VJ Books Blog

Ace Atkins is the author of six novels, including his latest, Wicked City, from G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

A former journalist who cut his teeth as a crime reporter in the newsroom of The Tampa Tribune, he published his first novel, Crossroad Blues, at 27 and became a full-time novelist at 30.

While at the Tribune, Ace earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for a feature series based on his investigation into a forgotten murder of the 1950s. The story became the core of his critically acclaimed novel, White Shadow, which earned raves from noted authors and critics. The Associated Press said the story “succeeds both as a first-rate historical novel and as a superb crime story.’’ Michael Connelly called the novel “a tour de force from one of the best crime writers working today.’’

With White Shadow and now with Wicked City, Ace carved out a niche as both a talented storyteller and a meticulous journalist, blending first-hand interviews and research into police and court records with tightly woven plots and incisive characters. Ace’s novels tell great American stories, weaving fact and fiction into a colorful, seamless tapestry.

Wicked City is Ace’s most personal book to date, set in a vice-ridden Alabama town 20 miles from where he attended high school and college. While many of the characters in Wicked City are historical figures and some are drawn from the imagination, others are composites taken from Ace’s rich family history of Alabama bootleggers, tied to Southern-fried political corruption and demagoguery in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Atkins, now 37, lives on a historic farm outside Oxford, Mississippi with his family.