The Ranger (Quinn Colson Series #1)

The Ranger (Quinn Colson Series #1)

by Ace Atkins


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Fans of Justified and James Lee Burke will love Mississippi lawman Quinn Colson…
The first Quinn Colson novel from the author of The Lost Ones, The Broken Places,  and The Forsaken

After years of war, Army Ranger Quinn Colson returns home to the rugged, rough hill country of northeast Mississippi to find his native Tibbehah County overrun with corruption, decay, meth runners, and violence. His uncle, the longtime county sheriff, is dead. A suicide, he’s told, but others—like tomboy deputy Lillie Virgil—whisper murder.

In the days that follow, it’s up to Colson to discover the truth, not only about his uncle, but about his family, his friends, his town, and himself. And once it’s discovered, there’s no going back for this real hero of the Deep South.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425247495
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Series: Quinn Colson Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 105,590
Product dimensions: 5.52(w) x 8.04(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ace Atkins is the New York Times bestselling author of the Quinn Colson novels, the first two of which—The Ranger and The Lost Ones—were nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel (he also has a third Edgar nomination for his short story, “Last Fair Deal Gone Down”). In addition, he is the author of several New York Times bestselling novels in the continuation of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series. Before turning to fiction, he was a correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times, a crime reporter for the Tampa Tribune, and, in college, played defensive end for the undefeated Auburn University football team (for which he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated). He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

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Excerpted from "The Ranger"
by .
Copyright © 2012 Ace Atkins.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“I have always been impressed with (jealous of) how easy Ace Atkins makes it look. The Ranger is by far his best work…I hope Quinn Colson and Lillie Virgil stick around for a good long time.”—Michael Connelly

“Atkins has written a bunch of great thrillers, but this one sets up a series that should push him to the top of the bestseller list.”—John Sandford
“A dark, headlong crime story set in the Mississippi hill country and teeming with corrupt officials, murderous meth dealers and Southern femmes fatales.”— St. Petersburg Times

