In 1955, Look magazine called Phenix City, Alabama, 'The Wickedest City in America,' a stew of organized crime and corruption, run by a machine that dealt with complaints forcefully and with dispatch.
When crime-fighting attorney Albert Patterson is gunned down in a Phenix City alley in the spring of 1954, the entire town seems to pause just for a moment-and when it starts up again, there is something different about it. A small group of men meet and decide that they have had enough, but what that means and where it will take them is something they could not have foreseen. Over the course of the next several months, lives will change, people will die, and unexpected heroes will emerge - 'like a Randolph Scott western,' one of them remarks, 'played out not with horses and Winchesters but with Chevys and .38s and switchblades.'
Atkins draws from the worlds of pulp and Faulkner in Wicked City, using characters from the town's true history to tell a story of the best and worst of morality, and the ambiguity in between.
"This is the classic Western tale of good vs. evil, 'played out not with horses and Winchesters but with Chevys and Fords and .38s and switchblades.' The result is a gripping, superb crime story, all the more remarkable because it really did happen. Highly recommended." Library Journal
One of the best crime writers working today, Ace Atkins has been nominated for multiple major awards in crime fiction, including the Edgar three times, twice for novels about former U.S. Army Ranger Quinn Colson. He's written eight books in the Colson series, with many more to come. He continued Robert B. Parker's iconic Spenser character after Parker's death in 2010, and has added seven best-selling novels in that series.
A former newspaper reporter and SEC football player, Ace also writes essays and investigative pieces for several national magazines including Time, Outside, and Garden & Gun.
He lives in Oxford, Mississippi with his family, where he's friend to many dogs and several bartenders.
Find out more about Ace and his novels on his official website: aceatkins.com, on Facebook Ace Atkins, and on Twitter @aceatkins.