The final installment in the epic Natchez Burning trilogy by Greg Iles
“Natchez Burning is extraordinarily entertaining and fiendishly suspenseful. I defy you to start it and find a way to put it down; as long as it is, I wished it were longer. . . . This is an amazing work of popular fiction.”
— Stephen King
“One of the longest, most successful sustained works of popular fiction in recent memory… Prepare to be surprised. Iles has always been an exceptional storyteller, and he has invested these volumes with an energy and sense of personal urgency that rarely, if ever, falter.”
— Washington Post
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.
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 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, 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.
As a prosecuting attorney in Houston, Penn Cage sent hardened killers to death row. But it is as mayor of his hometown—Natchez, Mississippi—that Penn will face his most dangerous threat. Urged by old friends to try to restore this fading jewel of the Old South, Penn has ridden into office on a tide of support for change. But in its quest for new jobs and fresh money, Natchez, like other Mississippi towns, has turned to casino gambling, and now five fantastical steamboats float on the river beside the old slave market at Natchez like props from Gone With the Wind.
But one boat isn't like the others.
Rumor has it that the Magnolia Queen has found a way to pull the big players from Las Vegas to its Mississippi backwater. And with them—on sleek private jets that slip in and out of town like whispers in the night—come pro football players, rap stars, and international gamblers, all sharing an unquenchable taste for one thing: blood sport—and the dark vices that go with it. When a childhood friend of Penn's who brings him evidence of these crimes is brutally murdered, the full weight of Penn's failure to protect his city hits home. So begins his quest to find the men responsible. But it's a hunt he begins alone, for the local authorities have been corrupted by the money and power of his hidden enemy. With his family's lives at stake, Penn realizes his only allies in his one-man war are those bound to him by blood or honor:
-Caitlin Masters, the lover Penn found in The Quiet Can Game and lost in Turning Angel
-Danny McDavitt, the heroic helicopter pilot from Third Degree
-Tom Cage, Penn's father and legendary local family physician
-Walt Garrity, a retired Texas Ranger who served with Penn's father during the Korean War
Together they must defeat a sophisticated killer who has an almost preternatural ability to anticipate—and counter—their every move. Ultimately, victory will depend on a bold stroke that will leave one of Penn's allies dead—and Natchez changed forever.
After appearing in two of Iles's most popular novels, Penn Cage makes his triumphant return as a brilliant, honorable, and courageous hero. Rich with Southern atmosphere and marked by one jaw-dropping plot turn after another, The Devil's Punchbowl confirms that Greg Iles is America's master of suspense.
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?
The Spandau Diary—what was in it? Why did the secret intelligence agencies of every major power want it? Why was a brave and beautiful woman kidnapped and sexually tormented to get it? Why did a chain of deception and violent death lash out across the globe, from survivors of the Nazi past to warriors in the new conflict now about to explode? Why did the world’s entire history of World War II have to be rewritten as the future hung over a nightmare abyss?
“Entirely plausible, totally engrossing…a remarkable, impressive novel.”—Nelson DeMille
“An incredible web of intrigue and suspense, an avalanche of action from first page to last.”—Clive Cussler
Turning Angel marks the long-awaited return of Penn Cage, the lawyer hero of The Quiet Game, and introduces Drew Elliott, the highly respected doctor who saved Penn’s life in a hiking accident when they were boys. As two of the most prominent citizens of Natchez, Drew and Penn sit on the school board of their alma mater, St. Stephen’s Prep. When the nude body of a young female student is found near the Mississippi River, the entire community is shocked—but no one more than Penn, who discovers that his best friend was entangled in a passionate relationship with the girl and may be accused of her murder.
On the surface, Kate Townsend seems the most unlikely murder victim imaginable. A star student and athlete, she’d been accepted to Harvard and carried the hope and pride of the town on her shoulders. But like her school and her town, Kate also had a secret life—one about which her adult lover knew little. When Drew begs Penn to defend him, Penn allows his sense of obligation to override his instinct and agrees. Yet before he can begin, both men are drawn into a dangerous web of blackmail and violence. Drew reacts like anything but an innocent man, and Penn finds himself doubting his friend’s motives and searching for a path out of harm’s way.
More dangerous yet is Shad Johnson, the black district attorney whose dream is to send a rich white man to death row in Mississippi. At Shad’s order, Drew is jailed, the police cease hunting Kate’s killer, and Penn realizes that only by finding Kate’s murderer himself can he save his friend’s life.