Customer Reviews

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The Ranger 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
PoCoKat More than 1 year ago
I am so thrilled to discover another amazing author. Ace Atkins is brilliant in portraying the corruption in modern day northeast Mississippi. The Ranger, Quinn Colson, a career army soldier returns home for the first time in six years to attend his beloved uncle's funeral. He immediately senses the changes in his hometown of Jericho not just with the newcomers but with people he has known all his life. But then how well do we really know those around us. Quinn Colson acts quickly to stabilize and eliminate the corruption that has overtaken Jericho in the years since he has been gone. It is action packed and full of twists and turns. It was hard to put this book down. This poverty-stricken area of the south which provided the dark, gritty background filled with contemptuous characters made for an amazing combination perfect for our hero, The Ranger. I highly recommend this exciting crime thriller and am looking forward to more of my new hero, Quinn Colson's adventures in Jericho, Mississippi.
Sicilian More than 1 year ago
This is the second Ace Atkins book that I've read and I'm anxious to read the follow up on The Ranger. I could "feel" the south by the descriptions and felt like I knew The Ranger. Ace Atkins writes the particular genre that I'm drawn to but definately has his own voice. Mr. Atkins is also going to be writing the Spenser character in a new book sanctioned by Robert B. Parker's family. With the Parker family seal of approval, you know he's got to be good.
harstan More than 1 year ago
On duty in Afghanistan U.S. Army Ranger Quinn Colson returns home to Jericho, Mississippi to attend the funeral of his beloved role model Uncle Hampton Beckett. Quinn is stunned when he arrives home to learn his uncle the town's former sheriff committed suicide. Long time friend Deputy Lillie Virgil rejects the notion that Hampton shot himself. She believes he was murdered. Knowing Lillie is not a person to pull punches, Quinn makes inquiries into his uncle's death only to find official and unofficial opposition. He learns that while he was serving his country, meth deals own Jericho. Though threatened with violence, Quinn with Lillie covering his back fights the drug dealers and corrupt officials closing their eyes on chemical cooking. This is an exciting violent homecoming filled with non stop action as Quinn finds Mississippi burning as much as Afghanistan. Fast-paced though following the classic theme of a lone cowboy cleaning up a corrupt outlaw town (see Bronson's Mr. Majestyk and Ladd's Shane), the freshness comes from a subplot in which Quinn muses about what he would be if he never left Mississippi. Readers will not be able to put down Colson's return to Jericho. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book of its type - the tough guy with the heart of gold, come to clean up Dodge City, type. Pure escapism, very well done.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Quinn Colson first appeared in “The Ranger,” and now, in this follow-up novel, faces a couple of situations that really put him to the test. As sheriff in a northern Mississippi county, he has to apply not only the skills he learned in the army, but a lot of common sense and a certain amount of diplomatic talent. First, a high school friend recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan now runs a local gun shop and shooting range. Colson suspects him to be the source of U.S. Army rifles which turn up in the hands of a Mexican gang. Meanwhile, a case involving an abused child leads Colson to discovering a bootleg baby racket. While raiding the place where the babies are being kept before they’re sold, Colson and his deputy, Lillie Virgil, discover that the two cases somehow converge. As the investigation progresses, lots of action takes place, sometimes reminding the reader of an actual military operation, led by General Colson, rather than sheriff Colson. The characters are colorfully drawn, and the dialogue is vibrant. The novel is sort of a cross between an old-fashioned western and a modern day crime novel and reads well, and is recommended.
beachpolly More than 1 year ago
It takes a while to solve the mystery.
Kbeck More than 1 year ago
I have found a new series !
bernardo8 More than 1 year ago
perfect book for the beach,plane or train. action packed & a page turner.
Sansabiel More than 1 year ago
great characters, great dialogue,
SallyRose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An Army Ranger, on leave from Afghanistan, returns home to attend an Uncle¿s funeral and finds he is the owner of the Uncle¿s home and that the town has a mess of bad hombres. The main characters are Quinn Colson as the Ranger with Lillie Virgil and Boom Kimbrough and Johnny T. Stagg as the elusive bad guy.The story takes place in a small town in Mississippi. The action never stops and you can smell the dust as Quinn tries to clean up the Meth gang operation. The gang thought this small town was an easy mark with allies ready to make some quick cash.This is such a well-written thriller. I really enjoyed all of the writing, characters, and action. I am looking forward to the further adventures of Quinn, the Army Ranger.
bjkelley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Started a little bit slow for me, but once I got into the flow of his writing I really enjoyed the book and have already started the next one in the series.
