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Epic reading

Book Cover Image - The Bone Tree

I devoured Natchez Burning, the first book in Greg Iles's planned trilogy and have been eagerly awaiting the second entry - The Bone Tree.The Bone Tree picks up right where Natchez Burning left off. Iles does a great job of quickly recapping, so that new readers could jump into the book. (But seriously, you need to read the first book)

Lawyer Penn Cage is the mayor of Natchez, Mississippi. Between himself, his newspaper editor fiancee, his father Tom and others, they have uncovered and exposed the dirty underbelly of Natchez and surrounding Louisiana. Secrets, killings and corruption, racial hatred, greed, crime and political malfeasance of the worst kind imaginable. The perpetrators are so well placed and have been in power for so long that it seems nothing can take them down. And then comes the revelation that this shadowy group may have been responsible for the deaths of American leaders. (Gentle readers be warned - there are graphic scenes and descriptions)

Iles's plotting is simply spectacular - intricately imagined and complexly drawn with a hefty dose of (frightening) fact mixed in. I did check out many many references online to see if they were real - they were. In fact it's almost impossible to try and explain the book - there are so many threads and characters. Each and every character Iles brings to the page is fully developed and the reader can't help but become engaged (or disgusted) with every player. I've been a fan of Penn Cage from the first book, but Tom and his old ranger buddy Walt were the underdogs I was cheering for this time.  The 'bad guys' are well - just plain ugly.

I described Natchez Burning as powerful, gripping, thrilling, sweeping and simply spectacular - and I'll use those same words to describe The Bone Tree. 800+ plus pages of absolutely epic reading. ~~Luanne~~