The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins

The Lost Ones is the second book in the Ace Atkins Quinn Colson series. The first book ‘The Ranger’ introduces Quinn Colson, an ex-army ranger returning home to dark, rundown Tibbehah County. Now in The Lost Ones, Colson is Tibbehah’s new Sheriff and determined to clean things up, but struggling a bit with the method after 10 years in the army.

And Colson is not the only one around who is ‘messed up’ by their time in Afghanistan (Trashcanistan). Boom has been left with one arm and gets drunk and violent most nights to try and forget. Donnie Varner seems to have lost all sense of right and wrong and will do anything to make money.

Colson and his deputy Lillie Virgil are called in when the local doctor receives a severely abused baby into his care. When they investigate, they discover an empty, filthy house and evidence of a baby selling racket. The owners of the house, Janet and Ramon Torres also have links to a Mexican drug cartel. In flagging the names of the Torres couple, Colson unwittingly brings ATF agents into the picture.

Meanwhile, Donnie Varner has also been setting up business with the Mexicans. He has found a way to obtain and supply guns to them. His reasoning is that he would rather supply guns to Mexicans to kill each other than to Afghans to kill Americans. But, Donnie is in way over his head and is completely clueless.

Colson finds himself getting very friendly with a particular ATF agent until he discovers that the ATF will sacrifice the missing babies and his old school buddy Donnie in order to get to the Mexican drug cartel.

In this book, Colson’s sister Caddy has returned home and we find out more about the tragic Colson family background.


Even though books set in the South are not usually my favourites, I thoroughly enjoyed this one (and also ‘The Ranger’). Ace Atkins is brilliant at bringing his characters to life and his books are fast-paced and difficult to put down.


Book Published 2012


See a full list of books by Ace Atkins

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