cover image The Revelators

The Revelators

Ace Atkins. Putnam, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525539-49-0

At the start of bestseller Atkins’s subpar 10th Quinn Colson novel (after 2019’s The Shameless), Colson, the sheriff of Mississippi’s Tibbehah County, is bleeding out after being shot multiple times in the back during an ambush by members of a militia group. Implausibly, he’s soon on the mend, and the brush with death barely slows him down in his subsequent inquiry into the assault, which he believes was the work of strip club operator Fannie Hathcock, who runs drugs and guns, has bashed in an enemy’s head with a hammer, and whose powerful friends include the governor. Brock Tanner, the interim sheriff appointed during Colson’s recovery, hampers Colson’s investigation. Like Hathcock, Tanner isn’t painted with any shades of gray, and he happily collaborates with ICE agents to round up people of color working at the local chicken processing ranch. The quest to take down Hathcock and Tanner feels familiar, and no character has the depth Atkins displayed in his mysteries based on true crime. This entry suggests the series may be running out of steam. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (July)