Note – I received a copy of this book from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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 trilogy–which also includes The Bone Tree and the upcoming Mississippi Blood–an 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?
I’ve looked at this book a few times in the past, but I always decided to pass on it due to the length. I’m not the biggest fan of longer books because it can be a struggle to get through them at some points. That wasn’t the case with this book. Even though I was told when asked to review the book that readers have said that the book just pulls you through I was worried that it wouldn’t hold my attention all the way through, but it totally did. It definitely felt like a long book. There are a lot of different characters and plot threads that can be hard to keep track of at times, but it kept my attention throughout and I had a hard time putting it down. That speaks to how engaging Greg Iles’s writing is. It’s descriptive and made me feel like I was there. Sometimes I wondered if it was too descriptive–did it really need to be that long?–but whenever I start to think that way I ask myself what I thought could have been cut from the book and I honestly wasn’t sure with this one. Like I said, there are just so many threads to this novel that it all felt like it had a purpose. I’m happy that I already have a copy of the second book so that I can dive right in. I actually received two copies of this book and my dad read the synopsis, then started reading the book right away. When we discussed it, he mentioned that the book also felt a little long to him, but he’s looking forward to reading the second. He keeps reminding me that he’s ready to read it whenever I’m ready to give him a copy. I’ve always enjoyed reading a book and then handing it off to my mom, so it’s fun to have a chance to share a book with my dad!
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 Devil’s 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.