county sheriff Quinn Colson sets out not only to identify the stranger's remains, but to charge those responsible for the lynching. As he starts to uncover old lies and dirty secrets, though, he runs up against fierce opposition from those with the most to lose - and they can play dirty themselves. Soon Colson will find himself accused of terrible crimes, and the worst part is, the accusations just might stick. As the two investigations come to a head, it is anybody's guess who will prevail - or even come out of it alive.

Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot

Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/03/2015

The Broken Places

The Broken Places

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/09/2014

A year after becoming sheriff, Quinn Colson is faced with the release of an infamous murderer from prison. Jamey Dixon comes back to Jericho preaching redemption, and some believe him; but for the victim's family, the only thought is revenge. Another group who doesn't believe him-the men in prison from Dixon's last job, an armored car robbery. They're sure he's gone back to grab the hidden money, so they do the only thing they can: break out and head straight to Jericho themselves. Colson and his deputy, Lillie, know they've got their work cut out for them. But they don't count on one more unwelcome visitor: a tornado that causes havoc just as events come to a head. Communications are down, the roads are impassable-and the rule of law is just about to snap.

Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot

Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot

Author: Ace Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 06/05/2014

The iconic, tough-but-tender Boston PI Spenser returns in an outstanding new addition to theNew York Times-bestselling series from author Ace Atkins.Kinjo Heywood is one of the New England Patriots' marquee playersa hard-nosed linebacker who's earned his reputation as one of the toughest guys in the league. When off-field violence repeatedly lands Heywood in the news,his slick agent hires Spenser to find the men who he says have been harassing his client.Heywood's troubles seem to be tied to a nightclub shooting from two years earlier. But when Heywood's nine-year-old son, Akira, is kidnapped, ransom demands are given, and a winding trail through Boston's underworld begins, Spenser puts together his own all-star team of toughs. It will take both Hawk and Spenser's protege, Zebulon Sixkill, to watch Spenser's back and return the child to the football star's sprawling Chestnut Hill mansion. A controversial decision from Heywood only ups the ante as the clock winds down on Akira's future.

The Lost Ones

The Lost Ones

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2014

When Army Ranger Quinn Colson, the new sheriff of Tebbehah County, is called out to investigate a child abuse case, what he finds is a horrifying scene of neglect, thirteen empty cribs, and a shoe box full of money. Janet and Ramon Torres seem to have skipped town - but Colson's sure they'll come back for the cash. Meanwhile, Colson's sister has returned - clean and sober for good she says. His friend Boom has been drinking himself into oblivion and picking fights at the local bar. And his old flame is pregnant. But Colson can't focus on his personal problems. He and Deputy Lillie Virgil are convinced that Janet and Ramon have a taste for guns, drugs, and human trafficking. Soon Colson and Virgil find a link between the fugitive couple and a drug cartel that controls most of the Texas border, taking their investigation far beyond the rough hills of northeast Mississippi...

Robert B. Parker's Wonderland The New Spenser Novel

Robert B. Parker's Wonderland The New Spenser Novel

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/03/2014

Robert B. Parker's Wonderland

Robert B. Parker's Wonderland

Author: Ace Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 07/05/2013

Henry Cimoli and Spenser have been friends for years, yet the old boxing trainer has never asked the private eye for a favor. Until now. A heavy-handed developer is trying to buy up Henry's condo on Revere Beach and sends thugs to move the process along. Soon Spenser and his apprentice, Zebulon Sixkill, find a trail leading to a mysterious and beautiful woman, a megalomaniacal Las Vegas kingpin, and plans to turn to a chunk of land north of Boston into a sprawling casino. Bitter rivals emerge, alliances turn, and the uglier pieces of the Boston political machine look to put an end to Spenser's investigation.Aspiration, greed, and twisted dreams all focus on the old Wonderland dog track where the famous amusement park once fronted the ocean. For Spenser and Z, this simple favor to Henry will become the fight of their lives.