norinrad10 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've read earlier writings from Atkins and he's good. Books are always set in Mississippi and he seems to capture the feeling. This one appears to be the begging of a series. As such it shows great promise. The characters are interesting, as well as the locale. It does need some more fleshing out, but perhaps thats a good thing as it will give characters room to grow. I look forward to future tales.
ethel55 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quinn Colson is a Ranger, on leave to attend his uncle's funeral back home in Mississippi. The town Jericho has changed a lot and yet not at all, as small southern towns tend to be somewhat frozen in time. The 21st century rears its head with out of town rabble cooking up meth in labs all around the county. Quinn wonders how much his uncle was invovled in these investigations and doggedly pursues answers in his own unique way. More of a doer, like a Jack Reacher, I think Quinn will be able to hold his own in what seems to be the beginning of a new series.
lchav52 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Quinn Colson, Army Ranger, returns home for his uncle's funeral, he finds more than he expects. First he learns that the uncle's death was suicide, then that an unsavory county supervisor claims a lien on his property. Unable to believe his uncle, the county sheriff, was either mixed up with the supervisor or that he shot himself, Quinn finds an ally in an old acquaintance, the only female deputy in the county. What they discover goes far beyond Quinn and his uncle.This book is the beginning of a new series, and, if it is anything by which to judge, it will be a popular one. In Quinn Colson, Mr. Atkins has created a character with breadth and depth that reaches beyond his taciturn demeanor. One reviewer has characterized the book as a classic Western, set in modern Mississippi, and it is that, what with the strong, silent-type hero battling corruption in high places, but it is also more. The secondary characters are not merely cardboard cutouts, in place to show off the hero, but complex in themselves, and their interactions with him promise more than a simplistic duality of good-versus-evil to come.I eagerly anticipate the next episode.
tomray on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my 1st Ace Atkins book. I got this as a Early Reviewer and could not put it down once I finally started reading it.There are no slow spots.If your a fan of Lee Childs I'm sure you'll enjoy this book.I intend to now spend the summer with a new author to read.
Boobalack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a four-star book until the ending when it earned another star. Many times I figure out things before the end, but that did not happen this time. An author often points the way to answers without meaning to do so. Mr. Atkins does not. At least he didn¿t in this book, which is the first one of his that I¿ve read. It makes me want to read more by him.For the most part, the book was very believable, but there were a couple of things that didn¿t ring true. For instance, I find it hard to believe that a pregnant teen could walk very far along a highway and then find her boyfriend quite by accident in a different state from where they began. Another thing is that I could never figure out why Quinn was traveling south when going from Columbus/Ft. Benning, Georgia to Jericho, Mississippi. One would travel to the northwest to get from Ft. Benning to Jericho. It is fiction, after all, so I didn¿t let this spoil it for me.The plot is most interesting and held my attention from the beginning. Quinn is going home for the funeral of his uncle, the sheriff of the county, who supposedly committed suicide. A few people, including his former and still active deputy, do not believe it was a suicide. It seems there was a large drug problem in this rural area, and it was thought that he was trying to put a stop to it.The characters are brought to life very well by the author, and the descriptions of the filth where the drug dealers live were very realistic. I almost felt dirty after reading a few of them!When Quinn leaves to go back to duty at Ft. Benning, it is apparent that there is more to the story. I¿ll be waiting to read the next book in the series, unlike some where I haven¿t cared whether I read more or not.Well done, Mr. Atkins.
stang50logan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is one that is very compelling and does not have any slow spots. Was a very fun book to read and truly liked the characters. Was a little dissapointed with the end of the book though, Should have ended up with Lillie.
datrappert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by Atkins, and I am impressed with his writing style. It is almost effortless, while conveying a lot of emotion and impact. Atkins also creates a lot of interesting characters, and even the worst of them have a few traces of humanity that makes them real rather than just cardboard villains. There is also a great deal of well-described violence in this story of an Army Ranger, Quinn Colson, back in his Mississippi home town for the funeral of his uncle, the town's sheriff. Guess what? He finds a lot of shady things going on, involving a town councilman, some meth-producing Aryan Nation members, a nutcase preacher, a pregnant teenager, and a few other assorted folks. Luckily, he also has allies, including a female deputy and another Afghan war vet whose loss of an arm hasn't affected his ability to shoot straight.On the negative side, as the first entry in a series, this book leaves a few threads hanging, which keeps it from being as good as it could be based on the author's ability. While the basic story is resolved, Colson has some personal issues at the end of the book that we'll have to wait until the next volume to resolve, or perhaps Atkins will drag out the inevitable for a few more volumes. My other criticism of the book is its length. I guess these days people expect a book they plop down their hard-earned cash for to have a certain heft, but this would have been a better story if were about fifty pages shorter. It tends to meander a bit in the middle before getting to its conclusion.
