About Natchez Burning
Paperback: 816 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 4, 2015)
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles comes the first novel in his Natchez Burning trilogywhich also includes The Bone Tree and the upcoming Mississippi Bloodan epic trilogy that interweaves crimes, lies, and secrets past and present in a mesmerizing thriller featuring Southern lawyer and former prosecutor Penn Cage.
Raised in the southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering the African American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Once a crusading prosecutor, Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses even to speak in his own defense.
Penn’s quest for the truth sends him deep into his father’s past, where a sexually charged secret lies. More chilling, this long-buried sin is only one thread in a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the vicious Double Eagles, an offshoot of the KKK controlled by some of the most powerful men in the state. Aided by a dedicated reporter privy to Natchez’s oldest secrets and by his fiancée, Caitlin Masters, Penn uncovers a trail of corruption and brutality that places his family squarely in the Double Eagles’ crosshairs.
With every step costing blood and faith, Penn is forced to confront the most wrenching dilemma of his life: Does a man of honor choose his father or the truth?
“Nothing frightens me more than the faith in my daughter’s eyes.”
I don’t feel even remotely qualified to review this book. Natchez Burning encapsulates everything I love about reading: stirring words, vivid imagery, nail-biting suspense and a message that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Few books that are the first in a trilogy feel as complete as this novel. Although I’m certainly left wanting to know more and excited that there are in fact two more (rather large) pieces to this puzzle, I wasn’t left feeling as if I started a journey and only made it one third of the way through. The author’s familiarity with the territory shines within these passages, fully immersing you in the mud and blood as you tear your way through this hefty tome. I highly recommend setting aside a week of reading time, unless you’re one of those lucky folks who can sit and read straight through almost 800 pages, in which case, shut your face and can we be friends?!
4.5 stars 18+
About Greg Iles
Greg Iles spent most of his youth in Natchez, Mississippi. His first novel, Spandau Phoenix, was the first of thirteen New York Times bestsellers, and his new trilogy continues the story of Penn Cage, protagonist of The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, and #1 New York Times bestseller The Devils Punchbowl. Iless novels have been made into films and published in more than thirty-five countries. He lives in Natchez with his wife and has two children.