Note – I received a copy of Mississippi Blood from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. No affiliate links were used in this post.
About Mississippi Blood
Hardcover: 704 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (March 21, 2017)
#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.
What I Thought
I’ll start off with my struggle with these books–and I can’t/won’t say it’s a negative, because it’s all a matter of personal preference. I tend to go for books that are on the shorter side. This is not a shorter book. It’s also an incredibly dense book. My mom started reading the first in the trilogy last week and said, “This isn’t a book that you can read quickly.” There’s so much packed into these books that they are slow going at times. However, there’s also a lot of detail so at times I found myself reading more quickly.
That being said, even though they’re longer and sometimes slow going, they’re also really engaging. When I was asked if I wanted to be part of the tour for the trilogy I was told that previous readers have described these books as page-turners and that is so true! They just pull you through and they’re hard to put down. I stayed up late into the night to finish all three of these because I just had to know how they’d end.
Mississippi Blood is probably my second favorite of the trilogy, with The Bone Tree (the second) taking the spot of my favorite. The Bone Tree was so atmospheric and heartbreaking and it had another plot line that really drew me in. Mississippi Blood brings our characters together for a murder trial and I forgot how much I love reading stories that center around a trial. The tension and heightened emotions just make for an interesting read!
Overall, I was incredibly hesitant to read this series. I knew it wouldn’t be easy due to the subject matter. (And it wasn’t!) And, the length. But it was so worth all of that! Your heart will race, you’ll turn pages and you’ll be drawn into this world.
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 Devilís Punchbowl. Iles’s 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.