The Ranger

The Ranger

Author: Ace Atkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2013

Northeast Mississippi is hill country, rugged and notorious for outlaws since the Civil War, where killings are as commonplace as they were in the Old West. To Quinn Colson, just back from a tour of Afghanistan, it's home. But home has changed. Quinn returns to a place overrun by corruption. His uncle, the county sheriff, is dead - officially it was suicide, but others whisper murder. In the days that follow, it will be up to Colson, now an Army Ranger, to discover the truth - not only about his uncle, but also about his family, friends, hometown and himself. But once the truth is uncovered, there is no turning back.

Infamous

Infamous

Author: Ace Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 07/03/2013

From "e;one of the best crime writers at work today"e; (Michael Connelly) comes a fast, funny, violent new noir crime classic-a Coen Brothers movie come to life. "e;Devil's Garden is a remarkable book that succeeds on every level."e; (Associated Press)He has been compared to Lehane, Ellroy, and Pelecanos, but Ace Atkins' rich, raucous, passionate blend of historical novel and crime story is all his own-and never more so than in Infamous.In July 1933, the gangster known as George "e;Machine Gun"e; Kelly staged the kidnapping-for-ransom of an Oklahoma oilman. He would live to regret it. Kelly was never the sharpest knife in the drawer, and what started clean soon became messy, as two of his partners cut themselves into the action; a determined former Texas Ranger makes tracking Kelly his mission; and Kelly's wife, ever alert to her own self-interest, starts playing both ends against the middle.The result is a mesmerizing tale set in the first days of the modern FBI, featuring one of the best femmes fatale in history-the Lady Macbeth of Depression-era crime-a great unexpected hero, and some of the most colorful supporting characters in recent crime fiction.

Devil's Garden

Devil's Garden

Author: Ace Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 07/03/2013

From the critically acclaimed, award-nominated author comes a new noir crime classic about one of the most notorious trials in American history. Critics called Ace Atkins's Wicked City "e;gripping, superb"e; (Library Journal), "e;stunning"e; (The Tampa Tribune), "e;terrific"e; (Associated Press), "e;riveting"e; (Kirkus Reviews), "e;wicked good"e; (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), and "e;Atkins' best novel"e; (The Washington Post). But Devil's Garden is something else again.San Francisco, September 1921: Silent-screen comedy star Roscoe "e;Fatty"e; Arbuckle is throwing a wild party in his suite at the St. Francis Hotel: girls, jazz, bootleg hooch... and a dead actress named Virginia Rappe. The D.A. says it was Arbuckle who killed her-crushing her under his weight-and brings him up on manslaughter charges. William Randolph Hearst's newspapers stir up the public and demand a guilty verdict. But what really happened? Why do so many people at the party seem to have stories that conflict? Why is the prosecution hiding witnesses? Why are there body parts missing from the autopsied corpse? Why is Hearst so determined to see Fatty Arbuckle convicted?In desperation, Arbuckle's defense team hires a Pinkerton agent to do an investigation of his own and, they hope, discover the truth. The agent's name is Dashiell Hammett, and he's the book's narrator. What he discovers will change American legal history-and his own life-forever."e;The historical accuracy isn't what elevates Atkins' prose to greatness,"e; said The Tampa Tribune. "e;It's his ability to let these characters breathe in a way that few authors could ever imagine. He doesn't so much write them as unleash them upon the page."e; You will not soon forget the extraordinary characters and events in Devil's Garden.

