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Mississippi Blood
Cover of Mississippi Blood
Mississippi Blood
Penn Cage Series, Book 6
by Greg Iles
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The #1 New York Times Bestseller

GoodReads Choice Award semi finalist

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....

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

GoodReads Choice Award semi finalist

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....

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About the Author-
  • 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.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 23, 2017
    Both unwieldy and tightly controlled, bestseller Iles’s terrific conclusion to his Natchez Burning trilogy (after 2015’s The Bone Tree) is a sweeping story that remains intimate. The Double Eagles, a savage KKK splinter group, have declared a personal war on Penn Cage, a former prosecutor who’s now the mayor of Natchez, Miss., necessitating 24-hour security protection for him and his family. The toxic bigotry escalates as Penn’s father, Tom, once a respected physician, goes on trial for the murder of his former nurse and one-time lover, Viola Turner, an African-American who was suffering from terminal cancer. Penn teams with Serenity Butler, a famous black author who plans to write about Tom’s case. Together, they look into the secrets of the Cage family, the Double Eagles, and the South. Though a side plot about J.F.K.’s assassination stretches credibility, relentless pacing keeps the story churning, with unexpected brutality erupting on nearly every page. The trial scenes are among the most exciting ever written in the genre. Eight-city author tour. Agents: Dan Conaway and Simon Lipskar, Writers House.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2017
    Delta whodunit master Iles (The Bone Tree, 2015, etc.) brings his politically charged, timely trilogy of Mississippi murder and mayhem to a thunderous close.Life for Penn Cage is never a bowl of cherries. A bucket of blood, more like it. As this last installment in the Natchez Burning trilogy opens, he's in a bloodier mess than ever, depressed, full of bitter self-awareness: "When someone you love is murdered," he reflects, "you learn things about yourself you'd give a great deal not to know." Other questions loom. Why is his jailed father stubbornly clinging to a secret guaranteed to shake up otherwise sleepy Natchez? Now that the Klan-on-steroids villains have come under new management, what kind of awful mischief are they going to make for the place--and how do they figure in that secret, anyway? To begin to answer those questions, Iles swings full circle back into the territory of the first volume and its unlikely archive of once-forbidden, even now fraught interracial relationships; "anyone in possession of those ledgers," Penn reveals, "would never have to worry about money again, so valuable would they be as a blackmail tool." No, but there are plenty of other things to worry about, things that make the normally even-keeled Penn feel not so bad about shooting a bad guy in the back, "where I know his heart is pumping violently." Iles mostly sticks to the format of the hard-boiled procedural, though there's some nicely wrought courtroom drama here, too, with a none-too-subtle dig at a fellow Southern mysterian: "The why doesn't come into it. That's for John Grisham and the Law & Order writers to worry about." Speedboats, bullets, and floods of the red stuff fly and flow, wrapping up to a clean conclusion--though with the slightest hint of an out, in case Iles decides to stretch the trilogy into another book or two. Faulkner meets John D. MacDonald, and that's all to the good. A boisterous, spills-and-chills entertainment from start to finish.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2016
    In the first two volumes of Iles's New York Times best-selling trilogy "Natchez Burning," small-town white Southern lawyer Penn Cage learned that his physician father stands accused of murdering his former African American nurse and is somehow linked to a particularly vicious branch of the KKK. With his father still refusing his assistance, Penn teams up with Serenity Butler, a high-profile African American woman in town to write a book about his father's case. With a 400,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Denver Post "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."
  • Booklist (starred review) "This trilogy is destined to become a classic of literary crime fiction."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "[The] terrific conclusion to his Natchez Burning trilogy is a sweeping story that remains intimate... Relentless pacing keeps the story churning... The trial scenes are among the most exciting ever written in the genre."
  • Washington Post "A superb entertainment that is a work of power, distinction and high seriousness... also (a) prime example of what the thriller—and other forms of so-called 'genre' fiction—can accomplish when pushed beyond traditional limits."
  • Huffington Post on Mississippi Blood "There is a graphic beauty to Iles' writing. He uses measured words to express voluminous stories. . . . He is a masterful storyteller!"
  • Library Journal (starred review) on Mississippi Blood "From his opening line, Iles draws you back into Penn Cage's deep South in this phenomenal trilogy's final novel (after Natchez Burning; The Bone Tree). [A] heart-racing, enthralling thriller."
  • Pittsburg Post-Gazette "[The books] are page-turning entertainments with an edge of history and a deep understanding of race relations in the American South. . . . Mississippi Blood is packed with compelling characters. . . . Harrowing and spellbinding."
  • Houston Chronicle on Mississippi Blood "Iles draws his characters so well, and brings off scenes so deftly."
  • Biloxi Sun Herald on Mississippi Blood "A fabulous story. . . . Love, betrayal, murder, sadness, racism, adultery, hatred and revenge, with a bit of history thrown in. . . . The conclusion to a phenomenal trilogy."
  • Southern Living on Mississippi Blood "In this dramatic conclusion to a stunning piece of work, Iles works suspense until the last second, making us question whether we'd be able to keep fighting if all the precious things in our lives were taken away."
  • Knoxville News-Sentinel on Mississippi Blood "The Natchez trilogy is a sprawling plunge into some of the worst crimes of the civil-rights era."
  • RT Book Reviews on Mississippi Blood "This magnificent saga concludes in breathtaking fashion. . . . Tender and gripping."
  • Sullivan County Democrat on Mississippi Blood "Almost nobody works in crime fiction at this level-or this many levels-of psychological, social, and civic sharpness, and with this clarity as well as richness of style. And maintains fiendish levels of suspense."
  • Financial Times on Mississippi Blood "Operatic in its reach, this is still essentially a tough crime procedural, with courtroom drama that is far more blistering than the John Grisham variety."
  • ReaderToReader.com "Just when the trial seems to be ending there are more twists and turns that I never saw coming.... A great ending for the final installment of this thrilling novel. When I read the last page all I could say was WOW! Iles never disappoints."
  • CriminalElement.com "The breathtaking ending to an expertly crafted trilogy. . . . Page-turning suspense. Well-written and a must read."
  • Huffington Post on The Bone Tree "It matches, or even outdoes, the first story in excitement and drama... A searing saga of remorse and revenge."
  • Stephen King "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."
  • Washington Post "Natchez Burning obliterates the artificial distinction between genre and literary fiction with passion, grace, and considerable style. This is Greg Iles at this formidable best. It's good to have him back."
  • Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS) "While Natchez Burning excels as a contemporary thriller, it shines brightest when Iles draws from a deeper, and older, well in American fiction. The most compelling passages of the novel echo Iles? writer-predecessor from Natchez, Richard Wright . . . Utterly—and chillingly—believable. Epic."
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