By: Greg Iles
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 3/05/2019
My Rating: 5 Stars + The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Natchez Burning trilogy returns with an electrifying tale of friendship, betrayal, and shattering secrets that threaten to destroy a small Mississippi town.
Sometimes the price of justice is a good man’s soul.
“[A] compulsively readable thriller… Iles once again delivers a sweeping tale of family dysfunction, sexually charged secrets, and the power of wealth, with an overlay of violence and Southern sensibility.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review) When Marshall McEwan left his hometown at age eighteen, he vowed never to return. The trauma that drove him away ultimately spurred him to become one of the most successful journalists in Washington D.C. But just as the political chaos in the nation’s capital lifts him to new heights, Marshall is forced to return home in spite of his boyhood vow. His father is dying, his mother is struggling to keep the family newspaper from failing, and the town is in the midst of an economic rebirth that might be built upon crimes that reach into the state capitol—and perhaps even to Washington. More disturbing still, Marshall’s high school sweetheart, Jet, has married into the family of Max Matheson, patriarch of one of the families that rule Bienville through a shadow organization called the Bienville Poker Club.
When archeologist Buck McKibben is murdered at a construction site, Bienville is thrown into chaos. The ensuing homicide investigation is soon derailed by a second crime that rocks the community to its core. Power broker Max Matheson’s wife has been shot dead in her own bed, and the only other person in it at the time was her husband, Max. Stranger still, Max demands that his daughter-on-law, Jet, defend him in court.
As a journalist, Marshall knows all too well how the corrosive power of money and politics can sabotage investigations. Without telling a soul, he joins forces with Jet, who has lived for fifteen years at the heart of Max Matheson’s family, and begins digging into both murders. With Jet walking the dangerous road of an inside informer, they soon uncover a web of criminal schemes that undergird the town’s recent success. But these crimes pale in comparison to the secret at the heart of the Matheson family. When those who have remained silent for years dare to speak to Marshall, pressure begins to build like water against a crumbling dam.
Marshall loses friends, family members, and finally even Jet, for no one in Bienville seems willing to endure the reckoning that the Poker Club has long deserved. And by the time Marshall grasps the long-buried truth, he would give almost anything not to have to face it.
“An ambitious stand-alone thriller that is both an absorbing crime story and an in-depth exploration of grief, betrayal and corruption… Iles’s latest calls to mind the late, great Southern novelist Pat Conroy. Like Conroy, Iles writes with passion, intensity and absolute commitment.” — Washington Post
“With a paralyzing twist that will leave you speechless, Iles has created a completely original and unforgettable tale.”—Iron Mountain Daily News
“Iles… has made Mississippi his own in the same way that James Lee Burke has claimed Cajun country and Michael Connelly has remapped contemporary Los Angeles… They will be talking about this one for a quite awhile.” —Booklist (starred review)
“[A] compulsively readable thriller… Iles once again delivers a sweeping tale of family dysfunction, sexually charged secrets, and the power of wealth, with an overlay of violence and Southern sensibility.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“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
“The first in a trilogy whose themes of race relations, Southern tradition, and the corrupting nature of power are expertly woven throughout a powerful story . . . Natchez Burning is perhaps the best thriller to come along in years. Memorable, intricate, and expertly crafted.”
—Memphis Commercial Appeal
“The thriller of the year, of the decade even, is Natchez Burning... The first of a projected trilogy, Natchez Burning is Penn Cage’s fourth outing. But you don’t need to read its predecessors to be wholly consumed by this wonderful book. Buy, read, and marvel.”
—The Times (London)
“Absolutely compelling.… A beautifully constructed story [and] some extremely fine writing.”
—Booklist (starred review) on The Bone Tree
“Richly plotted…[and] the action-packed narrative moves swiftly to a surprising and moving conclusion.” —Publishers Weekly on The Bone Tree
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. Read More