Wicked City

Wicked City

Author: Ace Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 07/03/2013

In 1955, Look magazine called Phenix City, Alabama, 'The Wickedest City in America,' a stew of organized crime and corruption, run by a machine that dealt with complaints forcefully and with dispatch. When crime-fighting attorney Albert Patterson is gunned down in a Phenix City alley in the spring of 1954, the entire town seems to pause just for a moment-and when it starts up again, there is something different about it. A small group of men meet and decide that they have had enough, but what that means and where it will take them is something they could not have foreseen. Over the course of the next several months, lives will change, people will die, and unexpected heroes will emerge - 'like a Randolph Scott western,' one of them remarks, 'played out not with horses and Winchesters but with Chevys and .38s and switchblades.'Atkins draws from the worlds of pulp and Faulkner in Wicked City, using characters from the town's true history to tell a story of the best and worst of morality, and the ambiguity in between.Critical Praise:"e;This is the classic Western tale of good vs. evil, 'played out not with horses and Winchesters but with Chevys and Fords and .38s and switchblades.' The result is a gripping, superb crime story, all the more remarkable because it really did happen. Highly recommended."e; Library Journal

White Shadow

White Shadow

Author: Ace Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 07/03/2013

From "e;a singular voice in fiction"e; (USA Today) comes a remarkable new novel about one of the most infamous murders in Florida history. Tampa, Florida, 1955: a city pulsing with Sicilian and Cuban gangsters, smoky clubs, cigar factories, light and voices and rum. The bludgeoning death of mob boss Charlie Wall sends shock waves rippling through the communities, sets cops and reporters and associates, known and unknown, scrambling to discover the truth. And the truth is that there are many more surprises to come. As the trail winds through rich neighborhoods and poor, enmeshing the innocent and corrupt alike, all the way down to the streets of pre-revolutionary Havana, an extraordinary story of revenge, honor and greed begins to emerge. But that is only the beginning. For Charlie Wall had his secrets, and he guarded them well. And those secrets will have repercussions.

Robert B. Parker's Lullaby

Robert B. Parker's Lullaby

Author: Ace Atkins Format: eBook Release Date: 01/05/2012

When fourteen-year-old Mattie Sullivan asks Spenser to look into her mother's murder, he's not completely convinced by her claim that the police investigation four years ago was botched. Mattie is gruff, street-smart, and wise beyond her years, left to care for her younger siblings and an alcoholic grandmother in a dilapidated apartment in South Boston. But her need for closure and her determination to make things right hit Spenser where he livesthey're the very characteristics he abides by. Mattie believes the man convicted of the crime is innocent, and points Spenser to the Southie toughs she saw carrying her mother away hours before her murder. Neither the Boston PD nor the neighborhood thugs are keen on his dredging up the past, but as Spenser becomes more involved in the case, he starts to realize that Mattie may be on to something. He will need Hawk's help to find peace for Mattiea job that's more dangerous than Spenser ever thought.

In Pursuit of Spenser Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero

In Pursuit of Spenser Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero

Author: Ace Atkins, Lawrence Block, Reed Farrel Coleman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/04/2012

**2013 Edgar Awards nominee in Critical/Biographical** **2013 Anthony Award nominee in Best Critical Nonfiction** Join award-winning mystery editor Otto Penzler and a first-rate lineup of mystery writers as they go in pursuit of Spenser and the man who created him, Robert B. Parker. These are the writers who knew Parker best professionally and personally, sharing memories of the man, reflections on his impact on the genre, and insights into what makes Spenser so beloved. Ace Atkins, the author chosen to take up Parker's pen and continue the Spenser series, relates the formative impact Spenser had on him as a young man; gourmet cook Lyndsay Faye describes the pleasures of Spenser's dinner table; Lawrence Block explains the irresistibility of Parker's literary voice; and more. In Pursuit of Spenser pays tribute to Spenser, and Parker, with affection, humor, and a deep appreciation for what both have left behind. **Includes a reprinted piece on Spenser from Robert B. Parker Contributors: Ace Atkins Lawrence Block Reed Farrel Coleman Max Allan Collins Matthew Clemens Brendan DuBois Loren D. Estleman Lyndsay Faye Ed Gorman Parnell Hall Jeremiah Healy Dennis Lehane Gary Phillips S.J. Rozan