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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Natchez Burning

"For nothing is lost, nothing is ever lost. There is always the clue, the canceled check, the smear of lipstick, the footprint in the canna bed, the condom on the park path, the twitch in the old wound, the baby shoes dipped in bronze, the taint in the blood stream. And all times are one time, and all those dead in the past never lived before our definition gives them life, and out of the shadow their eyes implore us. ~ Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men."

The first thing that attracted me to pick up this novel was the review from Stephen King, of which, I've been a huge fan of his for quite some time. "Extraordinary entertaining and fiendishly suspenseful. I defy you to start it and find a way to put it down." So when he says that you will find a hard time putting this one down, I was immediately interested. This is not a novel for the faint-hearted as the first part of the novel deals with a group known as the Double Eagles, basically a step up from the KKK, who believes that the KKK is a poorly led group that hides behind their sheets instead of taking ownership for what they hope to accomplish. It reminds the reader by taking a trip back to the deep south in the 1960's in Natchez, Mississippi, just how far things have come in regards to the civil rights movement and we still have a way to go in some aspects.

The premise behind this novel is the murder of Viola Turner, an African American nurse who worked for a predominant white doctor Dr. Tom Cage who has been respected for decades. Video footage has been the evidence that is being used to convict Dr. Cage of the crime even though his son, Penn Cage, novelist and attorney believes that there is simply more to this than what the evidence shows and his father needs someone to do the digging necessary to gain the evidence necessary to prove his innocence. Penn struggles to understand that if his father is innocent of the crime, why won't he defend himself and takes it upon himself to do the digging. But there might be more deep dark family secrets than what Penn is anticipating as the novel toggle between the 1960's and 2005 as the investigation continues.

The Double Eagles is being led by Brody Royal, a man with the financial means to guarantee his groups success on master minding assassination attempts of notable political figures like Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert Kennedy. They know the only way to get to these men is to provoke them and bring them out in the open. The men in this group are solicited for their military background who know what needs to be done in order to ensure success at their endeavors. They lack the character and moral ethics and believe they are serving justice in all their actions. This is definitely a novel for mature audiences. It is brutally honest in it's portrayals of both heroes and villains and how little some have for the human life.

I received Natchez Burning by Greg Iles compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. There are three novels that precede this one that outline more about the characters you are introduced to here but having not known that prior to picking up this one, I was not at a loss. However that being said, I believe in order to gain an understanding of certain characters motivations and background, you may want to pick those up before diving into this one. It is certainly well written for 800 pages and will take some time to get through, but for those that love historical novels dealing with the civil rights movement and solving a murder from decades ago, you might want to pick this one up. I have to say, Stephen King was right, I was immediately hooked from the beginning and could not put this one down. I would rate this a 4 out of 5 based on my own rating system due to graphic adult content and profanity but overall an amazing novel.

For more information about Natchez Burning, Greg Iles or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Greg Illes on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on Natches Burning, please visit William Morrow's website.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to read this book, but don't buy very many books unless they are marked way down. Just can't afford to. Too many other things come first. You are really good with your reviews. Thanks. Maxie
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