The Innocents By Ace Atkins-A Review

Welcome back to Tibbehah County, Mississippi !. If your view of humankind runs cynical, dark, and depraved, this is the book for you. The latest to feature Quinn Colson and Lillie Virgil, it paints a truly grim picture of life in small-town Mississippi. Corruption and misery seem as endemic to this place as the cicadas and heat; Lillie Virgil fights a hard battle against the tide as acting sheriff with Quinn as Deputy. There’s mayhem, murder, race, drugs, a titty bar, moonshine,  bikers, Jesus, dirty politicians, guns, rednecks, and football involved. Whew!

I’ve been following this series from the beginning. The books just keep getting better and grittier, if possible. I lived for while in that part of Mississippi (a long, long, long time ago) and, while there is no actual Tibbehah County, Atkins’ description runs fairly accurate. Let it be known that I am not, shall we say, a fan of the state of Mississippi, despite having been born, bred, raised, and schooled there. I escaped after grad school. When people ask me, “Why don’t you go home?” I look at them like they’re crazy. They make laws against people like me there. I think it might be one of the states that still has a law on the books prohibiting an atheist to run for election. Not to mention that I’m Jewish, neutrois, and queer! Oh, yeah, a trifecta for being accepted down in Dixie! But I digress from the review. This is an outstanding book in the series. Read it for the mystery; read it for the grit; read it for the characters. I don’t care-just read it!

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