At first glance, it almost seems like Atkins may have tried to mix too many storylines this time around—several of which weren’t yet touched on—but he somehow manages to thread them all together in a way that not only makes sense but adds a sense of urgency to the plot. Without a single dull page to be found and zero 'fluff,' Atkins’ latest moves at a steady clip, touching on a number of timely issues ... Through it all, Atkins continues to develop his series protagonist, along with his growing family, and never fails to capture the Mississippi setting in a way that only he and fellow bestselling author Gregg Iles seem to be able to pull off. Bottom line: If Ace Atkins isn’t already on your summer reading list, put him there . . . The Shameless is some of his best work yet, and a must-read for fans of C.J. Box, Gregg Iles, and Craig Johnson.
While a bit more of a slow boil than the works preceding it, the narrative’s more deliberate pacing is balanced by his frequent flashes of prose brilliance and the final few chapters of the book, where the dominoes that had been painstakingly set up are explosively knocked down to great effect ... You won’t be able to read the last quarter or so of The Shameless fast enough. There is a bit of irony here that is worth the price of admission all by itself, as well as a cast of characters you will not soon forget. Some of them even make it to the end of the book. Knowing that they are out there somewhere will keep you waiting impatiently to see what happens next. The only certainty is that, with Atkins at the helm, you will not be disappointed.
Atkins peppers the narrative with allusions to President Donald Trump, but he also sticks to Colson saga basics ... There is a sudden plot twist that some may view as a flaw in the narrative structure. But Atkins tends to smooth this out as further events unfold, and the surprise element is a feature of the novel. Country music, blues and a variety of popular songs are invoked in many scenes; one of the songs is the Garth Brooks’ cover of 'Shameless.' But the book’s title, for the most part, refers to those who, without apology, twist truth or commit crimes to serve themselves. That’s a tough foe, even for Quinn Colson.
That’s a lot of plot lines, but Atkins keeps them running smooth and hitting on all pistons as the action accelerates. Could Fannie’s power struggles and Caddy’s 'Ole Miss frat boy' suitor and Brandon Taylor’s long-ago death and Vardaman’s current campaign all be related? You’ll be surprised.
As with other titles in the series, The Shameless is loaded with black coffee, cigars, and pages of damn crusading. That alone might not sustain readers through nine books, were it not for the extra rewards that Atkins provides ... His grounding in journalism and true crime lets Atkins populate each new book with characters who mirror real-world counterparts. A keen ear for (mostly profane) dialogue and an attraction to odd police reports combine to give Atkins a penchant for comically bizarre villains ... The result is a slow build toward a violent climax that only an author who has walked in Robert B. Parker’s gumshoes could assemble. The good guys finally mark a win, and yet the damn crusading is far from over.
... a troubling, violent, plot-driven drama focusing on far-right politics supported by corruption and murder. The result is an intense, open-ended novel that should carry a 'To be continued' message. It's no surprise Atkins has continued Robert B. Parker's 'Spenser' series. Fans of those books, or of Lee Child's 'Jack Reacher' titles, will relish this series featuring another lone hero battling evil.
Atkins’ signature blend of country noir and southern humor remains on display here, though this time the focus is on the personal traumas in the Quinn family’s closets. Another strong outing in a consistently fine series.
The suspense rises as the two cases converge. Atkins makes the thrilling plot accessible for first-timers, while further deepening both main and secondary characters. Series fans will be eager to see what’s next in store for Quinn.
... yet another boil ... the furious torrent of crimes past and present and revelations about same keep any one question or plotline from rising above the fray. Like James Lee Burke’s Louisiana, Atkins’ violent Mississippi idylls seem more and more clearly shaped as installments in an ongoing serial drama, and this one, ending with both a bang and a whimper, seems mainly intended to set up the next.