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Buried secrets, dirty lies, and unbridled greed and ambition raise the stakes down South in the lauded crime series from New York Times bestselling author Ace Atkins.
Twenty years ago, Brandon Taylor was thought to be just another teen boy who ended his life too soon. That's what almost everyone in Tibbehah County, Mississippi, said after his body and hunting rifle were found in the Big Woods. Now two New York-based reporters show up asking Sheriff Quinn Colson questions about the Taylor case. What happened to the evidence? Where are the missing files? Who really killed Brandon?
Quinn wants to help. After all, his wife Maggie was a close friend of Brandon Taylor. But Quinn was just a kid himself in 1997, and these days he's got more on his plate than twenty-year-old suspicious death. He's trying to shut down the criminal syndicate that's had a stranglehold on Tibbehah for years, trafficking drugs, stolen goods, and young women through the MidSouth. Truck stop madam Fannie Hathcock runs most of that action, and has her eyes on taking over the whole show. And then there's Senator Jimmy Vardaman, who's cut out the old political establishment riding the Syndicate's money and power--plus a hefty helping of racism and ignorance--straight to the governor's office. If he manages to get elected, the Syndicate will be untouchable. Tibbehah will be lawless.
Quinn's been fighting evil and corruption since he was a kid, at home or as a U.S. Army Ranger in Afghanistan and Iraq. This time, evil may win out.
In bestseller Atkins's gritty ninth Quinn Colson novel (after 2018's The Sinners), Colson, the sheriff of Tibbehah County, Miss., is alarmed by the growing popularity of Jimmy Vardaman, a gubernatorial candidate who dismisses accusations of racism as "fake news." Vardaman has appeared on the fringes of Colson's corruption investigations, but the sheriff has been unable to get sufficient evidence to bring charges. Colson hopes that will change after he gets custody of Wes Taggart, a lowlife who attempted to kill one of Colson's friends, who he believes is connected with Vardaman. Meanwhile, Tashi Coleman, the host of a true crime podcast, has arrived in Tibbehah County to look into a 20-year-old mystery the death of 15-year-old Brandon Taylor. Taylor went missing in the woods, only to be found a week later, dead of a gunshot wound. Tashi has doubts about the rigor of the investigation led by the sheriff at the time, Quinn's uncle, Hamp Beckett. The suspense rises as the two cases converge. Atkins makes the thrilling plot accessible for first-timers, while further deepening both main and secondary characters. Series fans will be eager to see what's next in store for Quinn. Author tour.