csayban on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Army Ranger Quinn Colson journeys home to the small town of Jericho, Mississippi for the funeral of his uncle, the sheriff, he finds far more questions than answers waiting. His uncle¿s death is listed as a suicide, but some think it is murder. Corruption has seized the town as the greed of commercial development has allowed drug runners and swindlers to take over. Quinn becomes embroiled in a conflict to save his uncle¿s property and finds out he can trust almost nobody. It is time for the Ranger to take a stand.The proof copy of The Ranger makes it clear that this is the beginning of a series built around the character of Quinn Colson. Atkins does a nice job of creating an environment and populating it with interesting characters. He paints a stark portrait of rural Mississippi that feels authentic. Atkins also creates some very engaging characters, but he seems so focused on Quinn that the other characters get left underdeveloped. The storytelling moves along at a good, clean pace, never slowing the story. However, the dialog seems to lurch along at times in an attempt to give it an `authentic voice.¿ But these are small criticisms.The herculean problem with The Ranger lies with its main character. Quinn Colson is set up as the tough as nails solder with a heart of gold. Right from the start he goes out of his way to help a lost, broke, pregnant woman on the side of the road as reinforcement to this image. However, he contradicts himself throughout the rest of the story. There is little attempt to explain why Quinn would do the things that he does. Quinn motivation for undertaking his unorthodox mission only makes sense as the retelling of every spaghetti western told since the days of black and white television - he is the good guy and he is fighting the bad guys. That¿s enough, right? Quinn refuses an offer to buy his uncle¿s land because it has been in his family¿s name for generations, even though he has no intention of moving back to the town and he doesn¿t seem to like anyone in his family. His friends, family and even perfect strangers are never once in any kind of jeopardy until Quinn makes a point to put them there. Why? Because we can¿t have a hero if there isn¿t any conflict¿even if he is the one creating it. But it gets worse. One moment Quinn is deep in thought about how as a platoon sergeant he had to show restraint and be a father figure to his men. To be a professional. The next moment he is gleefully wounding the bad guys with a compound bow. Yes, I said wounding! Yes, I said gleefully! I have family members who are both Army Rangers and law enforcement and I can tell you that is not something they are trained to do¿or would ever do. And they certainly wouldn¿t do it like this:¿Two Cracking shots. A man yelled.Quinn smiled. Boom was having a time, having found the right spot for the deer rifle, loaded, balanced and sighted right down the path¿Quinn took a breath and steadied himself, letting the string go and zipping an arrow right into Gowrie¿s shoulder blade, knocking him forward and then backwards to his knees, the AK chattering away up into the laced branches overhead.Quinn smiled again and reached for another arrow.¿As if to emphasize the point, few moments later we get Quinn shooting a man in the groin. This might be the way somebody might dream of taking revenge on someone and attempting to scare them off, but it isn¿t the way a trained solder operates, much less a veteran Army Ranger. Atkins also manages to paint everyone in law enforcement as inept or corrupt. We even get the quintessential Tombstone-esc scene with the big showdown in the middle of town where real law enforcement has run for cover and only Quinn and his buddies can come and save the day. The whole story becomes cliché and simply topples like a house of cards, complete with an unsatisfying ending. The Ranger is built off of the grand storytelling history of the lone good guy vs. the corrupt
Twink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ace Atkins was a new to me author. But he was quickly added to my 'must read authors' list. His latest novel The Ranger (releases June 9th) is phenomenal!Quinn Colson, an Army Ranger, returns to his hometown of Jericho in Tibbehah County, Mississippi. He's on leave to attend the funeral of his Uncle Hamp, who was the sheriff of Jericho. Quinn hasn't been home in almost seven years. As he reconnects with his past, the underbelly of Tibbehah County shows itself. Meth dealers, crooked politicians and wounded souls populate the county. Determined to hold on to a piece of family property, Quinn decides to stick around for a bit. Aided by his old friend Boom, back from Iraq minus an arm, and Lillie Virgil - a female deputy as tough as nails, Quinn goes head to head with the slime bent on taking whatever they want in Tibbehah County.Atkins has put a great spin on the old fashioned western. Our