Natchez Burning: A Novel (Penn Cage)
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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?
This book is 800 pages and just the first of a trilogy. However it's also the 4th Penn Cage book. It was my first introduction to Penn and though there were some mentions of cases and relationships from the past, it was easy to understand what was going on. The quality and scope of these books remind me of Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth/World Without End. It just takes place over a much shorter time frame.
For such a long book, the story seemed to only take place over a matter of a few days. Despite this, the events of the day didn't seem crammed at all. I really got sucked in to this novel and was immersed in the story, though it did take me a while to read!
There were some great climactic moments in this book and I was surprised at the outcome, which I feel doesn't happen that much to me these days. There are a lot of questions I have for the remaining two books. I hope they are answered; specifically the targets that were put on Martin Luther King and JFK. How exactly did these play out?
I really enjoyed book one. I'll start reading book two soon.
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