Pro­tag­o­nists bat­tle cor­rup­tion, pasts in two gritty crime nov­els

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - BOOKS - — Ed Go­drey, The Ok­la­homan

Look­ing for a good crime novel? Why buy just one?

Check out the two books be­low.

"Texas Ranger" by James Pat­ter­son and An­drew Bourelle (Lit­tle, Brown and Com­pany, 337 pages, in stores)

Rory Yates is a Texas Ranger with a quick tem­per and a fast draw. The first one of­ten gets him into trou­ble, but the sec­ond one gets him out.

The pro­lific James Pat­ter­son teamed with writer An­drew Bourelle for “Texas Ranger” which reads like a mod­ern-day West­ern based in the heart of Texas.

Some­one has mur­dered Yates’ ex-wife, a woman he still loves. The Texas Ranger is him­self a sus­pect and is or­dered to stay out of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but of course he goes rogue to find the killer and clear his name.

He is an emo­tional mess, blam­ing him­self for the death of his mar­riage and now the mur­der of his ex-wife, but Yates finds com­fort in both an old and new girl­friend. Cow­boys al­ways get the girls, but the ro­mances com­pli­cate his life and his in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Pat­ter­son, who seem­ingly al­ways has books on the best-seller list, told The Dal­las Morn­ing News that a TV show is be­ing de­vel­oped around Yates’ char­ac­ter. Seems like a cross be­tween a mod­ern-day Mar­shal Dil­lon and Walker, Texas Ranger.

The book is fast-paced, a good mys­tery and an easy read. If you like your mur­der mys­ter­ies with an Old West feel, Texas Ranger is worth your time. Then again, most books by Pat­ter­son are.

"The Sin­ners" by Ace Atkins (G.P. Put­nam's Sons, 365 pages, in stores)

Ace Atkins’ lat­est novel, “The Sin­ners,” is his eighth book fea­tur­ing Quinn Col­son, an Iraq and Afghanistan War vet, who is a law­man who can't be bought or in­tim­i­dated in a Mis­sis­sippi county filled with cor­rup­tion.

It is a crime story that is steamy, seamy and South­ern. In "The Sin­ners," the sher­iff is try­ing to keep the peace in a county filled with drug run­ning, hu­man traf­fick­ing, pros­ti­tu­tion and mur­der.

Col­son's un­cle, Hamp Beck­ett, was the for­mer sher­iff in Tibbe­hah County; he sent the lowlife Heath Pritchard to prison years ago.

The vi­o­lent and foul-mouthed Pritchard is now out of prison and seek­ing to re-es­tab­lish him­self as a crime boss in Tibbe­hah County at the ex­pense of his neph­ews, who are run­ning a prof­itable mar­i­juana op­er­a­tion.

Pritchard must deal with the lo­cal madam, Fan­nie Hath­cock, who oper­ates the lo­cal strip club and is well-con­nected to or­ga­nized crime. She is smarter than the red­neck crim­i­nals in Tibbe­hah County, but the Pritchards are cut­ting into her prof­its and must be dealt with.

In Tibbe­hah County, there isn’t a man who can't be swayed by women or whiskey ex­cept Col­son.

All roads con­verge to­ward a vi­o­lent end­ing, and the ride get­ting there is as en­ter­tain­ing as a "Dukes of Haz­zard" car chase.

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