Mississippi Blood, the third book in Greg Iles' epic 'Natchez Burning' Trilogy. The last few chapters of the middle book, The Bone Tree, left me gasping, crying and re-reading to make sure what I thought happened, really happened. It did and I've been desperate to see where Iles would take the narrative. For those of you who haven't read this series (you need to) here's a quick overview from the publisher:",....tale of love and honor, hatred and revenge that explores how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present."
So, Mississippi Blood picks up a few weeks later. Penn Cage is speaking to the reader and says..."If you don't want the truth, stop reading now. If you go on, don't say I didn't warn you." Not a chance in heck I could stop reading.
I have no idea how I'm going to truly do this book justice with my own words. There is hands down one of the best courtroom scenes I've ever read at the heart of the book. Tom Cage seems determined to not defend himself in court. The defence mounted by attorney Quentin Avery seems to be not mounting any defence at all. Tom's son Penn is desperate to save his father - and what is left of his family. Is Tom guilty of murder? Who else could have killed Viola? (Who really did will stun you!) Surrounding the trial is more danger, death, love, hate, lies, fears, hopes and more. Iles captures the attitudes, history (much of this trilogy is based on fact) and racial tensions of Mississippi through his characters, their dialogue, settings and situations. The words fairly simmer on the page. But amongst all of the ugliness are those who want better for themselves, their families and their communities.
I was all over the place reading - angry, scared, hopeful and teary again. (Seriously, another beloved character gone?!) I could not put the book down. I was sucked back into the story on page one and only emerged three days and almost seven hundred pages later.
The title? "Mississippi blood is different. … there’s strength in it too. Strength that’s been beat but not broke. That’s Mississippi Blood." Read an excerpt of Mississippi Blood.
If you haven't read this trilogy, you are missing out on some phenomenal storytelling. Storytelling that unfortunately is based in reality. Absolutely recommended. And don't you dare read this book until you've read the first two.
"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." Find out more about Greg at his website, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on Facebook as well as on Instagram.
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I received this book for review from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.