Wicked City

Wicked City

by Ace Atkins


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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Quinn Colson series comes a “noir crime classic”(Mystery Ink) about one of the most notorious towns in American history.
When crime-fighting attorney Albert Patterson is gunned down in a Phenix City, Alabama, alley in the spring of 1954, the entire town seems to pause for just a moment—and when it starts up again, there is something different about it. A small group of men meet and decide they have had enough, but what that means and where it will take them is something they could not have foreseen. Over the course of the next several months, lives will change, people die, and unexpected heroes emerge—like “a Randolph Scott western,” one of them remarks, “played out not with horses and Winchesters, but with Chevys and .38s and switchblades.”

Peopled by an extraordinary cast of characters, both real and fictional, Wicked City is a novel of uncommon intensity, rich with atmosphere, filled with sensuality and surprise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425227077
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/07/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 417,347
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(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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Wicked City 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
AFDoc More than 1 year ago
I love this book. You will need to read it twice to pick-up character details you missed in the first 2 chapters. It does start a little slow and the characters are a tad difficult to keep track of in the beginning. Press on, it's worth it! Great story, a piece of history of which I was totally ignorant. The book is historically accurate (I did some research myself after reading) and a fantastic read. I will pick up more Atkins just because of this book.
KWR57 More than 1 year ago
True story. Great storyline. Good characterization. A quick and easy read. I'm a big fan of historical fiction and Wicked is real good example for the genre.
BerkeleyBob More than 1 year ago
I had some doubts about a writer whose first name is Ace, but this re-telling of the corruption and vice in Phenix City, conveniently across the state line from Fort Benning and the clean up by martial law was fascinating. I dimly remember the B movie, titled Phenix City Confidential, but Atkins has an interesting web site with some original material about this hell hole. Well written, based on historical fact. There is some raw, brutal stuff here--not for the weak stomached. Hard to believe things got this bad in Georgia--made my excursions to Tiajuana as young horny sailor seem kind of tame.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I live in this area and worked for Phenix City PD. The history of the area is very colorful to say the least. I can relate to the locations in the book. Although I was born the year Patterson was shot I have heard the tales from many that were old enough to remember. Very good read and very factual.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Wicked City Ace Atkins Putnam, Apr 2008, $24.95 ISBN: 9780399154577 1954 Phenix City, Alabama, just across the Chattahoochee state boundary from Columbus, Georgia has a population of 23, 305 most of which are law abiding citizens, but running the town is the redneck mafia affectionately called the Phenix City Machine. The economy is fueled by illegal activity although a group of concerned citizens, the Russell County Betterment Association (RBA), want gambling and prostitution stopped and the sale of illegal alcohol (moonshine to you northerners) controlled. --- Alabama¿s newly elected State Attorney General Albert Patterson is in town when someone assassinates him, gangland style. The RBA membership is outraged by the hit and led by former professional boxer Lamar Murphy are determined that the killer and his employers, who everyone knows run the redneck mafia face a jury not of their peers as they demand justice. Tensions mount between the RBA and Phenix City machine until they boil over when Lamar is named temporary sheriff and marital law is imposed by the National Guard. High noon has arrived at Phenix City. --- As he did with true 1950s events in Florida (see WHITE SHADOW), Ace Atkins does likewise with Phenix City, Alabama (see When Good Men Do Nothing: The Assassination of Albert Patterson by Alan Grady). The story line focuses on the abuse of power by avariciouse souls sponsoring and tasting vice and those courageous enough to challenge them the ultimate civil war between the RBA and the redneck mafia. Thus readers obtain an interesting historical account in which decadence and corruption rule a WICKED CITY, but with so many players involved and bribes making it easy for some to switch teams, it is difficult to keep score still Mr. Atkins brings to life a town so depraved that nearby Fort Benning brass suggested artillery shelling it back to the mud age. --- Harriet Klausner