Protagonists battle corruption, pasts in two gritty crime novels
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.