With his daughter’s babysitter as his guide, Penn penetrates the secret world of St. Stephen’s, a place that parents never see, where reality veers so radically from appearance that Penn risks losing his own moral compass. St. Stephen’s is a dark mirror of the adult world, one populated by steroid-crazed jocks, girls desperate for attention, jaded teens flirting with nihilism, and hidden among them all—one true psychopath. It is Penn’s journey into the heart of his alma mater that gives Turning Angel its hypnotic power, for on that journey he finds that the intersection of the adult and nearly adult worlds is a dangerous place indeed. By the time Penn arrives at the shattering truth behind Kate Townsend’s death, his quiet Southern town will never be the same.
Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancée, reporter and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect with ties to some of Mississippi’s most powerful men. But the real danger has only begun as FBI Special Agent John Kaiser warns Penn that Brody wasn’t the true leader of the Double Eagles. The puppeteer who actually controls the terrorist group is a man far more fearsome: the chief of the state police’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, Forrest Knox.
The only way Penn can save his father, Dr. Tom Cage—who is fleeing a murder charge as well as corrupt cops bent on killing him—is either to make a devil’s bargain with Knox or destroy him. While Penn desperately pursues both options, Caitlin uncovers the real story behind a series of unsolved civil rights murders that may hold the key to the Double Eagles’ downfall. The trail leads her deep into the past, into the black backwaters of the Mississippi River, to a secret killing ground used by slave owners and the Klan for over two hundred years . . . a place of terrifying evil known only as “the bone tree.”
The Bone Tree is an explosive, action-packed thriller full of twisting intrigue and deadly secrets, a tale that explores the conflicts and casualties that result when the darkest truths of American history come to light. It puts us inside the skin of a noble man who has always fought for justice—now finally pushed beyond his limits.
Just how far will Penn Cage, the hero we thought we knew, go to protect those he loves?
From the author of Mississippi Blood comes the first intelligent, gripping thriller in the #1 New York Times bestselling Series.
Natchez, Mississippi. Jewel of the South. City of old money and older sins. And childhood home of Houston prosecutor Penn Cage.
In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, this is where Penn has returned for solitude. This is where he hopes to find peace. What he discovers instead is his own family trapped in a mystery buried for thirty years but never forgotten—the town’s darkest secret, now set to trap and destroy Penn as well.
It begins on a perfect night, with a perfect family about to be trapped in a perfect crime...
Will Jennings is a successful young doctor in Jackson, Mississippi, with a thriving practice, a beautiful wife, and a five-year-old daughter he loves beyond measure. But Will and his family are being watched by a con man and psychopath who may be a genius. A man who has never been caught and whose victims have never talked to the police. A man whose life's work strikes at the heart of every family's unspoken fear: the unstoppable kidnapping.
But this time he's picked the wrong family to terrorize. Because Will and Karen Jennings aren't going to watch helplessly as he victimizes them. They aren't going to let him get away with it. They're going to fight back...
Some memories live deep in the soul, indelible and dangerous, waiting to be resurrected....Forensic expert "Cat" Ferry is suspended from an FBI task force when the world-class odontologist is inexplicably stricken with panic attacks and blackouts while investigating a chain of brutal murders. Returning to her Mississippi hometown, Cat finds herself battling with alcohol, plagued by nightmares, and entangled with a married detective. Then, in her childhood bedroom, some spilled chemicals reveal two bloody footprints...and the trauma of her father's murder years earlier comes flooding back. Facing the secrets of her past, Cat races to connect them to a killer's present-day violence. But what emerges is the frightening possibility that Cat herself has blood on her hands....
Death is the end, and if a man doesn't speak before it silences him, then his deepest secrets go with him.
When a heart attack sends Penn's father, Tom Cage, to the ER, Tom begs that his son be brought to his side to hear a dying declaration. But when Penn arrives, Tom denies ever making the request—keeping his secrets for another day.
The emergency hurls Penn back to a chilling case in Houston, where he worked in a DA's office known as the "death factory," which sent more killers to death row than any other in America. While Penn cares for his ailing wife, a tormented forensic technician brings him evidence of a crime lab in chaos, throwing past convictions into doubt and begging Penn to prevent an imminent travesty of justice. With the desperation of a man fighting death in his own home, Penn must find a way to bring the machinery of the death factory to a halt.