#1 New York Times Bestselling Author
The endgame is at hand for Penn Cage, his family, and the enemies bent on destroying them in this revelatory volume in the epic trilogy set in modern-day Natchez, Mississippi--Greg Iles's epic tale of love and honor, hatred and revenge that explores how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present.Read more...
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#1 New York Times Bestselling Author
The endgame is at hand for Penn Cage, his family, and the enemies bent on destroying them in this revelatory volume in the epic trilogy set in modern-day Natchez, Mississippi--Greg Iles's epic tale of love and honor, hatred and revenge that explores how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present.
Shattered by grief and dreaming of vengeance, Penn Cage sees his family and his world collapsing around him. The woman he loves is gone, his principles have been irrevocably compromised, and his father, once a paragon of the community that Penn leads as mayor, is about to be tried for the murder of a former lover. Most terrifying of all, Dr. Cage seems bent on self-destruction. Despite Penn's experience as a prosecutor in major murder trials, his father has frozen him out of the trial preparations--preferring to risk dying in prison to revealing the truth of the crime to his son.
During forty years practicing medicine, Tom Cage made himself the most respected and beloved physician in Natchez, Mississippi. But this revered Southern figure has secrets known only to himself and a handful of others. Among them, Tom has a second son, the product of an 1960s affair with his devoted African American nurse, Viola Turner. It is Viola who has been murdered, and her bitter son--Penn's half-brother--who sets in motion the murder case against his father. The resulting investigation exhumes dangerous ghosts from Mississippi's violent past. In some way that Penn cannot fathom, Viola Turner was a nexus point between his father and the Double Eagles, a savage splinter cell of the KKK. More troubling still, the long-buried secrets shared by Dr. Cage and the former Klansmen may hold the key to the most devastating assassinations of the 1960s. The surviving Double Eagles will stop at nothing to keep their past crimes buried, and with the help of some of the most influential men in the state, they seek to ensure that Dr. Cage either takes the fall for them, or takes his secrets to an early grave.
Tom Cage's murder trial sets a terrible clock in motion, and unless Penn can pierce the veil of the past and exonerate his father, his family will be destroyed. Unable to trust anyone around him--not even his own mother--Penn joins forces with Serenity Butler, a famous young black author who has come to Natchez to write about his father's case. Together, Penn and Serenity--a former soldier--battle to crack the Double Eagles and discover the secret history of the Cage family and the South itself, a desperate move that risks the only thing they have left to gamble: their lives.
Mississippi Blood is the enthralling conclusion to a breathtaking trilogy seven years in the making--one that has kept readers on the edge of their seats. With piercing insight, narrative prowess, and a masterful ability to blend history and imagination, New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles illuminates the brutal history of the American South in a highly atmospheric and suspenseful novel that delivers the shocking resolution his fans have eagerly awaited.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Both unwieldy and tightly controlled, bestseller Iless terrific conclusion to his Natchez Burning trilogy (after 2015s The Bone Tree) is a sweeping story that remains intimate. The Double Eagles, a savage KKK splinter group, have declared a personal war on Penn Cage, a former prosecutor whos now the mayor of Natchez, Miss., necessitating 24-hour security protection for him and his family. The toxic bigotry escalates as Penns father, Tom, once a respected physician, goes on trial for the murder of his former nurse and one-time lover, Viola Turner, an African-American who was suffering from terminal cancer. Penn teams with Serenity Butler, a famous black author who plans to write about Toms case. Together, they look into the secrets of the Cage family, the Double Eagles, and the South. Though a side plot about J.F.K.s assassination stretches credibility, relentless pacing keeps the story churning, with unexpected brutality erupting on nearly every page. The trial scenes are among the most exciting ever written in the genre. Eight-city author tour. Agents: Dan Conaway and Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (Mar.)
