Martha's Reviews > The Lost Ones

The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins
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Jul 04, 2012

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For me, some of my favorite summer reading is what I like to think of as "regional" fiction, in which an author's familiarity with a place in the U.S. fleshes out the character of a location along with the characters who live there. Ace Atkins is an author who does this beautifully. His place is rural Mississippi, where opportunities for work and personal fulfillment are, to say the least, limited. Want to see the world? Join the army. Which is what more than a few of the characters dwelling in this novel have done. They're not better off for it, but use their grit and wits to survive in the ravished landscape they returned to from other ravished worlds. Which lends a bittersweet kind of humor to life in the small towns of Tibbehah County, where veteran Quinn Colson is trying to maintain law and order. I found myself growing quite fond of this homegrown bunch of struggling souls toting handguns, chain smoking, and chowing down on fried food. Here's a place where a 10 year resident is described as a newcomer, where children grow up fast, and life expectancy isn't the highest on the planet. There's a lot of shady dealing going on. Quinn either knows or suspects who's up to no good. Some acts are forgivable, some aren't, and some are so mixed up with a little bit of good, a little bit of bad that it's hard to know what's right and what's wrong. Sometimes it's a matter of justice, and sometimes that justice isn't quite within the scope of the law.

I look forward to reading more in this series. The characters have a lot of living to do (Quinn and his deputy are in their late 20s) and some interesting things could happen.
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