natchez-burning-greg-ilesThis is a big juicy novel. It may weigh in at over 700 pages, but they fly by, with one cliffhanger after another.  As Stephen King says, Natchez Burning by Greg Iles is: “Extraordinarily entertaining and fiendishly suspenseful. I defy you to start it and find a way to put it down.” Now that’s really something coming from Stephen King!

Penn Cage, former prosecutor and mayor of Natchez Mississippi is living a nightmare.  His father, Dr Tom Cage, stands accused of murder and the more Penn digs, the less he likes what he finds buried in his father’s past.

Viola Turner, Tom’s former nurse, has been found murdered. What was the real nature of their relationship? And more disturbingly; what links the pair to the ultra-violent Double Eagle Club? This is a club that considers itself superior to the Ku Klux Klan. Natchez is a town of tensions, where the past is never truly ‘past’ and long-buried secrets turn lethal when exposed to the light of day.

Natchez Burning is the fourth book to feature Penn Cage; the others being The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, The Devil’s Punchbowl and The Death Factory. If you spotted that makes five, well done: The Death Factory is billed as Penn Cage #3.5, as it’s a novella resolving issues outstanding at the end of its predecessor. Fans have waited FIVE YEARS to see how that cliffhanger turned out, though Iles has apologised for the delay! Natchez Burning is also the first instalment in a blistering new Penn Cage trilogy.

Cage is just part of the Greg Iles story: he’s a prolific creative writer, unafraid of cutting across different genres and trying new approaches.  He’s an author literally full of surprises – not least that he played lead guitar for lit-rock legends and pioneers of ‘hard listening music’ the Rock Bottom Remainders.  That’s a whole other story….