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Natchez Burning (Penn Cage, Book 4) Paperback – 5 Jun 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 153 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (5 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007317964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007317967
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thank you THANK YOU to Kate and Bob at Killer Reads for the advance copy. Probably THE best book post I have ever had.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is not an easy read by any means but it is a damned good one. It’s not easy as its almost 800 pages long and it’s not easy due to it’s content.
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).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my first book by Greg Iles and it will surely be my last. While it started off intriguingly as an investigation into historical race crimes in Mississippi, about halfway through it descended into a string of implausible events and characters as the writing dived deeper and deeper into cliche and hyperbole.
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.
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By Jeff VINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I must admit I hadn't read Greg Iles before. If you haven't either and like to be immersed in a long [and heavy!] 800p novel then I can recommend this one. Set in the Deep South it tells a good story and is well written. Much of it revolves around the racism of the 1960s which has changed but sadly not gone away. If you're a certain age, like me, you'll probably remember first hand the killings of both Kennedys and Martin Luther King so it's a bit strange to come across them again in a novel, with yet another take on who did what. There's also quite a deep examination of father-son relationships. Iles is good at portraying small-town bigotry, especially in the 1960s. And, despite Natchez being much bigger now, little seems to have changed, which is the theme of the novel in many ways.
So for the most part, I enjoyed it, though perhaps it could have been some 200 pages shorter.
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