Whodunit: Tribal divisions turn deadly
When a high-end BMW is blown up in a rural Arizona school parking lot, the preliminary investigation suggests eco-terrorism, since the car owner is a well-known mediator in matters concerning a controversial multimillion-dollar resort planned on Navajo lands in the Grand Canyon. Navajo tribal cop Bernadette Manuelito is at the scene moments after the explosion, quickly stepping in to secure the area and prevent further carnage, unaware that it will plunge her into one of the most intriguing and potentially deadly mysteries ever to come her way. Song of the Lion is the latest in Anne Hillerman’s series featuring characters created by her late father, the legendary Tony Hillerman. Although she echoes her father’s voice perfectly, Hillerman brings a totally new sensibility to the series, elevating the female contingent without neglecting the contributions of series stalwarts Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. There is no shortage of Navajo culture and mythology woven into the narrative, as well as a very modern Old West tale of jealousy, envy and revenge.
They call him “The Composer.” It seems an innocuous enough moniker, until you learn that the nickname is derived from the rolling credits at the end of homemade videos of slow murder. He abducts people, seemingly at random, leaving only a calling card as a clue: a small hangman’s noose at the scene of the abduction. The Burial Hour, the 13th in Jeffery Deaver’s series featuring wheelchair-bound investigator Lincoln Rhyme and his able-bodied compatriot/lover Amelia Sachs, begins with the pair racing against time to save the Composer’s current video victim, a businessman with a noose around his neck, balanced none-too-steadily atop a precariously placed box. One wrong move, and the rope will snap the victim’s neck like a saltine cracker. With Rhyme and Sachs hot on the Composer’s trail, the arch-criminal makes good his escape, but soon his macabre handiwork turns up on a dusty back road in southern Italy. And Rhyme, who can be coaxed out of his apartment even less often than porcine detective Nero Wolfe, will at last leave not only his apartment but even the continent to bring his latest nemesis to justice.
I started reading C.J. Box with his first novel, Open Season, in the summer of 2001. Now, 16 years and 16 Joe Pickett novels later, I am still reading, watching Pickett’s career as a game warden in Wyoming triumph and suffer. Box’s latest, the aptly titled Vicious Circle, finds Pickett once again up against disgraced rodeo star Dallas Cates, with whom Pickett has some unpleasant personal history (his daughter ran off for a time with Cates, learning the hard way what a callous individual he is). This time, there is ample evidence that Cates was complicit in the killing of a ne’er-do-well character who haunted the periphery of Pickett’s life: Dave Farkus. Moreover, Pickett is pretty sure he witnessed the murder, albeit via heat-sensing night scope. But as strong as the evidence may be, Cates has a trick or two up his sleeve, including a canny defense lawyer who leaves Cates free to continue his seeming life’s work of bedeviling clan Pickett. Vicious Circle is perhaps the most intricately plotted installment in the series since its inception; Box never falls into the series trap of caricaturing his protagonist or making him seem larger than life. Pickett remains a good guy fighting the good fight, quietly and for all the right reasons.
TOP PICK IN MYSTERY
Let me go on record as saying that this is one of the most difficult reviews I have ever had to write, for a myriad of reasons. First off, Greg Iles’ latest novel, Mississippi Blood, is roughly twice the length of your average mystery novel. And it’s the third book of a trilogy, which adds another 1,600-plus pages. I can give you but a brief synopsis, something along the lines of the three blind men touching an elephant and each thinking the animal looks completely different. And so it is with Mississippi Blood. Detective novel? Yep. Police procedural? Yep, that, too. Courtroom drama? Affirmative, Your Honor. Romantic interest, post-Jim Crow racism (The Double Eagles, a fictional KKK splinter group, are particularly chilling), Southern culture clash, decades-old secrets enshrouded in Spanish moss? Oh, yeah, all of that and more. There are overtones of Mockingbird-era Harper Lee in here, and storytelling skills that rival those of the late, great John D. MacDonald. As all books do, Mississippi Blood draws to a conclusion, and therein lies the hardest part of this review: Because as long as this book is, and as long as the entire trilogy is, I simply didn’t want it to end. I found myself oddly wanting to move to Natchez, Mississippi, and see how the rest of these people’s lives played out.