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The Revelators: A Quinn Colson Novel

Review

The Revelators: A Quinn Colson Novel

It isn’t really all that difficult to believe that THE REVELATORS is the 10th installment in Ace Atkins’ Quinn Colson series in as many years. Atkins has matched quality with quantity, maintaining a superlative standard while also keeping Robert B. Parker’s Spenser canon humming at the level maintained by its creator. This latest entry keeps Atkins’ string on the series intact, meeting and surpassing what has gone before with a story that is almost impossible to put down.

At the end of THE SHAMELESS, Colson wasn’t singing in the choir invisible but certainly heard the pitch pipe before the organ started playing. His questionable status was the result of an ambush carried out at the behest of Fannie Hathcock, the owner-operator of an established strip club in Tibbehah County, not to mention other forms of vice and criminal activity. The book’s present finds Colson slowly recuperating from gunshot wounds and dealing with a burgeoning addiction to pain medication that he is attempting (unsuccessfully) to conceal from his wife, who is in the late stages of her pregnancy.

"Atkins infuses THE REVELATORS with some of his best writing to date (which is no small feat), as well as a healthy dose of grim humor, which is the frosting on a narrative that never lets you guess quite where it is going."

A new sheriff has been appointed by the governor in the wake of Colson’s incapacity, supposedly to bring law and order back to the area. Given that he and the governor have a similar moral compass --- both are so crooked that neither of them could lay down in a roundhouse --- Colson despairs that things in Tibbehah County are now worse than when he first came back to restore lawfulness to the area. An additional factor is that some residents who are in a bad way find themselves in dire straits, thanks to the governor’s connections and greed.

Fortunately, Colson’s friends in law enforcement are returning to bring his assailant and Hathcock to justice, as well as possibly right some additional wrongs along the way. Colson assists when he can, but in THE REVELATORS he shares billing with a wide cast of characters --- including his adopted son, his sister, and an ex-convict who seems to be playing both ends against the middle for a purpose that is only gradually revealed. A number of folks who have been introduced in various installments of this addicting series are taken off the radar, a couple of new ones are introduced, and we are gifted with a blast or two from the past.

The series started strongly and has gotten better with each entry. Atkins infuses THE REVELATORS with some of his best writing to date (which is no small feat), as well as a healthy dose of grim humor, which is the frosting on a narrative that never lets you guess quite where it is going.

I do have one suggestion. It might be time for Atkins to provide a list of characters or a summary of what has occurred previously just to help longtime readers of a certain age get their legs underneath them, as well as assist those who are dipping their toes into Atkins’ Mississippi mud for the first time.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on July 24, 2020

The Revelators: A Quinn Colson Novel
by Ace Atkins

  • Publication Date: July 14, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0525539492
  • ISBN-13: 9780525539490