cover image The Broken Places

The Broken Places

Ace Atkins. Putnam, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-16178-0

At the outset of bestseller Atkins’s strong third Quinn Colson novel (after 2012’s The Rangers), Jamey Dixon returns to his native Jericho, Miss., to start a church and preach the good word after being pardoned for a murder conviction. While Dixon has his critics—namely Ophelia Bundren, who happens to be the sister of the woman Dixon supposedly killed—he finds solace in the arms of Caddy Colson, who’s the sister of the local sheriff, Quinn Colson, Atkins’s laconic everyman. Quinn suspects Dixon of being nothing more than a huckster, yet he prefers to stay out of his sister’s affairs, even when Ophelia urges him to protect Caddy. But when two escaped convicts come seeking revenge on Dixon, the town of Jericho is thrown into turmoil and Quinn is forced to act to keep law and order—even if that means defending Dixon. Amid the full-throttle plot, Atkins never loses sight of his characters’ sensitivities. Author tour. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (June)