Natchez Burning

Natchez Burning

by Greg Iles

Overview: An American writer at the height of his creative powers, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist Greg Iles returns with his most eagerly anticipated book yet, and his first in five years—Natchez Burning, the first installment in an epic trilogy that weaves crimes, lies, and secrets past and present into a mesmerizing thriller featuring southern mayor and former prosecutor Penn Cage.

Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor and pillar of the community has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, 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 to even 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 waiting to tear their family apart. More chilling, this long-buried sin is only a single thread in a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the vicious Double Eagles, an offshoot of the KKK controlled by some of the wealthiest and 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?

Drenched in southern atmosphere, Natchez Burning marks the brilliant return of a genuine American master of suspense. Tense, disturbing, and filled with electrifying plot twists, this novel commences the most explosive and ambitious story Greg Iles has ever written.

Dale Israel (08/13/14): Reading Natchez Burning was a little bit like driving down I-85 and seeing a 3 car pile up on the right hand side of the road. While you really don't want to see all the blood and gore, there's a small part of you that's curious and wants to take a peek. The story deals with the KKK in Natchez, MIssissppi during the 60's and initially the violence was so disturbing I wasn't so sure I could continue reading this book (and as an oncology nurse I've seen my fair share of blood and guts!) I'm glad I perservered because this nearly 800 page book was truly a page turner. There were many side stories that were very interesting. Having grown up in the South, I could relate to all the bigoted characters. Greg Iles is a masterful storyteller and I will definitely read more of his books. I always struggle with rating books such as this one. Is it on par with some of my all time favorites (Geisha, Pillars, etc)? No, but it is a totally different genre. It was highly entertaining, I couldn't put it down, and it was well written. What more can you ask of a novel? I rate it 5 stars. Highly recommend if you can overlook the violence.
Rating: *****

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