Podcast Probes: Two new mysteries featuring fictional podcasters

A troubling, violent, plot-driven drama focusing on far-right politics supported by corruption and murder, this intense, open-ended novel that should carry a "To be continued" message; mystery and true crime aficionados will delight in piecing together the puzzle in Edgar winner Gaylin’s deliciously twisty novel

redstarAtkins, Ace. The Shameless. Putnam. (Quinn Colson, Bk. 9). Jul. 2019. 464p. ISBN 9780525539469. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780525539483. M
Once again, ranger-turned-sheriff Quinn Colson and a small group of deputies and law enforcement friends battle corruption and crime in northeast Mississippi. A crooked politician, backed by the Syndicate, is running for governor. The mob and their candidate face a challenge from a truck stop madam who has plans to make the state a place for drug trafficking and prostitution. A 20-year-old crime brings everything crashing down when a podcaster comes to town to investigate the old case of a teenager who supposedly committed suicide. Quinn tries to find the old records of the tragedy handled by his uncle, the late former sheriff, but politicians and criminals unite to stop him. Quinn’s attempts to fight corruption in Tibbehah could lead to his death.
VERDICT The author follows The Sinners with 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. [See Prepub Alert, 1/23/19.] —Lesa Holstine, Evansville ­Vanderburgh P.L., IN

redstarGaylin, Alison. Never Look Back. Morrow. Jul. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9780062884350. $26.99; pap. ISBN 9780062844545. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062844552. SUSPENSE
What if everything you knew about your parents was a lie? That is what successful film columnist Robin Diamond must consider when a stranger enters her life asking surprising questions. Quentin Garrison, a popular NPR podcast producer, is doing research for his podcast Closure, which focuses on the Bonnie and Clyde–esque killing spree in 1976 by two teenagers named April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy, dubbed the "Inland Empire Killers." A tip line confession leads Quentin to Robin in an attempt to locate her mother. The idea that her suburban mom was associated with the cold-blooded killers whose story had been featured in a made-for-TV movie seems ludicrous to Robin, but she begins to question her truths. Quentin’s dedication to Closure is personal since a relative was a casualty in the two-week killing spree many decades ago. As Robin and Quentin independently pursue the truth, seeking answers in this true crime mystery, they uncover deeply buried secrets that threaten to endanger them and those close to them.
VERDICT Mystery and true crime aficionados will delight in piecing together the puzzle in Edgar winner Gaylin’s ( If I Die Tonight) deliciously twisty novel. [See Prepub Alert, 1/23/19.] —Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., ­Highland Heights

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