I am currently caught up in reading The Lost Ones, a new novel by Ace Atkins. It was not a book I picked up by choice; I am reading it to review for Suspense Magazine. After the first couple of pages I was sure I wouldn’t like it. It’s set in rural Mississippi. The main characters are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. The first scene deals with a possible sale of guns headed for Mexico. Not my kind of book.
But I got caught up in it. The characters are human, compassionate people. They have their baggage, like everyone does, and even more so because of their combat experience. The story is well-written, with a balance of strong female as well as male characters. Atkins shows what “character driven” means. Even while I am thinking how happy I am to not live in the rural South, I admire the people who have come to life in this novel.
This book is just another reason why I enjoy reviewing novels. I am often sent books that I would not have picked up on my own. I gravitate toward British or historical mysteries and prefer female protagonists. But it is always good to step out of the familiar comfort zone and try something new. I had the same experience with Jaden Terrell's mysteries, another author I recommend.
Do you tend to read the same types of books? Have you been surprised by one that was not your usual choice?