About Mississippi Blood• Hardcover: 704 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (March 21, 2017)
#1 New York Times Bestselling Author 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.
Tom Cage's murder trial sets a terrible clock in motion, and unless Penn can pierce the veil of the past and exonerate his father, his family will be destroyed. 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--a former soldier--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, New York Times bestselling author 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.
About Greg IlesGreg 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. Find out more about Greg at his website, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on Facebook.
Greg Iles is one of my favorite writers, and The Quiet Game is one of my all-time favorite books. Unfortunately I was disappointed in the first two books in this trilogy, Natchez Burning and The Bone Tree. Click on the links and read my reviews.
Finally. Questions are answered in this final installment of the trilogy. However after three books of overly-complicated plots and outrageous storylines that involve not only the MLK assassination, but also Kennedy's assassination, still I feel like there are plot points concerning Penn and his family still floating up in the air.
I used to like Penn. I used to really, really like Penn. Now? Not so much. Perhaps my biggest criticism of the novel is my disappointment in Penn's character. I thought that Penn loved Caitlin, but apparently his grieving period of only two to three months or so is enough to get over his second love of his life as he falls into the arms of Serenity. Also, Mia from Turning Angel makes an appearance. She was a teenager in that novel (cheerleader from the local high school who babysits Penn's daughter). In Turning Angel, Penn thought about seducing her until he screwed his head on straight again. Now she's twenty, and she's certainly a distraction Penn doesn't need. I really hate it that Penn has turned out to be such a horn dog. All I can think is: karma. Think of your daughter, Penn.
The profanity started grating on my nerves. Again. Truly I got sick and tired of reading the "n" and "f" word. Maybe it's me. His language it cringe-worthy. This isn't a criticism, but the title is distracting to me: I kept singing Lynyrd Skynyrd's Mississippi Blood in my head during certain parts off the novel. It was a needed distraction.
Greg Iles is a fantastic writer, I'll give him that. He isn't shy when writing about controversial topics like physician-assisted suicide and Southern racism. I do think that this trilogy could have been better with some ruthless editing. The books didn't need to be that long, and they would have been much better without the more outrageous plot points. I am happier with the trilogy overall after this final installment, and I would give it four out of five stars.
I can't help but wonder if Penn will appear in future novels. I have a feeling he will.
For those of you who live near Birmingham, Greg Iles will chat about and sign copies of Mississippi Blood at The Alabama Booksmith in Homewood Saturday, April 1st at 3:00 PM.
I received a copy of Mississippi Blood from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Until next time...