Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Ranger is the first book in a new series by Ace Atkins. We meet Quinn Colson, a Ranger in the Army, on his way home for his uncle’s funeral in Northern Mississippi. Quinn hasn’t been home for six years and he discovers a lot has changed, and most of the changes are not for the good. On his second day back, Quinn receives a visit from Johnny Stagg, who was a real lowlife when Quinn was growing up. Johnny insists that his uncle took out loans on a handshake that add up to the value of the entire farm that Quinn now owns, and that Johnny himself holds the IOUs.

Even though Quinn’s uncle reportedly committed suicide, Lillie Virgil, a friend and deputy, is pretty sure there is something fishy about the whole mess. Quinn and Lillie begin investigating and find that the fact as they know them just don’t add up. Drug dealers, dirty cops, white supremacists, a whole host of bad just asks to be poked. Quinn decides to stir the pot and see what floats up. That’s when things started getting interesting…

Overall, The Ranger was a good solid book, but I never really connected with Quinn. He seemed way too disconnected from everyone around him except for his friend Boom. I never really liked him or even came close to understanding him. The story was good, and several of the minor characters were absolutely great, but I felt Quinn was just missing that special something. The Ranger was a decent read and I enjoyed it, but I’m not eagerly awaiting the next book.

Rating: 3.5/5

Caleb is a software engineer and amature woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

The review copy of this book was provided free of any obligation by Putnam Adult. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.