cover image The Forsaken

The Forsaken

Ace Atkins. Putnam, $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-16179-7

Lean prose, solid pacing, and a compelling lead distinguish bestseller Atkins’s gritty fourth Quinn Colson novel. The aftermath of the violence that ended the previous entry, The Broken Places (2013), continues to enmesh Colson, the sheriff of Jericho, Miss., though the former U.S. Ranger also has two cold cases to unravel. On July 4, 1977, a driver stopped his car on a country road and accosted 17-year-old Diane Tull and her 14-year-old friend, Lori Stillwell. The stranger shot Lori to death after raping Diane. When Lori’s father urges the now middle-aged Diane to finally get the case reinvestigated, Quinn agrees to take on the job. Along the way, Quinn comes across a related unsolved murder that ends up striking close to home. That Quinn resembles the late Robert B. Parker’s Spenser—both are uncomplicated, principled men unafraid to use violence to protect themselves and others—isn’t surprising, since Atkins now writes the continuation of the Spenser series. [em]Author tour. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (July) [/em]