A Book Spy Review: ‘Don’t Let The Devil Ride’ by Ace Atkins


Fans of Ace Atkins’ Quinn Colson series may be sad to know that the southern lawman doesn’t appear in his latest novel, but that doesn’t stop Atkins from delivering another outstanding, gripping, and atmospheric thriller that packs a mean punch.

On the surface, Dean McKeller looks like a good guy. He’s a family man who works hard to provide for his wife and their children, and even though his marriage isn’t perfect, it could be worse. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that Dean is not the man people think he is. Not even close. That revelation comes when Dean’s wife, Addison, reaches out to her father’s old friend, an iconic Memphis Private Investigator named Porter Hayes, and hires him to help find Dean, who has suddenly vanished.

This disappearance happened out of the blue, with no warning whatsoever. After all, Addison had no reason to suspect that her husband, who evidently skipped town after first draining their bank account, would ever abandon her and their two children. But when several days turn into weeks without any update on Dean’s whereabouts, and her repeated efforts to question Dean’s friends and colleagues are constantly shot down, Addison enlists Hayes to start digging—which he does, hoping to shed light on the situation. As new information surfaces, though, it doesn’t take long for Addison’s number one question to evolve from “Where is he?” to “Who is he running from?” And as buried secrets start to emerge, so too do long-awaited answers. Dean, as it turns out, upset some dangerous people before ghosting everyone around him, and that means that Addison and her kids might be in the crosshairs of people who’ve already killed once and certainly might kill again unless she can piece together all the clues of her shattered marriage and put a stop to the mayhem.

Atkins, known for his razor-sharp dialogue and expert use of setting, goes big with his latest offering, which starts out similar to most of his other books before quickly turning into a globe-trotting, high-stakes web of international conspiracies and intrigue. It’s an impressive feat for Atkins, who manages to straddle two genres, all the while presenting readers with a carefully crafted puzzle that, as the big picture begins to take shape, delivers a pretty stunning and satisfying conclusion. Longtime readers of Atkins’ books will no doubt relish the pages set in Memphis, satisfying their craving for hard-boiled Southern noir, before he treats them to new flavors and a different, larger type of adventure than we’ve seen him do before. As always, he does mix a blended, diverse cast of characters, and it’ll be interesting to see who readers take to. My money is on Joanna Grayson—a former Hollywood leading lady who made a movie with Elvis Presley and now fields questions about the King of Rock and Roll on the daily—being a fan favorite. But there are other solid contenders, too, even with the bulk of the screen time going to Addison and Porter.

Ace Atkins delivers a rollercoaster of suspense, blending Southern charm with a global conspiracy in Don’t Let The Devil Ride, his biggest, most daring novel to date.

Book Details

Author: Ace Atkins
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0063293382
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: June 25th, 2024



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and is building a growing community on Twitch. His debut thriller, FIELDS OF FIRE, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr says “will leave you speechless and begging for more,” is now available. His second novel, LETHAL RANGE, is also in bookstores, and his third book, OUT FOR BLOOD, comes out on June 4th. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. To interact with other readers and talk about your favorite books and authors, join The Real Book Spy’s Discord server.


Facebook Comments