Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bouchercon 2014 Panel Schedule

The Bouchercon 2014 full panel schedule has been posted on the conference website and you can reach it here:

It looks like a phenomenal schedule! During many hours there will be nine programming tracks running simultaneously. You should find plenty to interest you and probably the worst issue you'll have is deciding among so many great panels. What a problem to have.

Don't forget my panel on In the War: Mysteries Set in and Around the World Wars on Saturday, November 15th from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM in Regency B. The panel features Aileen Baron, Carola Dunn, J. Robert Janes, John Sandrolini and Charles Todd. Hope we see you there.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bouchercon 2014 Panel

I'm excited to be moderating a panel in Long Beach, CA for Bouchercon 2014. The theme is In the Wars: Mysteries Set in or Between the World Wars and is a period I find particularly interesting.
Panelists include Aileen Baron, Carola Dunn, J. Robert Janes, John Sandrolini, and CharlesTodd
The authors' works will take you all over the globe, from Southeast Asia to England, from the US to Northern Africa, and points in between. Their stories occur in and around war time, but are not only about war. They show how people dealt with the deprivations of war time, how society changed during that time, what technologies were developed, all while weaving these details into excellent crime fiction stories. 

Please join us November 15, 2014, Saturday from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM in Regency B.


Monday, September 01, 2014

The Forsaken by Ace Atkins

The Forsaken (Quinn Colson, #4)The Forsaken by Ace Atkins

In The Forsaken, Ace Atkins fourth Quinn Colson novel about Tibbehah County and the town of Jerricho in rural Mississippi, Colson has his hands full. He’s facing an upcoming reelection campaign and he and his chief deputy, Lillie Vernon, fear they are being investigated for possible corruption and murder charges from a previous adventure. A motorcycle gang that ran around the area years ago when Colson’s uncle was sheriff is making a comeback and now a local store owner, Diane Tull, has related a story that has Quinn revisiting a case from long ago that few locals are interested in seeing reopened.

Thirty-six years ago, Diane Tull and Lori Stilwell, were abducted at gun point. Diane survived, but Lori didn’t. Diane described the perpetrator in some detail, but that didn’t mean much to the wild gang that was out for vengeance. Their rage resulted in the death of a homeless black veteran who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now years later, Diane has been encouraged to put things right and she thinks the honest and forthright Quinn is the man to do it.

Adding to that mix is Johnny Stagg, a local business owner and manipulator who is an ongoing thorn in Quinn’s side. Stagg attempts to portray legitimacy through wholly illegitimate methods and often runs up against Colson’s moral code. In relation to a couple of Quinn’s problems, Stagg hopes to show Colson that as the enemy of his enemy, he can be Colson’s friend. Colson is a skeptic.

The Forsaken is Atkins at his best. His plotting seems effortless as he lays out his story piece by piece, managing the various sub-plots with dexterity and a keen sense of timing. Nothing is rushed. Characters are fully realized and complex. From hero to villain, they are multi-dimensional and fill a necessary place in the narrative. Throughout The Forsaken Atkins uses flashbacks for back story and character development during that time 36-years ago. The flashbacks also fill in Colson’s family back story, which is a welcome addition to understanding Quinn as he is today. 

The Forsaken is a satisfying read that shows Atkins is one of the best mystery authors writing today. 
Rating A+

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