Natchez Burning (Penn Cage, Book 4) Paperback – 5 Jun 2014
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Praise for NATCHEZ BURNING:
“The thriller of the year, of the decade even … The first of a projected trilogy, Natchez Burning is Penn Cage’s fourth outing. But you don’t need to read its predecessors to be wholly consumed by this wonderful book. Buy, read, and marvel’ The Times
‘Terrific, engrossing’ Sunday Times
‘A tale that is both riveting in detail and amazing in its sheer scope’ Sun
‘Often seen as a John Grisham imitator, Iles clearly outperforms the master of the Deep South thriller in this angry yet engrossing novel’ Sunday Times
‘Extraordinarily entertaining and fiendishly suspenseful. I defy you to start it and find a way to put it down …This is an amazing work of popular fiction’ STEPHEN KING
‘I don't know how Iles did it, but every single one of the 700+ pages of NATCHEZ BURNING is a cliffhanger that will keep you devouring just one more chapter before you put it down to eat, work, or go to bed. A mystery rooted in the real-life racial divides of the Deep South, this ambitious, unique novel is the perfect marriage of a history lesson and a thriller. Greg? You owe me some sleep!’ JODI PICOULT
‘Natchez Burning is just flat-out terrific, written with all the fire of its title. With its scope and passion and its themes about race, violence, tradition, and the eternal smouldering anger of the South, it brings to mind Thomas Wolfe and William Faulkner, even while its cagey plot and restless energy keeps you flying through the pages. Greg Iles is back and truly better than ever’ SCOTT TUROW
Praise for previous Greg Iles novels:
‘A scorching read’ John Grisham
‘A rarity. A thriller that really thrills’ Stephen King
‘An incredible web of intrigue and suspense’ Clive Cussler
‘My favourite kind of novel … Ambitious in its scope and superbly satisfying in its execution’ Dan Brown
‘Iles is a great thriller writer’ Independent
From the Back Cover
#1New York Timesbestselling author Greg Iles returns with his most eagerly anticipated novel yet and his first in five years Natchez Burning the first installment in an epic trilogy that interweaves crimes, lies, and secrets past and present in a mesmerizing thriller featuring Southern lawyer and former prosecutor Penn Cage.
Growing up in the rural Southern hamlet of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned everything he knows about honor and duty from his father, Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor and pillar of the community is accused of murdering Violet Turner, the beautiful nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the early 1960s. A fighter who has always stood for justice, Penn is determined to save his father, even though Tom, stubbornly evoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to speak up in his own defense.
The quest for answers sends Penn deep into the past into the heart of a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the Double Eagles, a vicious KKK crew headed by one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the state. With the aid of a local friend and reporter privy to some of Natchez's oldest and deadliest secrets, Penn follows a bloody trail that stretches back forty years, to one undeniable fact: no one black or white, young or old, brave or not is ever truly safe.
With everything on the line, including his own life, Penn must decide how far he will go to protect those he loves . . . and see justice done, once and for all.
Rich in Southern atmosphere and electrifying plot turns, Natchez Burningmarks the brilliant return of a genuine American master of suspense. Tense and disturbing, it is the most explosive, exciting, sexy, and ambitious story Greg Iles has written yet." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Penn Cage is facing a son’s worst nightmare – having his father stand accused of murder. Worse, each effort to defend the legendary Dr Tom Cage unearths new, shocking secrets, leaving Penn to question whether he ever really knew his father at all.
So for those of you who have not read the previous Penn Cage novels from Greg Iles (the first being “The Quiet Game” ) I would encourage you to do so, however you CAN start here – the first part of a planned trilogy featuring the character, as there is enough information for a new reader without actually spoiling the previous books.
There are reasons why this is one of the best “presents” I have received since reviewing seriously – a few years back I read the last Penn Cage novel, “The Devils Punchbowl” which was as brilliantly addictive as all the rest. When it ended there was a hint, a taster if you like, for what might happen next. In the notes Mr Iles told us that, unusually, there would be a further Penn Cage novel the following year (usually there is a bigger gap – he also writes TREMENDOUSLY gripping standalone books and never actually intended to write a series but Penn wouldnt go away) then of course disaster struck. Mr Iles was involved in a serious accident – all that mattered after that was recovery. I, for one, am extremely grateful that recover he did over a period of time, otherwise the world would have lost another great writer on top of the obvious horror of personal loss for his family.I prayed. I’m sure his other readers did as well. And now here we are..
And what a glorious, once again addictive, seriously mind blowing read we have here. Absolutely gripping.Read more ›
The book is set in the present day and covers a period of three days when Penn Cage tries to find out the truth behind the death of his father’s old nurse. In doing so he is taken back to events in the 1960s which show Penn his father may not be the man he always thought he was.
The book is set in the Deep South and racism is rampant. There are lynchings, people burnt alive and even someone shut inside a tree to die. There are fantastic characters with the book having a great guy who runs a music shop – which doubles as a place for mixed race couples to meet, there are corrupt policemen, and those who think the Klan have gone soft...
Set against the true history of the era between the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King it is a fascinating tale of hatred based on skin colour and the people who fought against it.
The writing is typical of Greg Iles – dense, full of detail and pulling no punches. It took me almost a week to read it around work, which is a long time for me to finish a book. However it is thought provoking and sometimes I just needed to take time out and walk the dog to digest what I had read (and to remind myself the world is not all full of hatred).
There are evil macho pantomime villains a-plenty, staggering around with flame-throwers and raccoons. Yes, raccoons. At one point an FBI man says: "I want a time of death on that raccoon!"
As for the quality of the writing, well here are some examples, so you can make up your own minds:
"My brain categorises this object as the distal end of a femur." "Her build is angular and masculine from some perspectives, but she's curved where it counts.""The ice on his heart climbed up his throat.""My heart clenches(thunders/thuds against my sternum/thumps/pounds/hammers...)" - and most of this heart activity is just reaction to what people say in conversation. Cardiac arrest, anyone?
Fortunately there is not too much writing about sex if the following is anything to go by - as the doctor and his nurse make love in a photographic darkroom:
"Tom felt as though they were suspended in water, intertwined like nether creatures fulfilling some ritual that had sustained their species for millions of years....He felt as though they were making love on some distant planet that dwarfed the earth, their bodies twenty times as dense as normal...Now they were levitating in the dark, floating inches above the floor, hovering in their sealed capsule while outside the world moved in barely controlled chaos..."
You get the idea; I won't go on.Read more ›
So for the most part, I enjoyed it, though perhaps it could have been some 200 pages shorter.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed reading this book and found it difficult to put it down, I couldn't wait for the ending.Published 2 months ago by Midime
The weakest in the Penn Cage series- involves a lot of in-depth detail concerning past historical events. Still a good read but most certainly not a light relaxing holiday book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
very absorbing, had difficulty putting it down. a lesson for allPublished 5 months ago by Terry Nicholls
Wow! had not read any Greg Iles before, but what a great discovery, atmospheric, very well written and plotted. The characters really came to life. Only one caveat. Read morePublished 6 months ago by greybeard
Have read Greg Iles before. Good story, but overly long. Could be cut by 200 pages at least.Published 6 months ago by Figtree58
Natchez Burning is an extremely long novel and whilst the events take place over 3 days it seems very sprawling as it covers a lot of ground. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Elaine Tomasso