The Bone Tree
By Greg Iles
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 4/28/2015
Series: Penn Cage #5
My Rating: 5 Stars
Penn Cages father, Dr. Tom Cage, stands accused of murder, and each effort to defend him unearths new, shocking secrets, leaving Penn to question whether he ever really knew his father at all. At issue is the murder of Toms former nurse, Viola Turner. The district attorney is quick to point the finger at Tom, citing his decades-old relationship with Viola.
When Tom is taken into custody, Penn must explore the dangerous territory of Tom and Violas shared history, set squarely in the most harrowing years of civil-rights-era Mississippi. What was the relationship between Tom, Viola, and the Double Eagle Club, an ultraviolent group of hardened men who considered themselves smarter, tougher, and more elite than their peers in the FBI-infiltrated Ku Klux Klan?
In Natchez, Mississippi, where the past is never truly past, long-buried secrets tend to turn lethal when exposed to the light of day. For Penn Cage, the cost of solving this case is no exception. Greg Iles is the bestselling author of Third Degree, True Evil, Turning Angel, Blood Memory, and The Footprints of God, among others.
A special thank you to HarperCollins, William Morrow, and LibraryThing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Southern storyteller, Greg Iles continues the powerful and compelling saga of Penn Cage, delivering THE BONE TREE, a hard-boiled explosive multi-layered follow up after sensational NATCHEZ BURNING, which landed on my TOP 30 BOOKS OF 2014. Again, Greg does not disappoint his fans, with this complex and emotional conspiracy of greed, power, politics, civil rights, and racial injustice--spanning across history and generations. Let me start by saying, the length of the novel is not intimidating (more to enjoy) as Greg is the “best of the best” of modern literary thriller writers; however, will say I typically listen to Greg’s books via audio, as it captures the full essence, emotion, and suspense-- David Ledoux was outstanding in NB and hoping Robert Petkoff can live up as narrator for TBT. I have pre-ordered the audiobook; however it does not release until April 21, so looking forward to listening for the overall experience. Since I am not a patient person, was thrilled to attain an ARC, and decided to dive in with the book, and listen again later—yes, that good as devoured it in a few days. With the prologue summary, Greg quickly gets readers up to speed as a refresher since last year with Natchez Burning. This was helpful since it has been a while; however, would recommend to readers to read Natchez Burning first to grasp a good understanding of this mesmerizing riveting thriller. Penn’s physician father, Tom is a fugitive suspected of murder and combined with the unsolved civil rights case from the sixties, Double Eagles, and the KKK--- may be linked to assassinations. In Penn’s quest for answers, he is sent into the dark past of conspiracy, greed, and murder involving some powerful, evil, and wealthy men. As he follows this bloody trail from decades past, these guys do not want any stones uncovered--will do anything to keep their dark secrets in the past. Penn, a former prosecutor, now Mayor of Natchez, MS, and his pregnant fiancée, reporter Caitlin Masters, are in the middle of danger with a flamethrower sadist. There are old grudges, hatred, and revenge, and lives are at stake. Caitlin, publisher of the Natchez Examiner is busy trying to track down the bad guys and danger is lurking around every corner. Penn’s dad, Dr. Cage of course has been the target for years regarding some long ago grudge and then there is his former African American nurse, and mistress Viola’s death and her son which may or not be Cage’s son, or could be the rapist’s son. Henry Sexton a fearless journalist has clues which they need to crack. From the Deep South we have the KKK, the Double Eagles, Forest Knox, and Brody Royal – these are some evil bad ass guys, with some dirty dark secrets; and criminal behavior or murder does not phase this group of southern terrorists. Special Agent FBI John Kaiser is the on the case in Natchez, Mississippi and he works his magic in many ways. Caitlin gets closer to learning about the illegal activity surrounding the bone tree and what it represents, putting her in immediate danger. As the plot thickens you will be engrossed in the KKK, RFK, MLK, and JFK connection of racial violence and hatred. As a southern native, and a baby boomer, growing up in the sixties --seems like only yesterday when the teacher came in to inform us of JFK’s assignation. The evil and racial tension, which lurks inside these pages is spellbinding. Greg grabs you with intensity, fear, and emotion surrounding the events which threaten Penn, his daughter, his family, his fiancé, and those he holds dear to his heart. Cage and his supporters are hoping to find the key to old mysteries from nearly 40 years at the legendary “bone tree” deep in the swamps, a giant cypress, where Double Eagles took their victims, mostly black men, women and even children, to be tortured and killed. From the local police, the politicians, and the corrupt calculating feds—Dr. Cage accused of murder and now Penn, Caitlin and a fearless investigative reporter; survival is on the line. Will Penn be pushed to the brink to save his own life and his family? However, can they be stopped or will they die trying? Will Walt Garrity and John Kaiser be able to save him and his family? THE BONE TREE is a multi-layered, richly plotted electrifying account of racial injustice and corruption, making you think twice about the cruelty of the South, clouding the lines between reality and fiction. American History has never been so scandalous! No one does tells it better than Greg Iles- cannot wait for his next book. Southern Fiction at it's FINEST! Congrats! Amazon Books ‘Natchez Burning’ Drama From Tobey Maguire, David Hudgins & Sony TV. Read More
About the Author
Greg Iles was born in Germany in 1960, where his father ran the US Embassy Medical Clinic during the height of the Cold War. Iles spent his youth in Natchez, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983. While attending Ole Miss, Greg lived in the cabin where William Faulkner and his brothers listened to countless stories told by “Mammy Callie,” their beloved nanny, who had been born a slave.
Iles wrote his first novel in 1993, a thriller about Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess, which became the first of twelve New York Times bestsellers. His novels have been made into films, translated into more than twenty languages, and published in more than thirty-five countries worldwide. His new epic trilogy continues the story of Penn Cage, protagonist of The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, and New York Times #1 bestseller The Devil’s Punchbowl.
Iles is a member of the legendary lit-rock group “The Rock Bottom Remainders.” Like bandmate Stephen King, Greg returned to the musical stage after recovering from his injuries, and joined the band for their final two shows in Los Angeles in 2012. A nonfiction memoir by the band, titledHard Listening, was published this past summer. Hard Listening also contains a short story Greg wrote as an homage to King. Iles lives in Natchez, Mississippi, with his wife and has two children, at least one of whom aspires to both literary and film endeavors. Website