my review), the first book in Greg Iles's planned trilogy and have been eagerly awaiting the second entry - The Bone Tree.
The Bone Tree picks up right where Natchez Burning left off. Iles does a great job of quickly recapping, so that new readers could jump into the book. (But seriously, you need to read the first book)
Lawyer Penn Cage is the mayor of Natchez, Mississippi. Between himself, his newspaper editor fiancee, his father Tom and others, they have uncovered and exposed the dirty underbelly of Natchez and surrounding Louisiana. Secrets, killings and corruption, racial hatred, greed, crime and political malfeasance of the worst kind imaginable. The perpetrators are so well placed and have been in power for so long that it seems nothing can take them down. And then comes the revelation that this shadowy group may have been responsible for the deaths of American leaders. (Gentle readers be warned - there are graphic scenes and descriptions)
Iles's plotting is simply spectacular - intricately imagined and complexly drawn with a hefty dose of (frightening) fact mixed in. I did check out many many references online to see if they were real - they were. In fact it's almost impossible to try and explain the book - there are so many threads and characters. Each and every character Iles brings to the page is fully developed and the reader can't help but become engaged (or disgusted) with every player. I've been a fan of Penn Cage from the first book, but Tom and his old ranger buddy Walt were the underdogs I was cheering for this time. The 'bad guys' are well - just plain ugly.
I described Natchez Burning as powerful, gripping, thrilling, sweeping and simply spectacular - and I'll use those same words to describe The Bone Tree. 800+ plus pages of absolutely epic reading. Read an excerpt of The Bone Tree. A reading guide is also available.
This reader will be waiting and watching for the third and concluding book. There's no date or title as of yet, but Iles says "The release date of the final book in the trilogy is not set in stone at this time. I have a feeling that the TV series currently in the works might make me let go of that final book faster than I might otherwise have done, which I hope is good news for readers"
"Greg Iles spent most of his youth in Natchez, Mississippi, and studied the American novel under acclaimed southern writer Willie Morris at the University of 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 is a member of the lit-rock group "The Rock Bottom Remainders" and lives in Natchez with his two teenaged children." Find out more about Greg at his website, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on Facebook. See what others on the TLC book tour thought - full schedule can be found here.