heroes are those who have faced the horrors of war and have come home to find just as ugly a war on the home front. Racism, drugs and corruption are all coiled like a snake under the front porch, waiting to strike.The dialogue is short and terse, with no unnecessary speeches to clutter up the action. It just adds to the overall tone of the book. Much is said by the words left unspoken. The characters populating the novel are all vividly drawn. The landscape and settings are just as stark and gritty. I had a clear picture in my head as I read.Or rather, raced through the book. I literally could not put it down.The action is fast and furious. Secondary plots involving past relationships and new relatives do add a human touch to Quinn's character. The ending is set up for the second book in the series - due out in summer of 2012. One I will be picking up for sure. 'Cause we all need a hero...Fans of Lee Child's Jack Reacher will find a new favourite character in Quinn Colson. This would also appeal to fans of Randy Wayne White and James Lee Burke where setting is such an important part of the book.
JosephLYoung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quinn, a Career Army Ranger returns to his home in Tibbehah County, Mississippi after six years, for his uncle and county sheriff's funeral. Not everything is the way it was or even the way it seems. His former girl has married a local boy that went to medical school while Quinn was training and fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the people he had grown up among had changed. Who could he trust and rely upon? Crooked politicians, dishonest developers and everyone on the take made dealing with Meth labs set up around the county extra risky. Who on the local police force can he trust or count on? This is a great story of the strong, quiet, tough Ranger going against a rigged deck. The drug heads and cookers don't count on the resourcefulness of a professional soldier when they tried pushing him, his family and friends too hard. If you like a book busting at the seams with suspense and moment to moment action, this is a book you should rush to own. I was unable to sit it down and finished it in a marathon day even though it is a full 334 pages with little white space. Really a captivation read with characters that describe life in the south from southern gentlemen to poor white trash and all levels between. If you have spent any time living in the south, these are characters that you will readily identify and enjoy sharing some of your life with. Make space on your shelves, this is an important book and author.
velopunk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Ranger is Quinn Colson, an Army Ranger, and veteran of multiple tours in Iran and Afghanistan. He has come back to his small, backwoods Mississippi hometown for his uncle's funeral. His Uncle Hamp was the county sheriff and has died in a suicide, or was it homicide? The county has seen an invasion of meth cooking, Arayan Brotherhood, fundamentalist cretins led by a man named Gowrie.All kinds of townspeople icluding the sheriff? look the other way at Gowrie due to the money generated by the meth labs. I was ready for a Buford Pusser type novel but Colson never officially joins the Sheriffs department, at least in this first installment of the Ranger series. I'm guessing it will be a series because the path is leading Colson to run for the office.He has been wounded in the fight with Gowrie and assigned to Ranger training back in Columbus, Georgia. He doesn't like riding a desk but he wants to get his twenty years in with the army. I don't think he will make it.The book is entertaining and is full of interesting characters like the tomboy deputy, Colson's Elvis worshipping mother, his stripper sister, and a one-armed Black Iraq vet named Boom. I look forward to a sequel.
cdhtenn2k10 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tightly written with sharp dialog and real characters, this one was hard to put down. The South portrayed in this book rings very true. The drugs and corruption that make up the plot are real issues, adding to the authenticity of the story. Also, Atkins doesn't over hype the main character's military service or skills. Quinn Colson isn't a Special Forces superman, which is nice for a change.At the end of the book the main character is left with a choice, and the decision goes unmade. Too many author would end the book with the main character making that decision as the set up for the next book. Instead, Atkins leaves that as the starting point for the next book, which is a good choice for an ending.This is a very satisfying crime thriller with right amounts of violence, tension, and characterization. An excellent start to a new series.
bitsy08 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another free book and another good read. I'd never read Ace Atkins before but will look for more in the future. Also hope he writes more about Quinn and Lillie. More story to write about those two. This book was good from the get-go.
zmagic69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ace atkins is back! I read the Nick Teravers series as they came out and was upset that they did not continue, but this new series should continue the excellent storytelling of this author. This story is a little slow out of the gate, but one thing I really liked is that it was no predictable about how it would end. Like a James Lee Burke book this story wraps around you so well you can almost smell, the environment in which it takes place. I can't wait for the next one.